Published On: Fri, Aug 19th, 2016

Reading List: Media blasts Lochte after robbery story unravels

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It’s the story that threatens to be the most enduring from these Olympics – not Michael Phelps’ superhuman exploits in the pool, nor Usain Bolt’s on the track, nor even the inexplicably green water.

The saga surrounding U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte’s claim that he and three teammates were robbed at gunpoint, and his subsequent fleeing of the country, has stolen headlines in the U.S. and abroad. And few of them are favorable to the 32-year-old, 12-time medalist.

Here’s a small sampling of what the media is saying about Lochte and co.

Sally Jenkins, The Washington Post:

Look, having a gun drawn on you in the small hours was no doubt unnerving and an overreaction by the security guard. It’s even remotely possible that Lochte really did interpret the demand for cash as a “robbery” of sorts. But to do so, he had to be so impervious to his own odious punk behavior — and his view of that gas station had to be so low — that he didn’t think the vandalizing was worth anything. He must have thought Ryan Lochte’s pee was gold dust.

Christine Brennan, USA TODAY Sports:

What an incredible disappointment Lochte has shown himself to be this week. The 32-year-old, who has won 12 medals over four Olympic Games, including a gold medal in a relay here, is supposedly a veteran, a team leader, a role model.

Yet, at the first sign of trouble, he slipped out of Rio as fast as he could (whether he was planning to leave that day or not is another matter), knowing he had lied, knowing that the other three swimmers who were part of that lie were left behind.

Jim Litke, The Associated Press:

Now that he’s safely back in the United States, shopping and no doubt working on a third version of the story while the teammates he left behind are facing Rio officials’ wrath, he sounds a lot more stupid than brave.

Lochte has 12 medals, but barely an ounce of sense. It’s no coincidence his short-lived stab at reality TV was canceled after just eight episodes.

Mike Vaccaro, New York Post:

Sometimes, as I’ve traveled overseas, I’ve been troubled by that notion, of the assumption of the Ugly American. I’ve thought it a cartoon, a caricature, whose time was surely over.

And then, sometimes, you see someone like Ryan Lochte open his mouth.

And when you hear what comes tumbling out, it all makes perfect sense.

Bruce Arthur, The Toronto Star:

First, pretend you are stupid. This may be difficult, since you may not be someone who thinks Donald Trump is qualified to oversee the most powerful nation on earth, or that jeah is a good new word. But it will be instructive, and is important. Get dumb. Thick as a whale omelette, as the old saying goes. Bro.

Dave Schilling, The Guardian:

Who among us hasn’t at one time or another chosen to stretch the truth to save our poor moms the heartbreak of knowing their child is fallible? I’m certainly not above it. Think of all the mothers in the world who believe their kids never engaged in premarital sex, never did drugs or don’t enjoy the illicit thrill of, say, smashing down a bathroom door at a gas station in Brazil and getting into a scuffle with a security guard?



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