Since Larry B's been slacking on his on-the-spot investigative journalism, I'll have to take over. He's probably too busy trying to score with all the Olympic athletes from Sweden who finished their events two days ago and have nothing to do but cruise the Beijing bar scene.
Anyways. My gripes with Olympic coverage lately:
1. Soundbite re: a men's quarterfinal in the 200m:
"If there was an Olympic record for winning easily, Usain Bolt would hold it!"
I wonder how this record would be measured. Maybe in number of smiles, asshole fist-pumps or pointings to the crowd. Seems to be inherently slanted towards non-swimmers, as it's hard to see if Michael Phelps was grinning his big-eared ass off while he was whomping all those other people. But he wasn't, I'm sure, because he is nice and humble and white, unlike those fiery-tempered Latin sprinters.
2. NBC Commercial for the Opening Ceremonies DVD:
Own a part of the spectacular show that people will be talking about foever.
No. The only reason people might talk about this one even in six months? Part of it was faked. Does anyone ever talk about the Opening Ceremonies from past games? If you do, shut up and let me make a point already. Then, go back to wherever weird people like you live, which is probably in a foreign country.
3. Re: an Exxon commercial I've seen running several times:
"Why is this worldwide company involved in a public health problem?
Because devoting .0001% of their 11 billion dollar, national-record profits allows them to put sanctimonious ads on TV to convince more people of a generally false assumption that Exxon is devoting a large share of its energies to fixing public health problem, when actually Exxon is devoting a large share of its energies to fixing the public health problem of its execs not having enough Bentleys.
4. The disappearance of the "human rights" story.
All I heard about in the months and weeks leading up to these games was "China's human-rights record" and "Tibet" and all that. Now, China's not even letting protesters do what little they had hoped. Now, it makes sense to me not to turn th Olympics into a political statement... but it seems to me that a hell of a lot of journalists and media institutions were happy to jump on the "China sucks and mistreats its dissidents!" bandwagon four weeks ago, but are just as happy to jump on the "Wow, these are such a well-run Olympics!" train right now. I call bullshit.
Also, Jemele Hill's article on Michael Phelps [I think we here at FJM should go to a no-links on her] is unsurprisingly base and formulaic. What's really amazing is that Hill has an incredibly unique ability to generalize her own perspective to everyone. Most of us are cured of this by the time we graduate high school, when we realize that yes, other people do have different opinions. I won't do the whole article, because I think the first two paragraphs sums it up:
What's an athlete? Who's an athlete? What's mental toughness? What are limits? What is greatness?
We thought we knew those answers before Michael Phelps.
What's an athlete? Who's an athlete? Mental toughness? What are limits? What is greatness?
I knew all those answers before Michael Phelps, and I still do.
But now that we've witnessed Phelps win eight gold medals, it turns out we didn't know anything.
Speak for yourself, Jemele.