NBC Fires Guy Who Posted The Bryant Gumbel/Katie Couric 'What Is Internet' Video
from the what-is-nbc dept
Like a bunch of sites, we posted about the amusing video that had been posted to YouTube, that showed Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel, back in 1994, very confused about the internet. The video itself went viral pretty quickly. It was just sort of cute. I don't think anyone posting the video was doing it in a mean way -- it was just funny, and served as a good reminder of just how quickly things have changed. Just about the time that we posted the video, the original video was pulled down from YouTube by the guy who posted it. What quickly came out, via Rob Pegoraro, was that the guy who posted it worked at NBC, but was fired for posting the video. The guy doesn't want to talk about it beyond that, and NBC doesn't appear too keen on commenting on the whole situation, but, really NBC? Is that company so ridiculously thin-skinned that it can't laugh at itself? Nothing about the use of the video was mean-spirited or harmful to NBC. The video went viral because it's a human interest sort of thing -- a reminder of how quickly the internet went from something people didn't understand at all, to something that's central to so many people's lives. We all forget what it was like when we first discovered the internet (at least those of us who grew up without the internet), and the video sort of brought all that back. I'd argue that NBC firing the guy for posting this video to YouTube suggests an organization even more confused about the internet than either Couric or Gumbel in this clip (which, yes, is still widely available):
This whole thing reminds of the PR debacle by Best Buy last year when it decided to fire the guy who had made some (quite funny) satirical videos about dealing with customers at a store like Best Buy. After loud public outcry, Best Buy was eventually forced to back down, but it was really too late.
Update: Even more ridiculous: as noted in the comments, the folks on The Today Show actually played this video and laughed about it the other day, so now I'll embed it below directly from NBC: