Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Some News Isn't

Who would have guessed that the Chinese lied through their teeth so that they could host the Olympics? While the vast majority of the population are not in the least shocked to learn that China has recently cracked down even harder on dissenters, in spite of previous assurances not to, Amnesty International treats this like it's new.

They promised to ease up on the persecution of protesters, Amnesty cries, but aren't they going after the unhappy with greater force? Well, of course Chinese authorities are cracking down with full force. Would they do anything else?

China must have a smooth and successful run during the Olympics, to show that they're worthy of a perch on the world's stage. They're a well-run country, everyone's happy, Maoism is grand with a touch of capitalism thrown in, and won't you look at us now.

To achieve that lofty goal, more people than ever have to be arrested and confined, kept off the streets and well away from the probing lens of the news camera. Human rights cannot be allowed to interfere in the precisely orchestrated stage show that will soon be unveiled.

Therefore, Amnesty International's website is offline if you're Googling in China. The media reporting from Beijing on the run-up to the Olympics discovered this remarkable fact. Oh, yes, by the way, the Chinese did indeed promise to grant the international media full access for all reporting, but, sure promises are made to be broken. What can the International Olympic Committee do this late in the game? Take their Olympic Games and go home?

If everyone would play along, stop protesting and stop reporting on the thick clouds of smog that envelope the host city, the Chinese wouldn't have to do all this hard-handed cracking down. It's not their fault at all, clearly. It's the fault of those who would speak the truth.

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