The pretty American

The pretty American

: An exasperated correspondent gets to the sports section of The Times, expecting a respite from politican spin, and gets this in a report by Selena Roberts:

A cyclist revealed what it’s like to perform without feeling the burden of the Bush administration’s policy on Iraq, without thinking about hostility by political association, without checking the preset limits on her freedom to express herself.

The cyclist didn’t censor her emotions at the end of Saturday’s women’s road race. She simply flashed an obscene gesture as she crossed the finish line.

And yet, she did not elicit worldwide glowering, morph into a microcosm of her country’s arrogance or become an example on the United States Olympic Committee’s most-wanted list of behavior miscreants.

That’s because she was not an ugly American. Judith Arndt was a German – no qualifiers attached…..

Not to despair, though. Track and field is still to come, and Maurice Greene is on the way. If there is a man unburdened by Bush politics, undisturbed by worldwide detractors, uncontrolled by the U.S.O.C. nannies, it’s Greene.

Says our sputtering correspondent:

Get it? Roberts makes a thinly veiled case that it’s George Bush’s fault if America’s Olympic team underperforms, reasoning (1) Americans can’t win and be good sports at the same time (good sportsmanship dulls the “edge”); (2) Bush’s foreign policy is creating pressure on American athletes to act like good sports; (3) therefore, Bush is hurting our athletes’ chances to bring home Olympic gold….

Shots at Bush coming and going. On the freakin’ sports page.

Yeah, the Olympics aren’t political. And neither is The Times. And I am Mark Spitz.