NBC falls at the last hurdle

...it also fell at most of the others.

Another stumble in NBC's near perfect show of incompetence in the Olympic games, as it cut away from Ray Davies singing Waterloo Sunset to air Animal Practice, which is "a show about a fictional animal dr" according to a disgruntled tweet from Glee star Kevin McHale.

NBC cut out Kate Bush, The Who, and Muse, causing #NBCfail to trend worldwide.

The network had a fairly bad Olympics - coming under fire for having filed a complaint over tweets by Guy Adams, the journalist who criticized its coverage of the opening ceremony, which then caused his account to be blocked.

It then faced anger over its tape-delay of the Games, which made it vulnerable to spoliers, even from its own channel (the network ran a "Today" show promo featuring the outcome of Missy Franklin's gold medal-winning swim ahead of its own coverage).

Bob Costas, the NBC commentator said that the timing issues wouldn't be a problem in Rio2016 , as the events will be held in the same time zone as the US. They'll get it right next time! Thank God for that.

NBC logo. Photograph: Getty Images
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Lord Sainsbury pulls funding from Progress and other political causes

The longstanding Labour donor will no longer fund party political causes. 

Centrist Labour MPs face a funding gap for their ideas after the longstanding Labour donor Lord Sainsbury announced he will stop financing party political causes.

Sainsbury, who served as a New Labour minister and also donated to the Liberal Democrats, is instead concentrating on charitable causes. 

Lord Sainsbury funded the centrist organisation Progress, dubbed the “original Blairite pressure group”, which was founded in mid Nineties and provided the intellectual underpinnings of New Labour.

The former supermarket boss is understood to still fund Policy Network, an international thinktank headed by New Labour veteran Peter Mandelson.

He has also funded the Remain campaign group Britain Stronger in Europe. The latter reinvented itself as Open Britain after the Leave vote, and has campaigned for a softer Brexit. Its supporters include former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Labour's Chuka Umunna, and it now relies on grassroots funding.

Sainsbury said he wished to “hand the baton on to a new generation of donors” who supported progressive politics. 

Progress director Richard Angell said: “Progress is extremely grateful to Lord Sainsbury for the funding he has provided for over two decades. We always knew it would not last forever.”

The organisation has raised a third of its funding target from other donors, but is now appealing for financial support from Labour supporters. Its aims include “stopping a hard-left take over” of the Labour party and “renewing the ideas of the centre-left”. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

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