Well, the Olympics are now over. Russia did a good job. There were a couple of glitches, but they were minor. Everyone is aware of the glitch that kept one of the rings from lighting up during the opening ceremony. The Russians have enough of a sense of humor that, during the closing ceremonies, the Russians even mocked themselves by having a fake momentary misstep during the closing ceremonies.
There were also a couple of minor problems. There was a bathroom stall door that would not open. There was a bathroom seat that was inadvertently installed upside down. Ah, actually, there were no major problems during the entire Olympics, other than the typical arguments about the officiating.
But, if you read the stories from before the beginning of the Olympics, you will read a set of stories that have to do with the semi-probable failure of everything at the Sochi Olympics. Terrorists were going to come in and blow up everything. The physical facilities were going to collapse. The Olympic apocalypse was about to happen.
But, none of it did happen. So, since it did not happen, the news media have now moved on. Now that the Sochi Olympics are over, it is time to concentrate on all the problems that will inevitably happen at the next Olympics. Already there are doubts about the 2016 Olympics. “But amid the fanfare greeting these mega-events, local officials are faced with big-league financial headaches and a chorus of public complaints, leaving many asking: Will Rio be ready in 2016?”
My immediate reaction was an unprintable sigh. The news media sells ad space (or in the Internet age, it sells ad clicks) based on readership. Readership is enhanced by unusual news stories. So, any news story which maximizes the possibility of disaster is a news story that needs to be published.
I am sure that stories will be published in 2016, right before the Olympics in Brazil, about the danger of criminals from the “favelas” sneaking onto the Olympic grounds in order to rob athletes. Questions about security for visiting guests will be published. The efficacy of the Brazilian government will be called into question.
Yet, given prior Olympic history, I suspect that at the end of the 2016 Olympics, there will be this deep silence, and the inability to acknowledge that the pre-Olympic news coverage was quite wrong.
Is it any wonder that the news media have a negative percentage rating that is just about as low as that of the USA Congress? Stories by the most radical, AND MISTAKEN, journalists are published as though they were facts. Worse, these stories are immorally used to sell ad space [or to get people to click on web page ads].
When truth becomes the servant of profits, one ends up with immoral profits.