Gourmet Writer a Threat to Beijing?
Baffled food journalist denied Olympic visa
By Michael Foreman,  Newser User
Posted Aug 11, 2008 3:31 PM CDT
Karen Coates couldn't get a visa to Beijing, but the consulate won't say why.   (© mackz)
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(Newser) – She's not a Tibetan activist, a human-rights watchdog, or a political correspondent. So why couldn't Karen Coates, a food writer for Gourmet, get a visa to cover the Beijing Olympics? She recounts the mind-numbing bureaucratic hoops she jumped through to submit her application, which seems to have vanished into a black hole. "That’s how the Chinese government says 'no.' You don’t exist."

After months of slogging through paperwork and calling the Chinese consulate, Coates came up empty-handed, while her photographer husband got the go-ahead. "Was it something I said?" she wonders. "About Tibet, for a newspaper eight years ago? Or, more recently, comments on my personal blog? ... Who knows? Not me. And the Chinese won’t tell me."