One thing noticeable in watching this summer Olympic coverage is how bland it is. I’m referring not to the athletes, but NBC’s reporting.
In the past, reporters have gone out to show the city hosting the events and highlight the interesting things going on in another country. This time, not so much. That’s a shame because Brazil is not on everyone’s radar, but it has a fascinating culture and geography.
Is it purposeful? Probably. The games were said to have been given to Brazil (remember how Chicago didn’t get it and Obama failed to score on that one – the first of many, eh?) as a reward to then president Lula da Silva, a socialist who was taking the country deeper into that political persuasion. He was evidently a player in helping Iran nuke up, too, and after leaving office got a post under the new president Rousseff in a quid pro quo move that the Brazil court denied.
The new president has recently been impeached. Her successor, Michel Temer, isn’t too popular. At the opening ceremony he was not introduced along with the IOC head and UN Secretary Ban Ki Moon. Networks spared him the booing he would have received.
So all is not well, politically, in this socialist haven. Media hasn’t wanted to show you the terrible poverty that socialism was supposed to end either. No tours of the poor parts of town. The opening ceremonies touched upon the economic and racial divide, but quickly went on to mention global climate change, the darling cause of the Left.
Alice Salles at AntiMedia.org finds a few other problems:
1. In Brazil, political protesters are granted very little freedom of speech (that’s why they are threatening to extinguish the Olympic torch)
On May 10, 2016, disgraced then-president Dilma Rousseff signed a bill into law that prohibits individuals from holding political protests in publicly-owned stadiums — where all Olympic games are currently being held. Police officers are now asking protesters to either leave the stadiums or destroy any material they are using to protest politicians while watching the games.
Recently, Al Jazeera reported on a group of protesters threatening to blow out the Olympic torch. They are protesting the cost of the games, among many other issues.
2. Rio is broke and so is Brazil
The state of Rio de Janeiro is expected to have a deficit of BR$19 billion by the end of the year, a projection that prompted the Olympics’ host government to issue an emergency state “decree” in June — nearly two months before the event — publicizing “the abnormal situation” in an official manner. In April of this year, the state had already reported its public deficit equaled 201% of its annual revenue — a much higher rate than what is legally allowed, as reported by Globo, one of Brazil’s most popular news organizations. Despite the financial disaster, the games weren’t canceled. According to Zurich University senior research fellow, Christopher Gaffney, “Rio will be in debt for the next 10 years following the 2014 World Cup and this month’s Olympics.”
According to Mises Institute’s Leandro Roque, the current negative economic outlook in the country — and more specifically in Rio — has a lot to do with the expansion of easy credit policies. This has given the federal government the power to “print money” out of thin air and make the cost of consumer goods go up, hurting the poor and the middle class. But that’s not all that has hurt members of lower income brackets in the country.
3. The military police are responsible for Olympics security, but the targets are civilians (and athletes!)
In Brazil, there are four main law enforcement organizations. The military police, civil police, federal police, and municipal guard.
What many foreigners do not realize is that the military police, not civil, are responsible for “keeping the peace” in the streets. They have the power to patrol cities in search of drug-related criminals and others. They also have the power to pull over drivers for traffic infractions.
A jiu-jitsu fighter from New Zealand, Jayson Lee, reached out to the civil police to press charges against military police officers who allegedly kidnapped him before the games began. According to the athlete, he was compelled to give officers BR$2,000 so they would let him go.
4. Rio loves putting lipstick on pigs (seriously, the government claims to be environmentally-conscious — but it’s not)
According to the Associated Press, “the waterways of Rio de Janeiro are as filthy as ever, contaminated with raw human sewage teeming with dangerous viruses and bacteria.” The report is the result of a 16-month study commissioned by the news outlet.
Nevertheless, during the opening ceremony, the games’ organizers displayed a video narrated by actress Judi Dench that warned about the “problem of global warming and climate change … showing how rapidly the earth’s temperature has spiked over time, how drastically the Antarctic ice sheet has wilted in recent decades and how steadily seas are rising around the globe.”
5. Brazil’s plan to “clean” the streets of Rio ahead of the Olympics was responsible for the unlawful arrests of thousands of children
According to official data, police in Rio arrested 5,538 minors between 2015 and the first two months of 2016. While officials remain mum about the records of these arrests, it’s important to note Brazil has the second highest rate of child homicide in the world. It trails only Nigeria.
In Rio in particular, 16 percent of the city’s homicides are committed by police, Amnesty International reports — a concerning fact considering that each year, 10,500 children are killed in Brazil.
The media definitely doesn’t want us to know this – especially since it’s an election year. Neither do they want to cover the lines in Venezuela where people wait hours to see if they can get a little for their family.
Socialism doesn’t work, but if you don’t see it, how do you know that?