COMMENTS: Little Emperors Grow Up

All three networks had a correspondent file from the Beijing Olympic Games on the women's gymnastics all-around competition in which the USA's Nastia Liukin narrowly won the gold medal over the USA's Shawn Johnson. Neither NBC's Richard Engel nor CBS' Celia Hatton nor ABC's David Muir have that report available online, however, since sports footage is treated as copyrighted property not newsworthy footage protected by fair use. So NBC is left with Lester Holt's profile of 18-year-old USA cyclist Taylor Phinney, the son of a pair of Olympians. His father, David Phinney, is only recently back on his own bicycle, after having an electrode pacemaker implanted in his brain to subdue his tremors from Parkinson's Disease.

NBC also sent Ian Williams to Sichuan to monitor clean-up efforts in the aftermath of May's earthquake. His Making a Difference feature looked at the volunteer so-called Little Emperors, the cohort of only children born under the one-child policy to parents who came of age during the Cultural Revolution. As their nickname suggests, these twentysomethings have the reputation of being spoiled, selfish and irresponsible. When a wave of young professionals arrived in Sichuan to help in relief and rebuilding "a generation found a mission and a voice in the rubble of the quake."


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