"Reporters without Borders" Calls for Boycott of Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony

Story here.

Actually, I think this is a good idea. It would not be as disruptive as pulling out of the entire Olympics, but it would send a message. Doubt it’ll happen, though.

I was in the news biz for about 25 years. I wouldn’t be overstating things if I used the words “whore” and “journalist” in the same sentence. They want bylines they can show to the next editor/producer. They don’t care about anything but their own careers, and it’s all about lifestyle. Oh, sure, there are a few who think they’re about something else, but when it comes down to it, not one of them will sacrifice their precious careers for anything resembling real ethics. Yes, a few fall victim when the get in over their heads. I don’t want to denigrate anyone who’s died in pursuit of the story, but for God’s sake, it’s just a story! “Reporters without Borders” – how fucking pretentious can you get!? If you want to cover the goddamn story, get your ass on the plane, make sure your field bag is complete, and hit the fucking deadline. Otherwise, shut the fuck up and go do something else for a living.

A tad harsh methinks. I know a few reporters who are fine people, particularly one Aussie who has been writing about the forced return of Hmong to Laos. He gets very passionate about it over beers. There are some weasels out there, though.

Perhaps overstated, but not by much. I’m sure your friend “means well,” but I can’t help rolling my eyes and thinking, “Spare me crusaders with notepads.” Yes, I’ve become terribly cynical and jaded, but I think I’ve earned it. Most of it, anyway.

I dunno.

The Chinese seem to be nastier and nastier the more I think about it. Why should we enjoy fun and games with people who do such nasty things?

Oh, I don’t blame you. As I admitted, there are some real weasels in the industry. But there are some topics that do need a crusader. I gave the example of the forced repatriation of Hmong to Laos from Thailand because that’s definitely one. I’ll bet very few on this Board have ever heard of this, and it’s a sad situation. Yes, my friend and a few others I know do mean well, and they do a good job. I’ve seen others who mean well but generally fall over themselves. There’s a difference.

I pitted the IOC the day they announced for China. Terrible, terrible choice for so many reasons.

In case anyone IS interested in the forced repatriation of Hmong to Laos, see here. This is a saga that’s been ongoing for years.

Perhaps covered elsewhere on the Board, but other serious and perhaps not so serious concerns are that the air is full of particulates from the industries and coal-fueled power plants. They plan to shut down several plants during the games.

And, everyone is going to learn how to take a crap into a hole in the floor without losing your wallet or cellphone or getting **it on your drawers and heels. Given that outcry, they are planning to install some commodes. I wonder if the portals will be labeled before you get into the lines.

Well, the hole-in-the-floor crappers are not common in Beijing, I can tell you. Those are more away from the industrialized areas. I’ve seen them upcountry but have not encountered them in, say, Beijing or Shanghai.

On one visit to Beijing, in August 2001, there was some sort of international university sports games going on. The authorities had actually shut down a bunch of the factories that week and gave everyone a holiday so the air would be cleaner. And it was, too. So I wouldn’t doubt that they have something like that planned.

There’s a update related to this thread here. A prominent Thai torch bearer has withdrawn in protest at the actions in Tibet.

Update: I considered a separate thread but decided this story here, from China’s official Xinhua News Agency, was merely a continuation of the same topic.

China says more countries around the world are supporting its actions in Tibet. I love the list of nations giving moral support: Mauritius, Madagascar, Burundi and Sudan, among other giants.