/// NBC’s Today Show Has Been Ignorant About Tech Since Long Before the Olympics

July 28, 2012  |  All Things Digital


As the London Olympic games honored World Wide Web creator Tim Berners-Lee, NBC hosts Meredith Viera and Matt Lauer admitted–almost bragged–that they didn’t know who he was. Wow, pretty embarrassing. But it turns out that isn’t the program’s most embarrassing display of Internet ignorance. Check out this clip of then-Today Show hosts Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric, reportedly from an unaired segment in 1994. In the segment, the hosts debate how to pronounce the @ sign. Gumbel thought it was pronounced “at” but Couric thought it was “about” or “around.” But it was Gumbel that wasn’t really clear on the whole Internet thing. “What is Internet anyway,” Gumbel asks after reading. Couric explained that it was a massive computer network that was becoming really big. “What do you write to it, like mail?” Gumbel said. It’s a shame, because it took attention away from a pretty cool tribute to both the history of tech and the way it has transformed modern life and communications. Text messages, status updates, photo sharing and smartphones all played a part. Indeed, every seat had an LED panel to create a stadium-wide mega display. “One more thing I don’t understand,” Viera added. Evidently someone handed them a memo, because Viera was able to correctly identify Berners-Lee, several, minutes later as he typed a message out (on a NeXT cube) shown on that oh-so-confusing LED screen. “This is for everyone,” Berners-Lee wrote.

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NBC’s Today Show Has Been Ignorant About Tech Since Long Before the Olympics


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