Olympics, media bias and the U.S. race

Apologies for the lack of posts recently. Here’s a few stories that have caught my eye in the past few days:

A journalistic boycott of the Olympic Games?

France Televisions’ director of sports said French public TV could boycott coverage of the Beijing Olympics if China bans the broadcast of footage from demonstrations.

“For the time being, we have no intention of boycotting the games,” Daniel Bilalian told RTL radio.

“But if they are censored or sanitized in any way by the Chinese authorities and the IOC [International Olympic Committee] accepts this — which I would very much doubt — this would obviously call into question our stance,” he said.

“At that time, the president of France Televisions, would, without a doubt I believe, decide not to cover the Olympic Games.”

Definitely a good idea if China continues on its current path. I would support any decision to boycott the Games from a journalistic point of view. Let’s hope the government in Beijing will not interfere with pictures coming out of the Games but if it does it would be unforgivable. You’re already censoring your citizens. You have no right to censor the world. China’s journalists are also no doubt being forced to publicly condemn western media for alleged media bias in reporting about Tibet. Also consider that China expelled all foreign scribes from the province.

This has all been organised — planned and organised — by Beijing. And they’re feeding all these twisted facts (if you can even call them that) via its media to its citizens (both at home and abroad) — who’ve now, in one of the more ridiculous moves I’ve seen, set up a site criticising the American broadcaster CNN called anti-cnn.com — I refuse to link it. The site accuses CNN and the BBC of being “Western Goebbels’ Nazi media”. How ridiculous.

On a brighter note, new research suggests that not only is Senator Barack Obama related to Vice President Dick Cheney, he’s also related to the President himself as well as former wartime British leader Sir Winston Churchill. This makes him indirectly related to Republican rival Senator John McCain, who’s distantly related to First Lady Laura Bush.

Speaking of Senator McCain, he today received the key backing of former first lady Nancy Reagan, who described him as an “old friend” of hers and her late husband, former president Ronald Reagan, since the Vietnam War.

And finally — what about “misspeaking”, eh? Quite a slip up from Senator Clinton.

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