Requiem for a Meme: Bob Costas’ Pink Eye

The 2014 Winter Olympics just became a whole lot less entertaining with the announcement that Matt Lauer will replace Bob Costas in the main anchor chair for a day. Costas’s infected left eye quickly became the star of Sochi and the source of fountain of entertainment on Twitter. There are at least a dozen handles and five hashtags paying homage to Costas’s affliction. And the tweets have been more entertaining than the games.

When the infection worsened and spread to the right eye, both NBC and Costas agreed, for the good of America and the world, it was time for a new host (if only temporarily). In memory of Bob’s red, swollen, half-open oozing eyes, here now is a sampling of the best tweets of the past few days.

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Would Bob Costas Be On TV With Pink Eye If He Were a Woman?

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If you haven’t been tuning in to NBC’s Olympics 2014 coverage, then you might now know that veteran Olympics anchor Bob Costas has been showing up for work every day with a nasty little eye infection. Since last Thursday, he’s been broadcasting his pus-filled, crusty eye to the millions of people tuning in for his Olympics recaps. Read more »

Action News Does Great Job Helping Residents Without Power, Reports Action News

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Like many of you, I’ve been watching more local TV news over the past few weeks. It’s been cold and snowy and icy and fewer people are going out — and there’s nothing on TV, ever. Yesterday had by far my favorite piece of news coverage since… well, since Karen Hepp’s doom-and-gloom rant earlier that day. It came from Action News:

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TV Ratings Don’t Lie: Winners and Losers in Yesterday’s Weather Wars

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The biggest ratings days of the year for local TV are bad weather days. That’s why the entire weather team comes in, coverage is expanded through the day and poor reporters are standing in the snow trying to come up with something new to say for their 17th live report of the day.

So which station and which weather team does Philadelphia turn to with the year’s biggest snowstorm barreling towards the area? The answer is in the ratings. And the answer is…

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TV News Is Broken and The Ratings Suck. So Tell Your Own Story.

For most of my adult life, I have been a walking billboard for media access. A week doesn’t go buy that someone stops me to tell me a story that ends with the question: “How do I get my story on TV?”

Some of the stories are heartbreaking. Some of the stories expose government oppression or judicial injustice. Some tell the story of fear in a crime-ridden area. They are stories that should be told.

But at a time when TV news ratings are at a record low and managers are trying to figure out how to hold on to every viewer, these stories don’t get told.

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WATCH: Diane Sawyer Heads Back to Strawberry Mansion High School

Since Diane Sawyer first visited Strawberry Mansion high school last May, Nightline reports, several positive developments have occurred. One, the school is no longer on the city’s “persistently dangerous” list. Two, for the first time ever, it’s got a football team. (Go Knights!). Here’s the video of Sawyer’s follow-up, which aired last night.

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Why Did Al Roker and Matt Lauer Undergo a Dangerous Prostate Exam on Live TV?

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In November, the men of the Today show stopped shaving to raise awareness for men’s health, specifically testicular and prostate cancer. November is a key ratings month in television and the Beards for Better Balls stunt was attention-getting for a good cause.

But when a couple of the Today men decided to get their prostates checked live on the show. Well, pardon the pun, but they scraped bottom. It was inaccurate, unethical and dangerous. All of which I found out from my doctor when I went in for a physical the other day. He wanted to talk more about Matt Lauer and Al Roker’s prostates than mine.

“I watched it live,” my doctor told me, “and couldn’t believe they were pushing the PSA test.”

The test is no longer recommended or even considered safe by most in the medical world, but you wouldn’t have known that from the Today show-and-tell.

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