Bob Costas Essay Rips Vladimir Putin for Human Rights Abuses, Failure to Fund Pink Eye Research

CostasEyesNBC Olympics host Bob Costas delivered an impassioned diatribe against Russian president Vladimir Putin during the network’s telecast last night.

The longtime broadcaster opened eloquently by highlighting Putin’s record of oppressing political dissidents, free media and homosexuals. But then it quickly veered into an angry tirade railing against Russia’s “complete inability to effectively treat pink eye.” The conjunctivitis portion of the essay went on for nearly 13 minutes, as a rambling Costas ran through the names of a litany of Russian salves, ointments and eye washes which he called “infuriatingly ineffective, like Soviet Cold war policies.” At one point he even spoke “directly to the Russian people. Is there a pink eye expert anywhere in this vast land who can help?”

Costas stopped talking, and finally went to commercial, only when the itching in his inflamed eyes became so severe that he had to remove his glasses and furiously rub away.

“Bob has earned the right in this industry to speak about what he is passionate about,” said Jack Brander, who produces NBC’s Sochi coverage. “And I have never heard Bob more passionate about any issue. Not eradicating the designated hitter. Not gun control. Nothing. Finding a cure for pink eye is his great passion. Which is interesting, because I never heard him speak about it once until about six days ago.”

During his monologue into the camera, Costas — through bright-red eyes spilling pus — said Putin’s “refusal to fund intensive pink eye research to eradicate it in our time is effectively a war crime. A war on the eyes. And the eyes are a window to the soul. Putin has broken those windows. He has broken souls. And he must be held accountable.”

Costas’ NBC physician says the eight-time National Sportscaster of the Year Award winner “probably got a little big of fecal bacteria in his eyes.”

“I told him he needs to wash his hands after using the bathroom,” said Dr. Michael Molding. “But he has blamed it all on Putin.”

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