I’ll put my cards on the table: I’m no fan of the Olympics. The bizarre North Korean mass-games style ceremonies, the corruption, the fakey universalist cosmopolitan brotherhood-of-man sentiments, the perpetuation of sports that no one cares about which should have died out long ago… I think the Olympics is to sports as the United Nations is to politics. I grew to like Mitt Romney, but I groaned every time he traded on his experience in doing whatever it was he did for the Olympics. Dude, you’re not helping.
So it is with a certain grim satisfaction that I pass along the secret International Olympic Committee’s media guidelines, dug up by the Wall Street Journal. Basically, they want to make sure you know that these notions you have about “freedom of the press” and “freedom of expression” need to be bottled up, because Beijing wants everything to run smoothly:
Addressing its world-wide members in an internal memo, viewed by The Wall Street Journal, the IOC reiterates its opposition to taking any public stance on controversial Chinese policies, describing them as “sovereign matters outside of our mandate.”
Sure, I can understand the IOC wanting to keep the muzzle on its own members. But how about this part?
The eight-page “briefing kit,” whose existence was made public by the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders, also calls on national Olympic committees to send athletes who are “in compliance with the Olympic Charter” to the Games.“Athletes will have total freedom of expression” to answer questions from the media, the memo states.”However, rules for athletes clearly state that the venues of the Games are not a place for proactive political or religious expression,” the memo says, adding: “In Beijing, sanctions and penalties will be applied in any cases considered to be a breach of IOC policy.”
Did I read that right? Governments are being pressured to pick politically acceptable athletes? And what do they mean by “sanctions and penalties?” That’s a pretty scary notion coming from Beijing:
Fresh ethnic violence has erupted in a Tibetan region of southwestern China, with disputed reports of eight people shot dead by the police, and the Chinese government on Friday vowed swift and severe punishment of Tibetans accused of rioting and taking part in last month’s antigovernment protests.Police officers fired Thursday evening on a crowd of protesters outside government offices in the Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province along the border with Tibet. A Tibet activist group said the shooting left eight protesters dead, according to The Associated Press.
You know, it’s funny to be agreeing with lefty moonbats like this guy at the SF Chronic, but once and a while they get something right. And then they manage to say it in a way that alienates patriots across the political spectrum:
It is extremely generous of the Chinese to try to take over the title of most loathsome major power from the seven-time world champion, the United States of America. It has certainly been making all the right mistakes, and its transparent lies have shown the kind of zest and innovation that marked the early years of the Bush administration.
Wow, worse than the United States, eh? That’s the benchmark?
…the Dalai Lama (technically Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama) is extremely well known. …I’m not sure of much, but I am sure that he’s not organizing death squads. In making that allegation, the Chinese government just looks stupid. In making that allegation while directing its army to put down demonstrations in Lhasa, preventing foreign journalists from traveling there, and jailing and/or killing people who disagree with its policies, the Chinese government looks stupid and criminal and evil.Indeed, the United States probably gets the sympathy vote here, because at least it’s fighting an enemy with real suicide bombers and real terrorists.
More common ground…he admits the terrorists we’re fighting are real! Correction: in the Bay Area, this guy’s actually a moderate!