The Sochi Olympics: The Media Discover There’s Bad Water on the Planet 14

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Hotel drinking water, Sochi Olymipcs. Tweeted by Stacy St. Clair, Chicago Tribune, pic.twitter.com/sQWM0vYtyz

Everyday water, Bangui, Central African Republic. By © Pierre Holtz – UNICEF, [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons]

The image on the left of bad hotel water, tweeted from the Sochi Olympics by Stacy St. Clair of the Chicago Tribune, has been retweeted 3,822 times and favorited 1,395 times, as of this writing. It was reposted in countless blogs and Facebook pages, and reprinted in mainstream media throughout the United States and the world. Boasted the Tribune: “If there’s a gold medal for tweeting, we have a winner.”

One day earlier, on February 2, a tweet about UNICEF water relief efforts in violence-torn Bangui was retweeted 8 times and favorited 6 times. Maybe no reporters were inconvenienced by bad water there, only impoverished children, such as the Bangui child above.

In other viral news generated by the Olympics, NBC host Bob Costas has an eye infection, unofficially blamed on Sochi water. It has so engaged the media the Atlantic established a Bob Costas Eyewatch.

In news unrelated to the Olympics, 40 million people are annually affected by River Blindness or onchocerciasis, the second leading cause of preventable blindness.

It is probably too much to ask that there be an 80,000,000 EyesWatch. Perhaps if just 2 of those eyes belonged to a famous television host . . .