CJR’s Jon Allsop: A Turbulent Winter Olympics for the Press

CJR’s Jon Allsop on “A turbulent Winter Olympics for the press”:

TWO WEEKS AGO, with the Winter Olympics having just gotten underway in Beijing, L’Equipe, a French sports daily, published an interview with Peng Shuai, a Chinese tennis player who disappeared from public view for weeks late last year after accusing a senior Chinese politician of sexual assault in a social-media post that was swiftly censored. The episode sparked widespread international concern. Peng told L’Equipe that she was grateful for that, but that it had derived from a “huge misunderstanding”; she never accused anyone of sexual assault, she said, and she had never disappeared. “Emotions, sport, and politics are three clearly separate things,” she added, and they should not be mixed up. L’Equipe splashed the interview on its front page, with the headline “WE MET PENG SHUAI” next to a photo that showed Peng wearing a Chinese Olympic jacket and smiling as she looked out the window of a Beijing hotel.