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Beijing Olympic Television Ratings Demonstrate World’s Anger at China

Better luck next time, IOC.  

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China isn’t exactly the sort of nation that the rest of the world is clamoring to cozy up to, and with good reason.  This is, after all, a country whose place on the global stage was built upon the exploitation of their workforce, the dismantling of any notion of free speech, and actual, literal genocide.

And so when the International Olympic Committee decided to allow Beijing to host the 2022 Olympics, a great many of the good people of the planet rolled their eyes.

As it turns out, a whole lot of us tuned out as well.

The media adjectives pouring in to describe the legacy of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics aren’t pretty: “Disaster.” “Joyless.” And NBC’s $7.75 billion investment in 2014 that gave it exclusive American media rights to the Olympic Games through 2032 is under question after a second consecutive ratings dud.

Through Tuesday, according to The Associated Press, an average of 12.2 million watched the Olympics in primetime on NBC, cable, or its Peacock streaming service, a 42-percent dip from the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Only 10 million watched NBC alone, a 47-percent drop from 2018, and through early last week, it was down 57 percent in the critical 25-54 age demographic from the Pyeongchang games. That was even taking into account the Super Bowl viewership boost NBC got from airing the Olympics directly after the network aired the game on Feb. 13.

And that wasn’t all:

“These Olympics were a disaster for the network: a buzz-free, hermetically-sealed event in an authoritarian country a half-day’s time zone away, where the enduring images will be the emotional meltdown of Russian teen-agers after a drug-tainted figure skating competition and a bereft Mikaela Shiffrin, sitting on a ski slope wondering what went wrong,” The Associated Press wrote.

“Viewers stayed away in alarming numbers, and NBC has to wonder whether it was extraordinarily bad luck or if the brand of a once-unifying event for tens of millions of people is permanently tainted.”

Perhaps the most succinct description of the games came from The New York Times, however, who referred to them as “a joyless spectacle”.

Better luck next time, IOC.

Entertainment

Musk Steps Back from Twitter Purchase After ‘Fake Users’ Concern

Or is Musk a better negotiator than we give him credit for?

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Free speech advocates around the world have been rejoicing in recent days, as Tesla CEO Elon Musk appeared to be on the verge of purchasing social media giant Twitter.

The site, which has grown restrictive for conservative viewpoints in recent years, was going to be “unlocked” by Musk, who firmly believed that a more open, inclusive Twitter would be a much more powerful tool than previously imagined.

But now, as his team uncovers concerns about the site’s real user number, Musk is taking a step back.

Tesla billionaire Elon Musk has put his plan to buy Twitter on what he called a temporary “hold,” raising fresh doubts about whether he’ll proceed with the $44 billion acquisition.

Musk tweeted early Friday that he wanted to pinpoint the number of spam and fake accounts on the social media platform. He has been vocal about his desire to clean up Twitter’s problem with “spam bots” that mimic real people, and he appeared to question whether Twitter was underreporting them.

But the company has disclosed in regulatory filings that its bot estimates might be low for at least two years, leading some analysts to believe that Musk could be raising the issue as a reason to back out of the purchase.

Musk wasn’t shy about his issue.

“Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” Musk tweeted Friday morning, indicating he’s skeptical that the number of inauthentic accounts is that low.

The eccentric billionaire would go on to insist that he still fully intends to purchase the site, leading some to speculate as to whether or not this might be a simple negotiating tactic.

