So what else is faked

China has made great strides in recent years, but one is reminded of how big the remaining gulf is, with the story over the fake singing at the Olympics opening:

The girl in the red dress with the pigtails, called Lin Miaoke, 9, and from a Beijing primary school, has become a national sensation since Friday night, giving interviews to all the most popular newspapers.

But the show’s musical designer felt forced to set the record straight. He gave an interview to Beijing radio saying the real singer was a seven-year-old girl who had won a gruelling competition to perform the anthem, a patriotic song called “Hymn to the Motherland”.

At the last moment a member of the Chinese politburo who was watching a rehearsal pronounced that the winner, a girl called Yang Peiyi, might have a perfect voice but was unsuited to the lead role because of her buck teeth.

So, on the night, while a pre-recording of Yang Peiyi singing was played, Lin Miaoke, who has already featured in television advertisements, was seen but not heard.

The one good thing is that the musical designer who revealed this, felt he was able to do so without disappearing into the night as once would have been he case.

But really to have politburo members choosing the child singer!

And the fireworks were also faked in part:

Officials have already admitted that the pictures of giant firework footprints which marched across Beijing towards the stadium on Friday night were prerecorded, digitally enhanced and inserted into footage beamed across the world.

Now again the good thing is through blogs and elsewhere Chinese citizens are able to debate whether or not they think these actions were good, or not. But they do do real damage.

People like me wonder if the hosts are so willing to fake the singing and fake the fireworks, how much confidence can you have in them to have discouraged steroid use and the like? The technology is always somewhat ahead of the detection, so even the best efforts of international authorities will be limited if a host country condones anything in its desire to be the best.

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