If Australia’s coverage of the Olympic Games in 2000 was as narrow and nasty as Britain’s this year we should be apologizing to the world and examining the shallowness of our national self esteem.
In every Olympics the home media has been a cheer squad for the local athletes. It would be unrealistic to expect otherwise. Lord knows we’re good at it. The BBC’s coverage has been all that. Plus, it has included the usual appropriation of the individual efforts of athletes for the national credit. “We’ve done it and we’ve done it in style,” said a hugely excited chap after a British boat crossed the line for a gold medal last week.
Actually four British rowers had been stylish. Mr Excitable was merely a BBC commentator who had never pulled an oar in competitive exertion in his life.
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The BBC has compiled a list of 12 Female Faces of 2011 (one for each month) and guess who took out the final spot?
Angela Zhang who at the age of 17 discovered a nanoparticle that kills cancer cells? Nope.
Eman al-Obeidi, who defied Muuammar Gadaffi’s regime by confessing to the foreign press that she had been beaten and gang-raped by members of his militia? Nope.
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Remember all the things you learned at school: the periodic table and calculus and Egyptian pharaohs and dangling participles and the causes of the First World War.
Now think about what you learned at school that is actually useful in your everyday life today. Excluding obvious basics such as reading, writing and arithmetic, I’d nominate two things, neither of which I imagined would turn out to be so handy. The first is touch typing. The second is what the teacher announced in the opening class of Grade 11 economics: wants are unlimited but resources are limited.
It’s something I think about all the time. For example, I like to imagine that if I had an iPad with The New Yorker application on it, I’d be Perfectly Happy for the Rest of My Life. Sadly though, I predict that soon after, there’d be a strong hankering for a stylish red leather pouch for said iPad.
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Finally a weatherman gets it right. After being teased by his news anchor colleagues last night, BBC weatherman Tomas Schafermaker was caught on camera as he flipped them the bird. It only lasted a few seconds, but their reactions are priceless, especially Schafermaker who can be seen fumbling his middle finger into an awkward tie-fixing, chin-scratching manoeuvre.
The Herald Sun reports today that a BBC spokesman said: “Tomasz was not aware that he was on air, and whilst the gesture was only shown for a second, it was not acceptable.” Ouch.
As for today’s weather forecast it’s likely to be somewhat cloudy with a chance of unemployment.
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These days no self-respecting or self-preserving celeb is seen without a malnourished child, developing country or war zone. Make up removed, with a shawl or ethnic beads for decoration, the ‘saving the world’ photo shoot is a must-have for their portfolio.
This week Lindsay Lohan joins the fray as she fronts Lindsay Lohan’s Indian Journey, a BBC3 documentary about child trafficking in India.
It’s heavy stuff. The country’s economic boom has seen traffickers head to India’s poorest regions in search of children who end up working long hours in inhumane conditions, with some forced into prostitution.
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