I happened to be near a TV today that was tuned into live coverage of the Olympic torch being run through a city local to me, San Francisco.<br />n<br />nThere is no memory in my mind of live coverage of the movement of the torch in previous Olympic years, especially by local TV stations. So <a href=”http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gEtQD-yS0Xp4_sizYjZ8SE7bG_1gD8VUJJD00″ title=”Torch in San Francisco”>why was it so important now</a>? Well, as you may be aware, there have been lots of protests in London and Paris when the torch tried to pass through those cities. Protests against what the communist Chinese government <a href=”http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080321/pl_afp/chinaunresttibetrightsdalaiuspelosi” title=”Oppression of Tibet”>has been doing to the people of Tibet</a> over the past half century.<br />n<br />nAs much as the repressive communists in power in Beijing may not like it, as much as the repressive regime tries to turn the world’s head away from their recent crackdowns, <br />n<br />nThe entire coverage had running commentary about the situation in Tibet. The entire coverage was focused on what the protesters were trying to highlight, just as the protesters had hoped.<br />n<br />nI’m sure the <a href=”http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200803/chinese-firewall” title=”China Firewall Article in the Atlantic”>Great Firewall of China</a> will be blocking all that coverage, and the people in China don’t know about, or may not even care, about the situation, or even of the fate of the people in Tibet. But I do have to side with the folks who have for decades now adorned their cars and lapels with the words, <a href=”http://www.freetibet.org/” title=”freetibet.org”>Free Tibet</a>.