Your antennae are properly tuned if you have a media-driven feeling of trepidation about the Beijing Olympics. If they’re not fussing about needing oxygen masks, they’re carrying on about having their phones tapped. They worry about being caught in numerous political crises, from Tibet to Falun Gong to boycotts galore. The paranoia levels now challenge the smog levels.
(Pictured: Media reaction to Beijing Olympics)
Then again, it’s hard to fault them when all of their personal information disappears from an office desk, including passport data. That’s what happened at the BBC this week. Vital knowledge about all 400+ staff headed to the Olympics, stored in two folders in preparation for the trip, disappeared. Police have been contacted about the matter.
These files will probably pop back up in a week from an administrative assistant’s office with dog bites all through them, but her embarrassed tale will not satisfy a frantic press. Every impression conveyed by them belays China’s desperate desire to make them happy to improve China’s world image and increase their international influence through diplomacy and business.
Therefore, we respectfully request the media take a deep breath (without aid of their oxygen masks). There are legitimate concerns with the trip, but the overinflated hysteria will make it seem miraculous that China pulled off a successful Olympics when controlling the message and large-scale projects are a Party specialty.
Stay measured and focused and we’ll hear you much more clearly about those concerns, including complicated ones like Tibet and personal freedoms. Otherwise, fear will clog our ears.