So not merely are the butchers of Beijing going to severely restrict internet access to journalists covering the imminent display of Chinese nationalism, but the IOC knew all along that they would, but thought it convenient to lie about it.

Quelle surprise. Come on people. What did you expect from the International Olympic Committee? An organisation that is entirely devoted to money, an organisation synonymous with corruption, an organisation at home with the world’s most barbarous regimes … an organisation that regards “racewalking” as a sport?

So much for the media being a key part of the “Olympic movement”.

Kevan Gosper, one of the movement’s chief apologists, claims to have been lied to and betrayed. Either Gosper is lying himself to cover his own culpability in this scandal or he has spent decades in one of the world’s most corrupt organisations and not worked out exactly what sort of people he is dealing with. Either way, the bloke has no credibility and only resignation from the IOC will demonstrate that he has any principles.

Given the extent to which the actual sportsmen and women — below the media and broadcasters in the absurd Olympic “movement” foodchain — have already been sacrificed by the IOC, the media shouldn’t be surprised that they were the next to cop it in the neck. If the IOC is quite happy to countenance athletes keeling over due to exposure to Beijing’s Dickensian smog levels, the mere question of censorship wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow. Moreover, the IOC and the Chinese know the media all too well. The world’s broadcasters and major newspapers will comply with whatever outrageous restrictions are put in place by Beijing, because there’s too much money, too many ratings points, at stake. Principled media organisations would consider refusing to work under the censorious terms dictated by one the planet’s most brutal regimes.

In any event, this should put paid to the IOC’s pretensions to being some sort of geo-political player. For decades, it has claimed some sort of semi-mystical capacity to engender freedom and goodwill, chiefly by awarding the Olympics to non-democracies or countries emerging from authoritarian rule. Far from somehow opening up China to freedom and democracy, the arrival of the Olympics in Beijing has merely furnished the Chinese Government with the rationalise to crack down even more firmly on its media, dissidents, and even ordinary Chinese people desperate to drawn official attention to the systemic corruption that bedevils provincial life in that country. Those now languishing in Chinese gaols for daring to speak out are doubtless grateful to the IOC for all it has done for Chinese freedom.

But let’s not worry about that. The real issue is how our boys and girls will perform. Wasn’t it sad about Stephanie Rice and Eamon Sullivan … such a nice young couple. But I suppose you can’t be distracted if you want to “medal”.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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