With the kickoff of the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing quickly approaching, Bob Costas just let the world know how he really feels about the International Olympic Committee holding the games in such a notoriously oppressive region.
“We should preface this by saying that no one could have anticipated COVID, no matter what the venue is,” Costas said. “But the IOC deserves all of the disdain and disgust that comes their way for going back to China yet again. They were in Beijing in 2008. They go to Sochi in 2014. They’re shameless about this stuff. And so, this takes place not only amid COVID, as did the Tokyo Games of a year ago. But as you mention, the restrictions on press freedom and the sense that everyone there is being monitored in some way.”
Costas also touched on the blurring of the lines between networks promoting the events, reporters who are supposed to be getting fair points out, and the government hosting the games.
“Any network that broadcasts big sports events is simultaneously in a position. It’s quasi-journalistic at best. You’re reporting a news event and what surrounds it in the case of the Olympics isn’t just what’s confined to one game in a stadium. You’re reporting an event, but you’re also promoting the event.”
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