February 21, 2018 – OLYMPICS

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Mark Rippetoe says it’s time to stop the olympic games. 

The Olympics has turned from a celebration of human physical performance that once transcended global politics and popular culture into a propaganda event for the dominant interpretation of global politics and popular culture. It is no longer about athletics and who wins the athletic competition – it is now concerned with shaping our perceptions of what it means to compete with each other, and why we probably shouldn’t celebrate winning at all. It has become an embarrassing mess for the entire human race, and it’s time to stop wasting resources, time, and attention span on it.

There are two distinct problems: the Games themselves, and the media coverage of the Games, which shapes the public’s perception of everything about them. …

… NBC Sports, the de facto owner of the Olympic Games, just doesn’t include the “testosterone” sports in their coverage – unless there is a severe injury that looks very bad (good) on TV. Swimming is fine (no hairy men), all women’s sports are fine (no hairy men), gymnastics, ditto (basically a children’s sport), skiing is okay (hair doesn’t show through lycra), and the equestrian events are just fine (horses are innocent even if hairy). …

… But even more offensive to sensible people everywhere is the abject silliness of the media coverage of the Olympic Games. The focus of the coverage has shifted from the sports and the athletes’ performances to the human interest stories that are, at best, extremely peripheral to the contests. My impression, and probably yours too, is that NBC Sports is far more concerned about the uplifting story of the athlete’s mother who overcame cancer, the athlete’s brother who is overcoming a learning disability, the athlete’s gender-fluid husband who is overcoming workplace discrimination, or the athlete’s dog who was just yesterday hit by a gas-guzzling SUV driven by a White Man who was on his way to the Board of Directors meeting of a Private Company that contributes to Global Warming than about the athlete’s performance in the sport it is ostensibly covering. …



Matthew Continetti has more on the loathsome media coverage of the games.

A few days before the Winter Olympics, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un announced that his sister, Kim Yo Jong, would travel to South Korea as part of his official delegation. Never in the 65 years since the Korean War has a member of the ruling family visited South Korea, which made Kim’s journey a historic and newsworthy event. If only the coverage of Kim, a member of the North Korean Politburo and a minister of propaganda, had treated her with the appropriate moral and intellectual seriousness and detachment.

Yeah, right.

What we got instead was a combination of celebrity puffery and partisan cheap shots at the Trump administration. …

… A representative example was written by no less than seven CNN reporters and researchers who concluded, “Kim Jong Un’s sister is stealing the show at the Winter Olympics.” The lead of this news article—I repeat, news article—was the following: “If ‘diplomatic dance’ were an event at the Winter Olympics, Kim Jong Un’s younger sister would be favored to win gold.” Gag me.

Then the authors let loose this howler: “Seen by some as her brother’s answer to American first daughter Ivanka Trump, Kim, 30, is not only a powerful member of Kim Jong Un’s kitchen cabinet but also a foil to the perception of North Korea as antiquated and militaristic.” Kim’s “Kitchen Cabinet”—why, he’s just like Andrew Jackson. And how could anyone have the “perception” that North Korea is “antiquated” and “militaristic”? Sure, they might threaten the world with nuclear annihilation. But have you seen Donald Trump’s latest tweet?New York Times reporters are either smarter or more efficient than their peers at CNN, because it took only two of them to write “Kim Jong-Un’s sister turns on the charm, taking Pence’s spotlight.” …

… What most disturbed me was the difference in coverage of Kim Yo Jong and Fred Warmbier, whose son Otto died last year after being tortured and held captive in North Korea. Fred Warmbier accompanied Pence to the Olympics as a reminder of the North’s inhumanity and menace. Journalists ignored, dismissed, and even criticized this grieving man. Among many examples of thoughtlessness and callousness was a Politico tweet that read: “Fred Warmbier criticizes North Korean Olympic spirit.” He must have missed Kim’s freckles. …



Nothing sums up the shallow nature of the olympics better than Ester Ledecka’s surprise gold medal. She’s a snowboarder and borrowed skis for a slalom event which she won. She did the interview with her googles on. And why you ask? Is she shy? Nope, it was because she did not expect to place well so, before the event she didn’t put on any make up. You can’t make it up!



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