China Censor's Joey Cheek's Campaign

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

Joey Cheek won gold and silver medals in speed skating at the Torino Olympics a couple years back. He was awarded bonus money of more than $25,000. Money which he promptly handed over to the movement to save Darfur, the region on the border of Sudan where at least 200,000 people have been killed and millions more have been displaced.

It's true $25,000 dollars is a lot of money to most Olympic athletes. There are few endorsement deals; and no free agency. But, Cheek readily gave the money to a cause he believed in. The act generated so much publicity that his donation was matched by dollars and pennies and quarters to the point that in the end, it generated more than a million dollars.

Why would the Chinese revoke Joey Cheek's passport on the eve of the summer games? China is Sudan's biggest customer for oil. And the weapons that kill the innocents in Darfur come from China. And China doesn't want anyone, especially their own people, to know that.

By Harry Smith


Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.

The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App