Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Trying to Puncture NBC's Olympic Bubble

After Being Sucked Into the Gold-Medal Vortex, Network Overlooks the Fact that China is Still Very Much China

Not far from where much of the Olympic competition is unfolding in Beijing, but a world away from the fuzzy-wuzzy features Mary Carillo -- a normally capable journalist and astute commentator -- on such topics as pandas and acrobats, life for the Chinese proceeds much the same.
That also applies to the small-but-determined band of dissidents and protesters determined to make their mark, including those agitating for a free Tibet. Hardly a shock that the authorities would take a dim view of such activities during the 17 days in which they want to show their nation at its most glorious.
But in the process, it's not a good idea to rough up a British reporter, one John Ray, the Beijing correspondent for ITN News, who was among those covering a small Tibet protest that you can see here.
Ray was detained for 30 minutes, roughed up and had his equipment confiscated. What the police didn't do was grab his cameraman, so we actually get to see Ray telling us what's going on from the window of the police van.
So much for free media access during the games. ITN and the International Olympic Committee registered their concerns. Hopefully, the Chinese will do more than just yawn.
Et tu, NBC?

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