Moved Mountains

Banner - Mt Trio, Stirling Range National Park, Western Australia - (c) 2007

Monday, August 04, 2008

Beijing Olympics, Commercial TV & School Projects

I was watching the 7 Network's (my old employer) morning news show, Sunrise, this morning and was taken by the "big sell" they are doing on China. Of course it's all because of the Olympics.

The show was broadcast live from Beijing and all the presenters and guests were sprouting praise for China; it's military precision in everything from street cleaning to flag raising and the wonderful way in which the country had embraced the "Olympic spirit".

I don't know if I'm alone in this, but I am finding the way in which our commercial media is going gaga over China infuriating. Tienanmen square is only mentioned in terms of it's value as a tourist destination, attempts at cleaning up the place only talked about in terms of aesthetics and no mention whatsoever about China's atrocious record, past and present, on the human rights front.

You could be forgiven for thinking (my tongue's in my cheek) the media had sold-out (or been bought out) by the Chinese regime and were now working for the Chinese equivalent of Orwell's "Ministry for Truth".

For the record, I think anyone who says China's record on this front has nothing to do with sport has their head up their arse. No matter how well the Olympic opening ceremony goes off or how many gold medals our athletes win (or how much money our commercial networks make from selling out to a Communist regime) it will not change the fact that people are living and dying under the oppressive control of one of the worlds worst human rights offenders. Only a few months ago the world was up in arms over the Chinese governments sale of a shipload of weapons to Mugabe's tinpot regime in Zimbabwe. How soon we forget!

My kids are all doing projects at school on the Olympics. I sat down and talked with them about all of this the other night and we are working out a way in which they can make sure they include the truth (in a kiddie way) about China's treatment of its people and minorities in their class presentations.

Please visit Amnesty International's website and check out some of the things you can do to help raise awareness of the situation in China. I would like to propose a synchroblog on this, but as this blog doesn't get many visitors that's not going to work - but if you do read this and own a blog, please consider blogging about it and encouraging your blogging friends to do the same.

Let's not let sport (and the genuine good-will the Olympics generates) become a mask for China to hide behind!


Mark B said...

You are definitely not alone!

The Creature said...

G'day Mark, Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Glad to know others feel the same way! :)