Washington, DC – The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) is outraged at NBC as its commentators – Matt Lauer, Hoda Kotb and Meredith Vieira – linked Philip II of Macedonia and Alexander the Great to the country of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) during its coverage of the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games on Friday, August 5, 2016. Furthermore, AHI is disappointed that NBC chose to recognize FYROM as “Macedonia” during its coverage.
“We are incensed NBC would convey such historical misinformation to its worldwide audience,” AHI President Nick Larigakis said. “We are also disappointed that NBC would ignore the International Olympic Committee and reference FYROM as ‘Macedonia’ thus wading the network and the Olympic Games, which are meant to be apolitical, into geopolitics. The essence of the Olympic Spirit is for nations to come together devoid of political tension. In one fell swoop, NBC, a neutral third party, stoked tension by ignoring the IOC’s proper recognition of FYROM thereby evoking a sensitive issue with, of all nations, Greece, which founded the Olympic Games.”
Larigakis added that NBC’s irresponsible actions only serve to embolden and advance FYROM’s long-term policy of extreme nationalism and provocation against Greece.
“NBC promulgated FYROM’s propaganda whereby FYROM makes claims to portions of Greek territory and usurps Greek national identity and culture,” Larigakis said.
Larigakis urged strongly the community to contact NBC and added, “We will send a letter to NBC and will work to secure a retraction.”
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