It's bad enough that China restricts its citizens' access to news and information. But now they're doing it to the rest of us, too. International journalists covering the XXIX Olympiad will not be able to access certain websites while inside China. Sites covering topics like Tibet and Falun Gong, aka all the morally dubious things the Chinese government doesn't want you to know about. And, reporters have been advised to write their emails and make phone calls with the knowledge that it will all be monitored. Weak.
Worse, the International Olympic Committee is helping them do it. Despite assurances during the bidding process that journalists would be given unrestricted freedom to report, details are emerging that senior IOC officials cut a deal with the Chinese government to allow certain websites to be blocked. Just to amp up the irony, the IOC is charged with perserving and promoting 'olympism', defined as:
"Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles."
Funny. Not a lot in there about "helping autocratic regimes oppress and mire their citizens in ignorance". But maybe I'm misinterpreting it.
Nunc's prediction: Worst. Olympics. Ever. Toxic smog and huge algae blooms in a country were civil and human rights are a bad joke. I bet Toronto's starting to look pretty good now, huh? We may not have enough four-star hotels, but at least we're not totalitarian jerks.