Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tiananmen was a "crackdown"?

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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not that I don't agree with your take that NBC is kissing Chinese asses for access (kind of like how Hollywood news outlets don't report the pecidillos of some A listers so they can get them on Entertainment Tonight) but America has it's own long history of questionable civil rights violations/"crackdowns with questionable official narratives - Governor Reagan dropping tear gas bombs on the students at Cal (doesn't usually make his Presidential biography), Waco ( a bunch of zealots were doing what exactly that required national guard response), Wounded Knee (native americans mowed down in a concentration camp for dancing), the Veteran's march on Washington during the depression (fire hoses, tanks, gas and dogs turned on WWI vets trying to receive their pensions),the Stonewall "Riots" in NY (basically a gay bar bust gone bad), Nat Turner and Denmark Vessey Slave Revolts (hide your womenfolk), even good old G. Washington and the Whiskey "Rebellion" - a bunch of Revolutionary War Vets and dirt farmers leading a "Rebellion", please! And just to keep up the Ohio bashing how would we remember Kent St. if it wasn't for good ol' Neil Young. Damn Ohio Hippies.