The American media has been obsessively covering Michael Phelps on his quest to win eight gold medals this Olympiad – a feat that has never been accomplished. Up until now he has been perfect, managing to win his seventh medal by only .01 seconds in the 100-meter butterfly yesterday, and tying the previous record held by Mark Spitz since 1972.
Tonight, the buildup will finally reach its climax as Phelps races for his eighth gold to become what the media seems intent on calling “the greatest Olympian ever”.
Unfortunately for them, CNN has already spoiled the results.
Because many of this year’s Olympic events are not scheduled during NBC’s “primetime” coverage, they are typically taped and broadcast hours after events actually occur. CNN decided to ignore this, and Tweeted the results of the Phelps race on its “Breaking News” account (cnnbrk) hours before it was shown on air.
A quick search for CNN’s account on Twitter reveals an onslaught of criticism and outrage towards the major news network. CNN has tweeted the following in response:
Admin: wrt: olympics – CNN chose to tell the story of the world rec. men’s 100m. it’s in the world media. it’s breaking news – not spoiler.
I side with CNN on this one. Breaking news is breaking news.
Update: Looks like cnnbrk isn’t actually affiliated with CNN – it’s an unofficial account that posts stories that get sent through CNN’s Breaking News email alerts. Either way, CNN sent the news out when it broke.