 

Free speech advocates around the world have been rejoicing in recent days, as Tesla CEO Elon Musk appeared to be on the verge of purchasing social media giant Twitter. The site, which has grown restrictive for conservative viewpoints in recent years, was going to be “unlocked” by Musk, who firmly believed that a more open, inclusive Twitter would be a much more powerful tool than previously imagined. But now, as his team uncovers concerns about the site’s real user number, Musk is taking a step back. Tesla billionaire Elon Musk has put his plan to buy Twitter on what he called a temporary “hold,” raising fresh doubts about whether he’ll proceed with the $44 billion acquisition. Musk tweeted early Friday that he wanted to pinpoint the number of spam and fake accounts on the social media platform. He has been vocal about his desire to clean up Twitter’s problem with “spam bots” that mimic real people, and he appeared to question whether Twitter was underreporting them. But the company has disclosed in regulatory filings that its bot estimates might be low for at least two years, leading some analysts to believe that Musk could be raising the issue as a reason to back out of the purchase. Musk wasn’t shy about his issue. “Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” Musk tweeted Friday morning, indicating he’s skeptical that the number of inauthentic accounts is that low. The eccentric billionaire would go on to insist that he still fully intends to purchase the site, leading some to speculate as to whether or not this might be a simple negotiating tactic.  

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Sony Bucks Beijing By Refusing to Censor Spiderman Movie

At least someone is refusing to capitulate to China.

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China has long been exploiting their citizenry, thanks to their commitment to the cruel tenets of authoritarian communism and their unwavering disregard for even the most basic of human rights.  This has allowed the CCP to treat Chinese citizens like cattle, working low-paying jobs to produce goods that can then flood the international market, essentially milking them for money.

In order to keep the people of China happy in this arrangement, the government has had to severely limit the sorts of ideas that can be viewed in art or books, lest their human livestock were to get some strange ideas about freedom.

In order to do this, China has leveraged their enormous consumer base against some of the west’s most powerful entertainment companies, demanding that they tamp down certain references in books, films, television, and music.

A recent attempt to manipulate one Marvel’s biggest blockbusters has not gone Beijing’s way, however.

Sony reportedly refused the Chinese government’s demand to scrub the Statue of Liberty from Spider-Man: No Way Home.

According to Puck on Sunday, citing “multiple sources,” the Chinese government requested the Statue of Liberty be digitally removed from the film, despite its inclusion in a pivotal scene. Sony rejected the request.

The Chinese government then asked if the Statue of Liberty could be, according to Puck, “minimized in the sequence: if Sony could cut a few of the more patriotic shots of [Tom] Holland standing atop the crown, or dull the lighting so that Lady Liberty’s visage wasn’t so front-and-center.” Sony considered the request, but declined.

China has demanded several changes to major movies throughout the years, including a massive adjustment to the end of Fight Club, in which the protagonists’ plot to destroy the credit banking system was removed and replaced with an epilogue stating that all of the characters involved were arrested by police…even the character that was a figment of someone’s imagination the whole time.

China has long been exploiting their citizenry, thanks to their commitment to the cruel tenets of authoritarian communism and their unwavering disregard for even the most basic of human rights.  This has allowed the CCP to treat Chinese citizens like cattle, working low-paying jobs to produce goods that can then flood the international market, essentially milking them for money. In order to keep the people of China happy in this arrangement, the government has had to severely limit the sorts of ideas that can be viewed in art or books, lest their human livestock were to get some strange ideas about freedom. In order to do this, China has leveraged their enormous consumer base against some of the west’s most powerful entertainment companies, demanding that they tamp down certain references in books, films, television, and music. A recent attempt to manipulate one Marvel’s biggest blockbusters has not gone Beijing’s way, however. Sony reportedly refused the Chinese government’s demand to scrub the Statue of Liberty from Spider-Man: No Way Home. According to Puck on Sunday, citing “multiple sources,” the Chinese government requested the Statue of Liberty be digitally removed from the film, despite its inclusion in a pivotal scene. Sony rejected the request. The Chinese government then asked if the Statue of Liberty could be, according to Puck, “minimized in the sequence: if Sony could cut a few of the more patriotic shots of [Tom] Holland standing atop the crown, or dull the lighting so that Lady Liberty’s visage wasn’t so front-and-center.” Sony considered the request, but declined. China has demanded several changes to major movies throughout the years, including a massive adjustment to the end of Fight Club, in which the protagonists’ plot to destroy the credit banking system was removed and replaced with an epilogue stating that all of the characters involved were arrested…

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