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Tipsheet

Beijing 2022: A Festival of Censorship, False Equivalency, and Genocide

As a fan of the Olympics, and winter games in particular, it has been a sad experience to avoid watching any of the festivities or competitions this year.  But Beijing 2022 easily meets my (admittedly high) boycott bar.  These Olympics are being hosted by a regime that is engaged in verifiable, ongoing genocide against ethnic and religious minorities.  The Chinese Communist Party is also throttling democracy in Hong Kong,  where dissidents and journalists have been jailed, and media outlets shut down.  China's leadership has also covered-up the origins of a virus that has killed millions around the world, obstructing independent investigations and disappearing whistleblowers.  And that's all on top of China's 'normal' baseline of systematic repression, widespread espionage, regional menacing, and mass-scale intellectual property theft.  It is an outrage that such a government was awarded a prestigious international showcase event in the first place.  It's even worse that they've been able to keep it, even as their egregious abuses piled up over the last few years.

For those reasons alone, I cannot bring myself to watch this spectacle, even as I hope Team USA excels.  What has been outright depressing is witnessing some of the whitewashing, moral equivalency and whataboutism from American media figures and various corporate sponsors.  NBC has aggressively policed online sharing of various Olympics-related videos from their exclusive broadcasts, including this embarrassing framing of a sick and shameless stunt from Chairman Xi:

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NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie described China's use of a Uyghur athlete in its opening ceremonies at the 2022 Winter Olympics as "an in your face response" to Western nations that have condemned the Chinese treatment of the Uyghurs as genocide.  During NBC's Friday coverage of the Beijing opening ceremonies, Guthrie called the moment a Uyghur athlete participated in the ceremony "provocative," and described it as "a statement" from Chinese President Xi Jinping to choose an athlete from the minority group to participate. "This moment is quite provocative. It's a statement from the Chinese President Xi Jinping to choose an athlete from the Uighur minority. It is an in your face response to those Western nations, including the U.S., who have called this Chinese treatment of that group genocide and diplomatically boycotted these games. There will be much discussion about this," Guthrie said as the ceremony unfolded.

I'd embed the clip, but I can't. NBC has reportedly acknowledged some of the CCP's myriad abuses during its telecasts, but too often, it's misleadingly couched as a difference of opinion among governments:

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A Republican Congressman says NBC has refused to air this ad, which calls out China's crimes and shames Western sponsors for looking the other way:


You'll notice that one of those sponsors is Coca-Cola, which infamously made a stink over Georgia's endlessly-lied-about elections law.  Another is AirBnB, which is currently banning controversial American citizens from using its services, yet remains a proud sponsor of the genocide games.  These and other companies have followed in the footsteps of Nike et al by 'ghosting' human rights activists and opting to maintain access to the lucrative Chinese market.  Many Western entities only embrace so-called "values" on equity, civil rights and democracy in the context of appeasing woke domestic partisans.  Their actions betray a total lack of principle.  Meanwhile, what is the point of "calling on" the broken IOC (which has awarded two Olympics to China in recent cycles) to protect freedom of speech while warning athletes not to engage in freedom of speech?

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi inadvertently made the most succinct argument in favor of an American boycott of the Beijing games while admonishing members of Team USA not to offend the Chinese regime:


She believes speaking truth to power could imperil the physical safety of the athletes and their families.  That really says it all, doesn't it?  Totalitarian thugs are going to totalitarian thug:


Sorry, but I just can't watch this disgrace.  And shame on American media members who excuse this travesty employing literal CCP talking points, pretending as if controversies here at home muddy the waters on the CCP's profound evils.  This is a very sad example of useful idiocy:  

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On one hand, Georgia requires photo ID to vote. On the other, the Chinese dictatorship is engaged in a genocide against people of color.  Who are we to judge?  Appalling stuff that would make some of the NBA's phoniest wokesters proud.  I do find some real solace in the fact that TV ratings for the opening ceremony of the Beijing games, courageously boycotted by some Western athletes, absolutely tanked -- so I'll leave you with that:

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