The Dutch media are mocking NBC Olympics commentator Katie Couric for suggesting Friday that speed-skaters from the Netherlands are racking up medals because speed-skating is an “important mode of transport” in their country.
Couric called skating “an important mode of transportation” in the city of Amsterdam.
“As you all know, it has lots of canals that can freeze in the winters,” Couric said during the Opening Ceremony.
“So, for as long as those canals have existed, the Dutch have skated on them to get from place to place, to race each other and also to have fun.”
While that might sound like a nifty explanation, it’s not entirely accurate. Amsterdam has canals, which can freeze in winter. Certainly, some people enjoy skating on them at those times. But the canals don’t freeze all winter and in plenty of years, they don’t freeze at all.
Couric was mocked mercilessly on Twitter:
You just can’t make this up.
NBC opening ceremony coverage. Katie Couric talks about why The Netherlands is so good at speed skating as The Netherlands enters the stadium.
And this folks is why Americans are less bright about the rest of the world as they spread fake news! pic.twitter.com/7YC5deTl2w
— Jos Duijvestein (@JosDuijvestein) February 10, 2018
Exactly! This is also why the British team does so well at cycling in the Olympics; it’s a little known fact that we all travel everywhere by Penny Farthing. pic.twitter.com/pvEFhg6iC1
— Princess Anna ❄️ (@mrsspanner) February 11, 2018
Rush Hour in the Netherlands. pic.twitter.com/RRpDBV9pDX
— DirkJanMoedt (@moedtdj) February 11, 2018
It was only the latest geography error by NBC, which apologized Sunday for a remark by an analyst who credited Japan for South Korea’s development. Japan occupied Korea, often brutally, from 1910 to 1945.
Couric was lauded for her aggressive interviews of then-Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin in 2008, where she famously asked the Alaska governor whether she read newspapers, implying that she was ignorant.
“I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?” Couric asked.
Today, Amsterdam residents might well ask Couric the same question she posed to Palin ten years ago.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.