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August 26, 2008

Note to New Yorker: Google!

Who covered the Olympics? Sportswriters, obviously, and China-bureau reporters. Considering the deep political undercurrents of these Games, specialists in politics or international relations could be interested. Maybe a science writer could analyze performance-enhancing drugs or Beijing's air pollution. And, if you're the New Yorker, you send over film critic Anthony Lane.

Olympic Torch Relay

The choice has some merit: Lane's lengthy "Letter from Beijing" does discuss director Zhang Yimou, artistic director of this year's opening ceremonies. But in the next paragraph, Lane illustrates the dangers of sending an essayist to do a reporter's job, as Lane writes of trying to find Sebastian Coe, the former British middle-distance runner and current cheerleader for London 2012, at the Opening Ceremonies.

Lane never found Coe, because Coe wasn't there. As a 10-second Google search could have uncovered, the former gold medalist delayed his arrival in Beijing to be with his ailing father, who passed away shortly thereafter. Perhaps Lane is in need of a research assistant.

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