And SBS outdoes Fox: Cold War remix

The Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) is doing a fantastic job, even outdoing Fox in the reactionary, neo-Cold War stakes. Once upon a time, SBS was a unique operation, established by the Australian government to broadcast multi-lingual programs for Australia’s 200 or so language groups. It still does some of that, but now it is trying to muscle in on the venerable territory of rabid red-baiting carried out with exemplary skill by Fox News. It is the sort of work that makes the Fairfax’s China reporter, the wimpy liberal John Garnaut, look like a limp lettuce leaf. Take, for instance, the recent report on China’s Olympic efforts:

China’s massive medal haul at the London Games has once again showcased the country’s ability to produce champions through its rigid Soviet-style sports regime …

While the fall of Communism in Europe in the 1980s and 1990s put paid to the command-and-control systems that turned the Soviet Union and East Germany into sporting superpowers, China’s “juguo tizhi” – literally ‘whole nation system’ – remains as entrenched as ever …

… systematic physical abuse … kowtow and apologise …

It wouldn’t be legal in Britain to train as hard as the Chinese …

Hmmm … my Chinese friends have a different criticism: the government is too concerned with international Olympic glory and fails to support grass-roots sports adequately. Strangely, that sounds pretty much like the Australian government, for whom each medal at the 2012 Olympics (of whatever colour) cost over $10 million, or the English government, or the American government, or …

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2 thoughts on “And SBS outdoes Fox: Cold War remix

  1. Interesting. The criticisms of your friends make sense to me, except that it would seem that the CCP has every interest in preventing these criticisms ever being heard by anyone. Would this be a fair assessment?

    I am very interested in China’s (relatively) new commitment to boxing at a “grassroots” level. The documentary film “China Heavyweight” seems to imply a thesis on the recent growth in western-style boxing gyms in the provinces. This was a sport that Mao had denounced in 1959 on the occasion of China’s first national games, and it is clear to people who follow the sport that China could have been a significant force at the international level long ago had this not been the case.

    In part because Cuba provides such an instructive example of the latent potential of Chinese fighters, and in part because of the process by which fighters at the highest levels of ability in Cuba are provided a higher degree economic security (and in many cases, defect), the gyms in Southern Sichuan province, for example, appear to suggest the development of an analogous system. Maybe Mao understood all of this well in advance, or maybe his decision had more to do with the politics of the Sino-Soviet split, or both.

    Incidentally, China already has as many medals in boxing for these games as do both Cuba and the U.S., and still have a shot at gold.

    1. On the contrary, I have found that debate is far more open and intense – in discussions and on the internet – than in the supposedly free countries with which I’m familiar. Everything is on the table.

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