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If I ran a news organization and one of our so-called journalists didn't know who Tim Berners-Lee is, I'd fire him or her.
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John E. Bredehoft's profile photoSulekh Suman's profile photoDirk Hohndel's profile photoRichard Kelwick's profile photo
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That was just weird. The wife and I looked at each other simultaneously, "Did they just say...."
 
And he works at MIT...in America. (Not that it matters...but...uh....you know...it's not like he lives in a cave on the North Pole.)
 
Don't worry. Neither of them are actually journalists. It is embarrassing all the same especially since there has been so much press lately about who invented the Internet.
 
Did they not have some kind of research/notes?

Or do they view their job as "turn up and say what you see"?
 
For years, I've called him "Saint Tim of the Web," and enjoyed his book, "Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web." (2000)  Publisher's description:
Named one of the greatest minds of the 20th century by Time, Tim Berners-Lee is responsible for one of that century's most important advancements: the world wide web.  Now, this low-profile genius-who never personally profitted from his invention -offers a compelling protrait of his invention.  He reveals the Web's origins and the creation of the now ubiquitous http and www acronyms and shares his views on such critical issues as censorship, privacy, the increasing power of softeware companies , and the need to find the ideal balance between commercial and social forces.  He offers insights into the true nature of the Web, showing readers how to use it to its fullest advantage.  And he presents his own plan for the Web's future, calling for the active support and participation of programmers, computer manufacturers, and social organizations to manage and maintain this valuable resource so that it can remain a powerful force for social change and an outlet for individual creativity.
http://www.amazon.com/Weaving-Web-Original-Ultimate-Destiny/dp/006251587X/ref=pd_sim_b_1
 
There's a more important principle here - a principle that goes beyond tech. We are, in effect, guests of the British. And in the same way that Romney received criticism for denigrating the UK's ability to host the Olympics, NBC should receive criticism. Whether you're talking about Tim Berners-Lee, Winston Churchill, or John Lydon, the UK has deemed that these are important people that are worthy of respect. It's insulting to take one of these people are pretty much say, "We don't care who this guy is."

But the insult to Berners-Lee pales in comparison to the insult to the British dead, who were pre-empted for a Michael Phelps interview.

#nbcfail  
 
Well, Tim Berners-Lee (note that the hyphen is incorrectly placed in that article) is a very understated, humble person from what I can tell. Not a Thomas Edison type. 

Our (here in Canada) Olympics network identified him as having invented the Internet. TechCrunch identified him as the founder of the Internet (they later modified that piece). So your Today Show types are in good company.
 
No need to fire, history is coming for them.
 
I don't know who he is either, and probably won't remember it after end of today.

Perhaps if we all referred to it as "Tim Berners-Lee's Web", that would help clarify it for the rest of us.

Note: I've been using the Internet since before 1995, and consider myself well versed in geeky things. Still.... never heard of him.
 
A quick look at Wikipedia would have given them a good answer. Makes one wonder if the heard of the web.
 
I think I was bothered by the lack of shame they had in not knowing -- they could have easily kept their ignorance to themselves. I doubt we'd hear Meredith Vieira ever using a phrase like, "that old Edward R. What's-His-Face."
 
WTF? What an embarrassment. +NBC Olympics - you really need to make sure your talking heads aren't completely retarded.
Good thing I'm not wasting my time watching the Sponsorympics
 
It simply amazes methat there is apparently no pre-research on items to be discussed.  Even the sports announcers have their srceens with 'fast facts'.  Meredith Viera needs to go back to the View where facts are not important
 
+John E. Bredehoft Yes, your point is well taken. The NBC people would have been better off saying nothing. I consider myself fortunate to have been to the spot where Berners-Lee did his work and also to have been able to connect to those early web servers. The crucial step is that TBL decided the web, as he invented it, would be open and freely accessible. It could easily have become a closed shop with a fee-for-use model. 
 
+John Tieso - somehow I suspect that Whoopi Goldberg, despite being a comedian by trade, would have taken Tim Berners-Lee's identity more seriously.
 
Why can't NBC just televise using the British commentators?  
 
+G. Steve Arnold: Better question -- why can't NBC have their announcers while the BBC has theirs, and we're free to choose which broadcast we want to watch? (I think we'll get there, but it's going to be a slooww process.)
 
+G. Steve Arnold ROFL!!! They're going to tell Bob Costas he can't do the Olympics??  I would love to hear that conversation.
 
+Raymond Johnson LOL!  I actually started to type out how ludicrous it is that KableCo has 1300 channels and none of them provide alternative ways to watch what you're watching, but I abandoned it because TL;DR.

