by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The scene: Two anchors in the closed booth of a sports stadium.
Mike: Welcome, everybody, to the 2022 World Corruption Games in Doha, Qatar! I’m Mike Waters, along with Barry Amila, your anchors for all three weeks of live exciting international corruption action! You’ll recall that after the controversies at the Olympics, World Cup, and other major international sporting events, some voices argued that all the competitions really measured was skill in bribery, threats, and other forms of illicit influence. So the world’s governments, FIFA, and the International Olympic Committee got together and decided to organize a competition to settle the real question: Which country is the true champion when it comes to corruption?
Barry: You know, Mike, we might not be here if it wasn’t for the Russians and their groundbreaking efforts in the back-to-back hosting of the Olympics in Sochi in 2014 and the World Cup in 2018. Bribery, defending chants of “monkey” at African players, turning a blind eye to violent anti-gay purges, all kinds of construction problems at the venues . . . but I think it was the mass slaughter of stray dogs before both events that put them over the top.
Mike: Rhetoric from Moscow has always denounced “running dogs,” Barry, I guess now we know they really mean it!
Barry: That’s what makes Russia such a strong favorite in these games, Mike, an absolutely unrivaled killer instinct.
Mike: There are a lot of exiles and Putin critics who would agree, Barry — if they were still around.