Matt Frei's schadenfreude...or something
From this week’s dose of Matt Frei’s pithy observations on America, dedicated largely to the Olympics:
Whether it is the [US's] relatively low medal count - I stress relative as the US has so far won 17 medals to the UK's 1 - or the dismal ratings of NBC's Olympics programmes, these winter games are laced with schadenfreude.Uh, relative to what, exactly? Certainly not the rest of the field. As of yesterday morning when Frei’s column came out, the US was behind exactly 1 of the 84 competing nations in its medal count. How about historically? Nope. At 17 medals and counting with 3 days still to go, the US had already garnered more medals than any other Olympic games bar one (2002). So what exactly is Frei talking about? Is there a special word for getting pleasure from the imagined misfortunes of others?
The problem is that NBC had touted the US Olympic team as the best ever and stars like Bodie Miller, the Colorado answer to Franz Klammer have, to be frank, been a bit of a disappointment.Perhaps one can excuse Frei’s phonetic misspelling of Bode Miller’s name, but for goodness sake, why snidely implicate innocent Coloradoans in his failures? Especially since the brash but medal-less Miller is actually from, er, New Hampshire. Good fact-checking, Beeb.
So now America's hopes are pinned on a gold medal in that most glamorous and sofa gripping sports: curling.America’s hopes? Oh my. One wonders if Matt has ever heard of projection.
Frei also manages to get in a sly plug for his employer, or at least its financing methods, by pointing out that US Olympic coverage is "annoyingly interrupted by a commercial break every few minutes". Yeah, well, at least that annoying American coverage isn’t being paid for out of the pockets of those British ex-pats who find it so annoying. Which is more than can be said about TAE and Frei’s own very annoying coverage of the US.
BTW, I particularly enjoyed one of the comments posted to the BBC in response to Frei's latest entry. From one Leonard Johns:
I am a Brit currently here on a biannual stay and have never been able toWelcome to the club, Leonard. Welcome to the club.
find this country as you tend to report it.