29th August: Paralympic opening ceremony.
London Paralympics 2012 were set to be the biggest Paralympics since they started. The ceremony was finely balanced between Science and Astro-liturature. All the right people were there, The Queen, Prime Minister, Lord Coe, the Mayor of London and many other notable people. The only missing part was Ecuador, “where was it?” You may ask, it was there but Channel 4 blatantly sidestepped the fact, with Krishnan Guru Murphy hastily commentating over with “let’s see Clare Balding interview some of the Irish competitors” after El Salvador came out, the cameras cut to Clare and a member of Ireland’s team, she spoke to him as though he were a member of Team GB, but as there was a conversational pause so that the man could compose an intelligent answer, we heard from the Arena’s commentator say ‘Ecuador’, then after Ecuador were given their 30 seconds to walk past, Krishnan interrupted Clare saying “Great stuff Clare, let’s get back to the Arena”.. Erm, what was the whole point of that? Firstly let me say that speaking to the Irish team wasn’t important because he wasn’t team GB, that’s not the point, he was important. Every athlete has an equal chance of winning as the next. I would have much preferred to have seen interrupted coverage so that Clare could speak to members of the teams of different countries. It could have been done during the walk past of the bigger countries like Australia, Brazil, China and USA, instead they chose only to have one interview with a person from another country while little Ecuador had their moment. I can now see why they (Ecuador) said they wouldn’t release their decision over Julian Assange until after the Olympic games, as if they had announced that they had granted Julian asylum on the day before the Olympic opening ceremony, when the time came for Ecuador to walk through, you probably would have heard Huw Edwards saying “look an Alien” whilst panning to the sky, cutting all sound and letting Ecuador run along as though they were an embarrassing odour.
The part that really gets me though is that the Olympic and Paralympic games stand for equality and to compete without prejudice, but where is the fairness in broadcasting a country that turns up with 300+ athletes and goes home with at least 50 golds, when they refuse to show a small country that is lucky to go home with one medal because they only have 5 athletes?
As a viewer, I don’t care if a country is poor, corrupt or stands up for its beliefs, all I want to see those athletes do is play a good, drug free, fair game. I want them all to leave their inter-country disputes outside as soon as they enter the building. Because they are there to become Olympians not a government patsy and I certainly don’t want to watch a television channel behaving childishly.
So channel 4, don’t you want to see a game free of prejudice? Or are you politically motivated? Because if Julian Assange didn’t do what he does, then you wouldn’t have a story to report on for your precious news at 7, but yet again whenever I watch your news channel (which isn’t very often), I feel as though I’ve wasted half an hour of my life that I’ll never get back, whilst Jon Snow prattles on about JP Morgan being good guys and that England is in Recession, yes folks, that’s real *cough* news at its finest.