- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 29, 2002

Washington promises not to come down with an inferiority complex after being dismissed by the 13-member panel of the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Washington is obligated to consider the source.
Judging is not one of the strengths of the Olympic Games, considering the scandalous scores routinely dispensed in figure skating.
To be fair, judging is the least of the problems with the Olympic family, dysfunctional as ever.
Mayor Anthony A. Williams was almost moved to tears by the USOC's pink slip. The hurt goes with the job. He is the city's No. 1 civic booster, after all, and no stranger to misguided perceptions. He is competent enough, just not "black enough" to some voters.
The latter charge appears to be related to the vapid thinking that guided the USOC.
Charles Moore, chairman of the USOC panel, passed along an indictment to go with Washington's rejection notice. The indictment exposed the USOC, conveniently enough.
The ever-sensitive voters of the USOC did not think Washington could curry support with the International Olympic Committee. They could be right, but they were wrong to vote on the IOC's fragilities.
It seems Washington was once impolite to Juan Antonio Samaranch, the former IOC president who was called to Capitol Hill after the bribes in Salt Lake City hit the fan. The gasbags asked a series of indelicate questions of the recovering fascist in the belief that the IOC's culture of corruption was his creation. You could pick most of his sycophants out of a crowd by the Brinks truck backing up to their tin cups.
Understandably, the 123 beggars in the IOC remain unhappy about the interrupted service of their gravy train, and the USOC felt obliged to feel their pain. There's nothing like voting on dull sensations, as opposed to principle.
That encapsulates the spirit of the Olympic Games, as spirit is defined down, and Washington is better off to have missed it in 2012, or any other year. Baltimore, too.
The IOC leads the world in gall. It plays ball with America only reluctantly, and only because the American dollar beats all the other alternatives. The IOC accepts America's corporate dollar under one condition America must say, "Pretty please."
America, good sport that it is, plays along, mostly because the profit-margin line encourages it.
Americans also like a good fairy tale, and the IOC peddles one of the best.
The table-tennis competition could lead to world peace and international brotherhood, excluding Osama bin Laden and his band of virgin-seeking extremists. There are other exceptions as well, one after the other, in fact.
The USOC, working in tandem with the IOC, merely confirms the grim mind-set of the Olympic Games.
The post-September 11 sentiments suggested a ballot of New York and Washington, the two cities attacked by the cave-dwelling nut case. That element, in a highly subjective process, could not trump the hurt feelings of the IOC panhandlers.
It is just as well.
The taxpayers in the Washington-Baltimore region have been spared a financial hit, a logistical mess and further civic insults.
The insult is a favorite ploy of the IOC, the all-knowing arbiter of good taste and all things refined. The IOC still owes the good folks of Atlanta an apology, if you recall the IOC's list of objections in 1996, the last time the Summer Games were held on U.S. soil.
Atlanta was deemed to be too commercial, one of the more amusing charges that emanated from the IOC. This is an organization that sells all aspects of itself. Your company buys a piece of the action.
The IOC bestows the title "official" on your company in return. You are now the official deodorant of the Olympic Games. The American public is not supposed to notice the hypocrisy.
So now it has been left to New York and San Francisco to chase the distastefulness of 2012.
Washington is certain to recover, the good mayor included.
It was not personal. It was just pettiness in this case.

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