Changing China

Giant on the move

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How do you feel, George? Well, it was a speech of two halves…


Bush pitchesJournalists don’t generally address politicians by their first name, they tend to ask them searching questions and it’s rare to see them fawning. Not so, sports reporters.

For the vacuous, how about this, heard in the handball mixed zone at the Beijing Games: “Congratulations, Anita. Fantastic match. How did you feel in the last 10 minutes?”

(Who are these people who seem to be on first-name terms with athletes of second-tier sports anyway)?

Or take the killer question thrown at the men’s kayak bronze medallist this week: “Benjamin, I saw you go over and hug your mum. What did you say to her?”
Imagine if the rest of the journalistic fraternity adopted the same fascination with touchy-feely trivia I’ve found while covering the Games. The White House press corps, for example: