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A media mea culpa

The Times (London), criticized below, shows why they are a great newspaper in this mea culpa:

We also chose to ignore precedent. We said that the Atlanta Olympics would not be built in time, we said that the Sydney Games would be brought to a halt by Aboriginal demonstrators and we said that the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur would struggle under a sea of smog. And we were wrong on all counts.

The price of our mistake this time round is unquantifiable, but the fact remains that a quarter of tickets here have gone unsold and Athens is looking at the first loss-making Games since Moscow in 1980. Not only will the Athenians have to pick up the bill for these empty seats, but we in the media have been criticising them for not filling them....

It has been striking to see the pride of this southern European nation. They want to know that their guests have been happy and well-served. They are not cynical, they do not have a great understanding of how they are perceived by the world. And, try as they might, they could not understand why the world’s media has been so mercilessly bashing them.

Their achievement has been to give us an Olympics of which they can be proud. If only the rest of the world had realised that sooner.

Now that has the ring of truth about it. I wish the Times opened up their links more often.