Nice to see that the National Broadcasting Company has become China's b****. During the Opening Ceremonies Jim Lampley, Bob Costas and even Tom Brokaw chose to highlight the perseverance of China in the face of protests rather than the underlying reasons for the protests themselves. And when they did talk about the "occupation" of Tibet or "genocide" in Darfur, those fighting words were mysteriously blurred out of the broadcast. Take a gander below.
Listen, I'm all for recognizing the glorious inventions of China, like the Great Wall, calligraphy, fireworks and pasta. I can even appreciate on a theoretical level the land reform efforts in Yenan after the Long March -- the only time land reform has ever been accomplished in an equitable manner with regard for due process -- but NBC needs to take the good with the bad.
Bob Costas at one point referred to Tiananmen as a "crackdown". Don't you think "massacre" would be a better word for the killing of protesters? The only remotely analogous American violence against peaceful protesters is Bull Connor's dogs and hoses in Birmingham, and Connor has now been reviled by three generations of Americans. The U.S. press would never permit a whitewashing of the violence in Birmingham, and should not sugarcoat the execution of students in China.
And finally, let's talk about the little kid walking in with Yao, the tiny earthquake survivor. Hey, that's a great story. But I swear to you, Bob Costas actually seemed to believe that nonsense that China is spinning about how that teeny little boy crawled his way out of the rubble and then went back to help dig out his classmates. C'mon, reporters and commentators, you know a load of crap when you see it. That's like supporting the Cuban line that Elian Gonzalez is a student leader, or the American military's contention that Jessica Lynch went down with guns ablazing. Let the little kid have his day, but don't perpetuate a myth.
Still, the Games are pretty cool and the Chinese fans are real sportsmen and -women. I'm going back to watch the swimming.