Olympic spin … er, media relations

The Seattle Times‘s Ron Judd is not impressed with the media strategy of the organizing committee of the Vancouver 2010 winter Olympics, VANOC. “The organization seems hellbent on turning its media relations into a virtual-reality experience,” Judd writes in a satirical response to the pre-packaged end-of-the-year video release by committee head John Furlong.

The piece is amusing — but Judd’s complaint about VANOC’s “convenient approach — one which, if it caught on, would negate the need for messy, unnecessary and overly nosey reporters altogether” is deadly serious. The 2010 games entail as much as $6 billion in direct and indirect public spending (by some estimates) and a long list of issues that citizens might want to know about.

And as Judd points out, past media-relations foibles might be “laughable today if it wasn’t for what it might portend for the Olympic Games themselves … can you imagine how it will handle the media crush if, God forbid, something major actually happens during the Olympics?”