Friday, May 11, 2012

Ass U Me

Media in China is a farce. When you read any newspaper editorial, you need to remember that it's the communist party speaking. Don't be fooled into thinking that there's any analysis or independent thinking behind the words.

Global Times
China refused to extend the press credentials and visa of Melissa Chan, English correspondent of the Arabic-language news network Al-Jazeera in Beijing, and hasn't allowed the channel to find someone to replace her. The news network said that its Beijing bureau was "forced out of China." Foreign media claimed that Melissa Chan was the first accredited foreign journalist to be expelled from China since 1998.


China didn't give a specific reason for expelling the reporter. This ambiguity cannot be criticized. According to foreign journalist sources here in Beijing, Melissa Chan holds an aggressive political stance. According to foreign reports, she has a tense relationship with the management authorities of foreign correspondents. She has produced some programs which are intolerable for China.


According to some Chinese people who work or used to work in foreign media bureaus, it is common practice for some foreign journalists to just piece together materials based on their presuppositions when reporting on China. If a foreign reporter cannot stay in China, we can only assume that he or she has done something cross the line.

Sigh... so much misinformation is such a short editorial. Why the scary quotes around "forced out of China"? In order to work in China, you need a visa. If the government does rejects your visa renewal, and refuse to issue any visas to your organization, then they've effectively forced you out of the country. What if the US refuses to give visas to any Xinhua reporters? GT would be the first to whine about the US forcing Chinese reporters out of the country.

Again, if you remember that the same people who forced Melissa Chan out of the country are the same ones that "wrote" the editorial, you see how stupid it sound. Here's my summary of the editorial:
We refused to extend the press credentials and visa of Melissa Chan because she does not follow our instructions on what to report. Some of her reporting exposes things that we don't want anyone to know about. We don't want to give you s reason for forcing her out of China so you just have to trust us since we're never wrong. Remember that all of you will have to renew your visas in the future.

Looking back, I think it's just as well that things didn't work out with Sindy. Both her parents and her uncle are CCP members. Even though her uncle told me he joined for work promotion, her dad is a pretty hardcore commie.


If you think I'm too harsh, read this article from Caixin Online:
A bad hair day for a provincial official has attracted great buzz on the internet. Wen Yongdong is a representative of Bijie County in Guiyang, capital of the southwestern province of Guizhou. The tranquility of his life suddenly ended on March 24 when a heavy object smashed the roof of a car in an office parking lot. No one was hurt, but it prompted the local TV station to cover this "impact" story. When a reporter asked Wen for an interview, he blurted out: "You are a journalist and you are a mouthpiece of the party. Are you serving the people or serving the party?"

When the audio tape and the transcript were posted on the internet, the outrage was instant. Outlets controlled by the Communist Party of China media went into overdrive to condemn this "either or" choice. The politically correct line has always been that the party is for the people; serving the party and serving the people are one and the same. By driving a wedge between the two, Wen committed the grossest error. The jeers in the blogosphere focus on the assumptions behind Wen's outburst and what was revealed in this moment of truth.

Wen thought he was the party and the journalist must act in his interest. For this petty bureaucrat , asserting the people's right to know is nonsense.

No comments: