American Media Has Always Been Gold Medalists in Piling On


Let’s get one thing straight, right off the bat. $11,000 for knocking down a sandwich sign and peeing in the bushes…. THAT is fucking ROBBERY, folks!

Period, full stop.

Okay, good. Now that we’ve properly called a spade a spade, let’s delve a bit deeper into what the Lochte story was really all about.

This was about a failing 3rd world nation, mired in corruption, pollution, debt and crime, doing the one and only thing it does well: bully anybody high profile who dares to make them look bad.

People forget, or maybe never even knew, that Brazil once tried to SUE the Simpsons for an episode called “Blame it On Lisa.” The episode was hilarious. Brazil, didn’t think so.

But, 20th Century Fox, not wanting or needing to spend a pile of money educating Brazil’s lawyer class about the legally protected concept of “satire” through a protracted legal dispute, instead got down on one knee and kissed the ring.

Remember: this is a country where the mayor of Rio threatened to sue a weather forecaster who predicted, wrongly, that there would be storms on New Year’s Eve. The weather forecast kept crowds away from one of the biggest festivals of the year.

Remember: the city of Rio alone accounts for 1800+ murders a year.

Now that we’ve got “all” of the information we’re going to get (you never know what else might shake out, but it’s all scraps that are left) I think it’s fair to say that the real “truth” of what happened sits smack in the middle of a “bald faced lie” at one end, and “dead solid accurate” on the other.

No, they weren’t pulled over, but they WERE pulled OUT of their cars.

No, the gun wasn’t cocked against his head, but there WERE guns DRAWN and pointed.

No, they weren’t robbers dressed as cops, but they WERE security guards who could be confused with “fake cops” or something.

Also, worth noting: Lochte initially said nothing happened. He then got whipsawed by his mom, who decided to spill the beans. Now Lochte’s half truth to mom (don’t we all exaggerate, or leave certain things out to our moms? Especially embarassing things, or things that might make her worry?) is out in the wild, and he CAN’T deny it.

And what about the alleged “broken door” the media kept repeating? Never materialized. Broken mirror? It seems that only a sign was ripped off a wall. The guys paid cash on the spot, to the assumed satisfaction of the armed guards who then let them go.

Rio 2016 spokesman Mario Andrada downplayed the case’s significance at a briefing Thursday morning.

“Let’s give these kids a break. Sometimes you take actions that you later regret. They are magnificent athletes,” Andrada said. “Lochte is one of the best swimmers of all times. They had fun. They made a mistake. It’s part of life. Life goes on. Let’s go.”

Nah. “Let it go?” Not when there are haughty stances to be taken! Now with so many juicy media narratives of drunken, rich, privileged athletes acting as “ugly Americans” in a lovely, but constantly abused in the media city like Rio de Janeiro!

Let it go?

Not when NBC, can pivot from accepting Lochte’s story almost at face value, with no real pushback (Note: Woulda been nice to still have Brian Williams on staff. Liars know liars!) to packaging his sniffling apology to Matt Lauer in 3 parts! 6 minutes on one side of the commercial break, 6 more on the other… and the last 6 on Monday on the Today Show! No, really!

The gas station video that has been released, is of a few selected angles, and missing huge chunks of minutes. Thankfully, Gunnar Bentz made sure to include that point in his written statement.

“Videos of this situation have been emerging the last several days. However, I am confident that some video angles have not been shown that would further substantiate my account. I also believe some scenes have been skipped over. Additionally, I would like to stress that our original taxi was not pulled over; the only occupants of the taxi were the four of us and the driver; and to my knowledge, there was no damage done to the door or the inside of the restroom.

Ryan Lochte is “bag-of-rocks-dumb” on his BEST day, and when caught in a delicate PR incident like this, he goes to full blown idiot. On this we all agree.

But a self-respecting nation would investigate the claim fully, issue a report, and let the matter rest. I would be embarrassed if in America we resorted to pulling Usain Bolt’s teammates off a plane home, to investigate him not paying for breakfast at Denny’s.

Then clipping one of them for $11G…. for charity. (Rolls eyes).

Now, we return you to your regularly scheduled crime and mayhem in Rio. Somebody, put out the torch.

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Steve Czaban is a 25 year sports radio veteran, who hosts an afternoon drive show in Washington D.C. "Czabe" also writes and edits his own commentaries for and other on-line and print publications. He can be reached at


  1. Couldn’t agree more!
    Phelps has had 2 DUIs, and had a picture of him smoking a bowl get made public. Justin Gatlin has tested positive for PEDs. And it’s Lochte that we are going to ‘ban from the sport’? Really? That seems a bit extreme given the transgression.
    That being said, you are right about the ‘real issue’. After being slammed for Zika potential, green diving pools, polluted water, construction delays, ticket scandals, and more …… Rio saw a supreme opportunity to deflect all the negative attention from their city to Lochte. And it worked. For the entire second half of the olympics the lead story was Lochte-Gate, which unfortunately overshadowed their own feel good stories involving Brazillian Soccer and Beach volleyball teams. What a shame.
    This whole thing was way overblown in my opinion.

  2. It’s the American media who should be taking a few shots over this as well ! Did not one member of the media wonder why if Lochte had been robbed in a city with Rio ‘s reputation he still had his phone watch shoes still in his possession ??? The media love these stories !


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