T Nation

Olympic Media Bias


#1

No, this is not about the olympiad, persay...but rather of a curious thing I've noticed.

I'm an American spending time working in China, just for quick background.

SO I'm here watching the games and I notice the commercials are all pro-China, of course. Chinese athletes winning or doing well (scoring goals or the like).

What really got me was that their opponents in the commercials were (95% of the time) the USA. It struck me as strange because I'm quite sure China has done well against other countries many times, but to primarily show vs. the US really tends to rub me the wrong way.

The reason I've noticed is this: The olympic games showcase the worlds greatest athletes from around the globe, but countries use them to promote a sense of nationalisn (Pro-"we", and less "pro-they") and perhaps divide the world even more.

Or maybe I just have too much time on my hands.

Anyway:

I'm asking other T-peeps around the globe to take note of the commericals and tell us here what you notice about them (who are in them, who they are against, the "tone" of them...anything you can notice or discern from them).


#2

Well, you are in China and I'm sure you realize that media is definitely different there. Without going into specifics, the media is a lot less critical of the government because of a political system that not everyone agrees with in the west that is explicitly pro-China.

That being said, here's one way of looking at it. Everyone wants to beat the Americans because in many senses they're the benchmark for many forms of competition.

Sports is just another way of displaying superiority. There's a reason we follow it with such interest rather than seeing it as a game where (for example) you try to kick a ball into a net. It's similar to a battle, but no one dies or gets physically beaten (usually). So it's like saying I'm better than you (and if "you" means "the country that typically brings back the most medals", that means I'm the best).


#3

To be fair, I've also (recently) seen ones where the ad shows fantastic sportsmanship from many countries...as well as "fun" stuff from the same wide array of men and women from many different countries.

It's not as bad as people think (media bias)...seriously. Oh it's there and apparent to people from outside the country, but it's still FAR ahead of pre-2000.