China’s Propaganda Games Open on Friday; I Won’t Be Watching – Opinion


Four years ago, NBC’s chief anchor, Lester Holt stood at the bottom of a ski slope in North Korea. South Korea was set to host the Winter Olympics. Communist North Korea requested that NBC visit. Dutifully Holt and NBC showed up and filmed scenes of “happy” North Koreans frolicking in the winter wonderland.

Holt was speaking as a background filled with North Koreans in ski-colored outfits. Each of the jackets and ski equipment looked new – because all of it Was new, right out–of–the–box. The skiers were wearing identical jackets and the same equipment. No one was actually “skiing.” It was a film set. A façade. It was only a facade. You are invited to Potemkin Village, North Korea.

Hitler organized the Nazi Games in 1936 to highlight and propagandize his Aryan vision of racial superiority. Scenes and locations were planned for worldwide consumption. But Jesse Owens showed up in Berlin and stomped on Hitler’s centerpiece.

Friday is the opening ceremony for this year’s iteration of the Winter Olympics. This time, it’s in Beijing, China. China hosted its last Olympic Games in 2008, when it had just finished the Summer Olympics. Beijing’s air quality was so poor, the ChiComs shut down industries to make it look like the air quality wasn’t god-awful. But it was. The film was huge and smoggy. Once guests and Olympians left, the really terrible air came back to choke China’s capital.

In the last few years, the world has witnessed what China really is — an oppressive authoritarian communist state that has brutalized, spied on, murdered, and enslaved segments of its people. The CCP has taken over Hong Kong.

But, Thursday will see the Olympics continue with an impressive display of fireworks and dancers. Xi, the Chinese president, will be present, cheering from behind his literal mask and figurative mask. The entire event will be televised worldwide. NBC will broadcast this neat packet of propaganda to the entire world. China’s aim, of course, is to present another Potemkin village — a deep fake — and NBC will be there to televise it. Xi has warned “don’t criticize” his Olympics, so NBC will walk that line and avoid telling the truth. NBC will televise the façade, not the ugliness hidden behind it.

China shouldn’t have hosted the Olympics. It’s a repressive authoritarian state run by committed communists intent on running and ruling the world. This will be the first Olympics I won’t watch. I’ve always had a love for the Olympics but it won’t get my patronage this year. I won’t watch a minute of NBC’s coverage this year. Maybe Lester Holt will again stand on a film stage as a willing puppet of an authoritarian regime, but I won’t see it.

Thank you, NBC. This year, no. I’ll sit this one out.

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