I’m not trying to make light of the tragic death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili - obviously, what happened was awful, and it’s a video I wish I could un-see. Still, “Death at the Olympics” makes for a pretty poignant tale for opportunistic psuedo-journalists, doesn’t it? It’s the kind of heart-wrenching story that cretins like Bill Plaschke drool over, and he didn’t disappoint, complaining that the Olympics seem to be business as usual despite the tragedy.
Now, whether the lifelong dreams of thousands of athletes and families, along with the years of work by the host country, really should be lessened or dashed by this unfortunate accident are a completely different argument. What’s not up for discussion is that, as usual, Billy’s got his facts wrong – except this time it’s the Times online layout itself that serves as the proof.
Plaschke’s article – dated today, February 14 – launches right into how he thinks the death has been overlooked, because the flags aren’t at half-staff and there’s no memorial to Kumaritashvili. In fact, he says just that:
One day later, the national flags above Turn 16 still flapped at full staff, the Olympic rings there still glowed a sweet blue, there was no makeshift memorial of flowers or cards, there was no visible memory.
Sad, isn’t it? You’d think that between the thousands of visitors and competitors affected by this tragedy, that someone would have at least put down some flowers in remembrance.
Oh, what’s that? They did, and depsite Plaschke’s claims to the contrary, there’s a photo of exactly that leading the story, just pixels above where he says they didn’t? Looks like my birthday came early this year!
Bill Plaschke: distorting the facts to fit his narrative since 1987.
If this all sounds slightly familiar to you, it’s because it’s not the first time. When Manny came back from his suspension last summer, Plaschke railed against him, saying (among many other tenuous claims) that Manny didn’t acknowledge the support of his fans in Mannywood… except for the photos on Deadspin clearly showing that he did.