I always thought we'd get to the point where the networks would broadcast (politics and sporting events especially) both home and away commentators so you could pick which one you wanted to listen to.
 
+Andrew Thompson I'd say it's a loss for you not knowing about him until now. He is a really impressive man who deserves all the praise he gets.
 
NBC commentary was pretty pathetic.
 
Got so tired of Matt last night while the olympians entered, I turned the sound off and listened to my own music. 
 
I have always labored under the Pollyann'ish notion that journalist gathered and dismantled information as accurately as is humanly possible, what, with being witnesses to history and all. Their journalistic efforts being focused and constrained by the rods of accuracy and brevity, their work ennobled by the fulfillment of the "5-W's" in the first paragraph.
And then, under protest, I was forced to leave the warmth and comfort of elementary school.
The idea that NBC could be considered a journalistic organization is just laughable. This is the same gang of provocateers that in the last few weeks, in a transparent effort to exacerbate racial tensions and incite riots ( which likely would have resulted in loss of life) re-mixed a recording of a Florida 911 call.
Would you be so upset if they stuck two pumpkins on broomsticks and called them reporters? Remember, these "journalist" likely think Al Gore invented the Internet. I think you ask too much, Sir!
Don't blame the "journalist" or the rag of the network they work for. Did you really expect better? 
 
They seemed so joyous about their ignorance. I ranted the rest of the night about it.
 
These people are broadcast anchors, who were tasked with covering a live, highly hush, hush international sporting event. They are not beat journalists covering a tech conference.

Who cares if they couldn't identify the name of a man who most people wouldn't recognize unless they were already well versed in history of the internet.

I agree they should have kept their mouths shut if they didn't know, but like I said...this was a live filmed event, where pre-broadcast research would have been focused on what went into the making of the event, and after that pretty much anything you can think of other then obscure web history.

Considering the frequent and non stop program adjustments that inevitably take place when throwing an event like the olympics, I think these guys did a decent job.The idea that NBC should consider firing them for this is a silly notion.

You bunch o nerds need to quit being so hypercritical and enjoy the sports :) 
 
... And you need to retain some standards! Enough with the excuses for highly paid mass-media morons.
 
But she probably knows who Kim Kardashian is, which may be more important to their audiance.

+Christopher Gregory Everyone should be. Why? Is that a bad thing?
 
Celebrity vs. merit, still waiting for the great leap forward.
 
There are no excuses needed..the anchors did a fine job, get over it.

If you want to be bothered by NBC's American broadcast, be bothered by the fact that entire chunks of the event were omitted to make room for ad sales.

I guess I shouldnt be suprized, but it really is amazing to me, how judgemental veiwers can be.

For Christ's sake, your able watch the worlds largest, most anticipated sporting event happen on the otherside of the world live from your couch. And all you can get from it out of it is an excuse to bitch?

This thing was choreographed, acted out,and reported upon live before being beamed to your living room. How can you be so cluless to think that mistakes wont happen? ...This aint kim jung ills funeral percession.

The audacity it takes to actually think this mistake is relivent to the big picture of yeaterday's events is beyond me. Sorry you found it world shatering...and a worthy reason to fire people who put a lot of work into bringing you this wonderful event, but thinking this way is self centered, and intellectually lazy.

The level of coordination required, and all the hard work everyone involed put into making your magic tv box do what its supposed to deserves a little more understanding, and appreciation.



Sal PN
 
typical american........
 
Sir Tim Berners-Lee is recognised as a great thinker and a key innovator in the digital age. It is a shame that many people, not just ill informed NBC "journalists" have an incomplete understanding of the digital age we live in. 
 
Hardly typical, and your comments are highly narrow minded. That, apparently, transcends nationality...
 
+Christopher Gregory, I don't really have a problem with the fact that Meredith Vieira didn't know who Tim Berners-Lee was. I have a problem with the fact that she delighted in her lack of knowledge. I don't care if Berners-Lee was a dogcatcher - he was apparently important enough to the British to devote a major portion of the Opening Ceremony to him. Vieira's public indifference to a British figure is as insulting as Romney's comments.
 
+John E. Bredehoft At least Romney's statements were inadevertant and he expressed better comments quickly. Viera's attitude was totally unreasonable
 
+Rick Mason Pretty soon, there may be a kids asking, "TV? What is that?"
 
Two things come to mind regarding the NBC staff (on-air, producers, directors, etc.):  ID-ten-T & PEBKAC (If you don't recognize these terms, you can quickly check them out on the Google).
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