— Stacy St. Clair (@StacyStClair) February 4, 2014
Journalists are posting hilarious images from Sochi, everything from “dangerous face water” to the Buddy Toilet to an endless succession of stray, every-so-often disappearing local dogs. Most observers have, quite rightly, found this stuff absolutely hilarious.
But a minority is wringing their hands. “What did you expect?” they cry. “Suck it up, journalists! The athletes worked way harder than you to get where they are!”
All this indignation over the Sochi journalists and their hilarious, Twitter missives from the barricades (or crap hotels) of not so-Soviet Russia is missing an important point.
Journalists, we are made to bitch, it is the reason we get up in the morning, the reason we continue to draw breath. Further, we bitch because it’s funny, and because the inherent absurdity of the most expensive Olympics ever being plagued by stray dogs draws us like a moth to a one-line Twitter flame.
— Kevin Bishop (@bishopk) February 4, 2014
Asking journalists to accept the infrastructure problems all-Nun-like both denies them their essential nature (LOL look at this fucking mistranslated menu item) and also sets up for them a trap.
If they do NOT report on the fact that, say, their hotel doesn’t have a lobby, invariably some frothy gentleman from the non-liberal media will claim that they are 1. not doing their jobs and 2. probably are in bed with Putin and 3. Communists.
You can’t win. Might as well continue Tweeting about face water, and have a good time.
I should add something else, vis a vis the athletes. Sirs, madames, do you realize how hard it is to be a journalist right now? I can answer that question for you: quite fucking difficult! Almost as difficult as avoiding falling into an uncovered Sochi manhole.
Look it at from my perspective. Us young journalists, mired in Content Aggregation gobbledygook jobs, gaze upon those reporters who somehow convinced a publication not largely devoted to cat photos to send them to Sochi with great admiration.
“I, too, could someday be on a press junket!” we think. “I would accept the Dangerous Face Water. And Tweet about it. But accept.”
Perhaps they are not Bode Miller launching themselves off a mogul (smoldering all the way), but these journalists in Sochi are survivors in quite another way: of the great Journalist Purge of the last ten years. They still draw breath — and expense accounts.
Leave them be, tweeting away about the Buddy Toilet.