It is not my bailiwick or practice to comment on issues that are outside my realm of experience or knowledge. Foreign affairs, specifically (former) Soviet and Russian policy is not an arena where I have any standing.
I am however, an avid sports fan and look forward to the Olympics – Winter and Summer. Heck, I am depending on the Olympics to get me through this REAL New England Winter by offering an absorbing, legal and safe anti-dote to cabin fever.
Some years ago, when living in a European country as a young adult, I learned some of my first lessons about myopic American media. Seeing the Olympics through a western European lens was enlightening. I did not know prior to those experiences that it is not, “all about US.”
The opening ceremonies of the 2014 Sochi Olympics were an extraordinary display of imagination, broad artistic and technological talent. It is mind-boggling to consider the logistics for such an event. However, there was a glitch with a star that didn’t turn into an Olympic ring…which has been highlighted by American media; television, internet and print.
It was termed a “hiccup.” There was a potential plane jacking scare; there has been anger and controversy over both Russia’s flamboyant president V. Putin and the country’s anti-equality policy for homosexuals. And there is an horrific war in Syria with innocent people being slayed by the thousands that has the western “Free” world and Russia on opposite sides. It has been rumored that surveillance in hotel rooms was implanted by the Russian government.
As AP stated, “The show opened with a hiccup, as the lighting of the five Olympic Rings overshadowed the singing of the Russian national anthem. Five stars on cables drifted together above the stadium, and four of them turned into Olympic rings — but the fifth never unfurled and they all failed to erupt into white flames as planned.
Also missing from the show: Putin’s repression of dissent, those worries of terrorism and inconsistent security measures at the Olympics, which will take place just a few hundred miles (kilometers) away from the sites of an insurgency and routine militant violence. Also looked over: the tensions with the United States over neighboring Ukraine, NSA leaker Edward Snowden and Syria.
And the poorly paid migrant workers who helped build up the Sochi site from scratch, the disregard for local residents, the environmental abuse during construction, the pressure on activists, and the huge amounts of Sochi construction money that disappeared to corruption.”
All that seems like a thinly veiled AP backhand that highlights the opinion that there is a rotten underbelly to the event and host. Should media have criticisms of Putin, Russians or Russia in all of it’s MSM Olympic coverage? It looks like MSM has an agenda to demonize the host country by pointing out the failings with every report. Maybe this will change as we move into the actual events? Has this pejorative portrayal of Russia been orchestrated by American media outlets, worldwide? There even seems to be an undercurrent of testostrone zinging between President Putin and President Obama. Is there?
Is it justified? Well, yes if we are sticking with reality-based commentary, but is it useful to bash the host at this juncture? When the host country is chosen does the Olympic selection committee not take into consideration real issues of concern like freedom?
What are your observations?