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

No, no he would not.


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.

Deadspin has been dutifully on the Costas pink eye beat, but it’s not just that end of the media world that has taken notice. As The New York Times reported on Friday, in its review of the opening ceremonies:

It didn’t help network karma that Bob Costas was forced by an eye infection to don eyeglasses and work from an odd isolated studio — it looked like an ice cave in Oz — at an Olympic broadcasting center far from the action.

Since Costas first went on the air last week with a little redness in one eye, his eye infection has apparently spread to both eyes. It’s painful to watch.

Finally, on Tuesday morning, Costas announced that he would be taking the day off (thank goodness) from Olympics coverage. His replacement is Matt Lauer.

But if Costas were a woman, it’s hard to imagine the sexist network news industry would permit him to get in front of a camera. Sure, Costas was probably cut a little slack, because, really, his only job at this point is to be the face of the Olympics every two years.

But something tells me that if Natalie Morales showed up for work at the Today show with a drippy eye or canker sores, a red phone would ring somewhere with instructions to give her a few days off.

Am I wrong?

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