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March 25, 2008

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» Two Days And No Mention Of Death Threats As Balance? from Daai Tou Laam Diary
Did I expect the self-proclaimed top bloggers of the English-language greater-China blogosphere to mention this AP article from Monday on Chinese harassment of the foreign press there? ESWN? no. Rebecca MacKinnon? no. Hey, do pigs fly? Did the Chinese mas [Read More]

Comments

Charles Liu

Right, "Chinese cyberspace seething" right after mentionging the new poll? If you are trying to insinuate the poll was hacked, then perhaps you haven't seen the news:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/03/25/miss.bimbo/index.html?eref=rss_latest

The doll breast implant poll is for real.

mahathir_fan

When I saw all the Western news report, my reaction is along the lines of "I TOLD YOU SO.". I am completely apathetic about it, actually, OK. maybe I like what I saw in the Western media a little.

This is just the way it is: Western media is a propaganda tool and watching it will lead you to be brainwashed. I have said that for many many years.

The current anti-Western media movement in China has a dark side to it, and that is, it could cause the Western media to be more self conscious and therefore allow themselves to hide their hypocracy better the next time. This would work against us in the long run.

Rather it would have been better for this to be a silent period of evidence gathering so that the hypocracy could be documented for the benefit of the next generation of Chinese.

In other words, we do not hate you, but we will not buy your medias or your news, and whenever you trip we will be there to document them.

Generation thoughts tend to move in opposite directions by generations. One generation may be pro-Western, and their off springs would become anti and their next generation becomes pro.

A sudden outleash of anger will also mean a sudden end of anger. It is better to let this brew slowly but for the longer term in order for it to have a lasting impact.

The next step I see that should be taken is a total Olympic boycott. Those who believe that China is evil or invading Tibet SHOULD BOYCOTT the Olympics. I highly encourage people to boycott the Beijing games.

I have heard of a "best of both worlds" suggestion and that is for countries to boycott the opening ceremony instead of the entire games.

I think this is a good idea too, if you cannot convince your country to outright boycott it, how about just boycotting the opening and closing ceremonies? That would have been easy as a sign of protest.

That way, you can still haul some medals and still leave the games with some conscience. Think about it.

In the longer term, we can also boycott made in China products. You do not want to do any business with a regime that invades another nation, so do not do business with them.


bandw

"in the end you shouldn't trust any information source - Western or Chinese, professional or amateur, digital or analog - until and unless they have earned your trust."

well said!

xiao xi liu

My former respect for the “objectivity” of the Western media has been shattered long before their recent blunders which enraged the ordinary Chinese. Just think how little of the tragic loss of ordinary Iraqis and Palestines has been covered by the US media! Ironically I often found myself exposed to a wider coverage of the world news from Chinese news media and TV programs when visiting there; and despite the web police control I found my friends there by and large are well informed on world events and less provincial than the general American public.

Jack

@xiao xi liu

There has been a lot of coverage of Iraq and Palestine in the news, if one knows where to look. The fact is the rise of New Media has fragmented coverage. It used to be that people would tune to the nightly news or read their local Daily like the Orange County Register and that was it. But with the explosion of magazines, the Web, and Cable/Satellite TV it's possible to focus only on certain topics.

With wider selection and more competition, specialization is bound to happen. Rebecca herself mentions that CNN is not her regular source, and it isn't mine either. In fact, if you bothered look at my RSS Reader, it would be hard to point to a "regular" since I jump around and add so often.

elench

It's pretty depressing to hear "Western media" blasted for being a propaganda tool, or too "biased", or "not objective". The media landscape in the West is HUGE, and it operates on principles of freedom of speech, which pretty much guarantees endless variety of quality and position. It is therefore ridiculous to apply a collective judgement to "western media" just because one medium screws up.

Sure, I agree that one would expect giants like CNN to maintain high standards in their TV reporting, but that doesn't often happen - so why get all riled up now? We already *know* they're sloppy. For CNN and other American media it is not so much the news that matter but the way in which the news is reported, and the personality of the people presenting to you. The American media consumer likes familiarity and reassurance.

What drives a lot of this negative China coverage is the perception that the Tibetans have a rough deal, and have had a rough deal for the past half century while China pretty much does what it wants. Yes, that is a bias, but I don't see much evidence of a deeper conspiracy or an organized propaganda war (which is a funny thing to claim, considering that 100% of everything that the state of China puts out is ultra-biased propaganda). I like my reports to be as free of bias as possible - so I watch the BBC and read select media. But if I had to choose between the rubbish the vast majority of the Chinese media issue, and the rubbish the majority of American media issue, I will choose the American, simply because in that bunch there will be a few good media with the freedom to do their job properly, and operating without fear of the government raiding the office, shutting everything down, and imprisoning the editors.

There's also the problem of planted material. Remember when Israel invaded Lebanon the last time, all those pictures of Beirut in flames that were distributed by (I think) Reuters? It turns out a number of them had been touched up, with fire and smoke added to the Beirut landscape and suggesting an even greater degre of destruction than what the Israelis inflicted.

Well, of course the usual dimwits started screaming about a vast anti-Israeli propaganda conspiracy, but it turns out that Reuters was buying photos from one Beirut local who had touched them up. Reuters would then feed this material to various other media. The problem wasn't media bias, but a tainted source of information.

China is in Tibet because of the mineral wealth, the strategic importance, and the extra living room that Tibet supposedly affords. The actions of the Chinese are easily classified as war crimes and crimes against humanity (annihilation of native culture, massacres, ethnic dispossesion, etc., etc.). Anyone who thinks that China brought any benefit whatsoever to Tibet or Tibetans is a seriously deluded victim of cheap Chinese propaganda. So I for one do not mind so much if some media choose a counter-balancing bias in this matter. Everyone lets China get away with murder except for some media. While I like my media to be as objective as possible, I cannot complain if they pick a fight that is based on sound principles. At least it's a lot better than the crap we saw for years and years in support of the Bush administration's adventures in Iraq!

I love China and my people!!!!

I hate you guys intending to break China. I love China, my great homeland! I love Chinese people who are living happily in peace if not disturbed by your untrue reports!

mahathir_fan

"Anyone who thinks that China brought any benefit whatsoever to Tibet or Tibetans is a seriously deluded victim of cheap Chinese propaganda."

And anyone who doesn't think so is also brainwashed. Why don't you ask a Han Chinese if Tibetans get easier entrance into university? Do you know that in China not anyone can decide to migrate into Tibet, but require special permission in order to protect the land from being populated by non-Tibetans?

While government owned propaganda may not measure up to the West, there are certain distinct qualities that make it safe to consume:
1) Its propaganda aspect is easily spotted.
2) It is truthful when reporting numbers.
3) They are very very shy at speculating because they hate to admit they are wrong so if they do report something, there is very good credibility that it is true or well known fact already in certain circles.

Government news is like having a cockroach in your drink. You can spot it easily and remove it. Western media is like having arsenic in your drink. You think it is clean until a few hours after you drink it.

Perhaps you have not viewed my youtube video on the Western media report on the Tiananmen massacre which is a myth by the way:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=SbX0gAk3zRA

In the end, it was the Chinese government account of what happened that was closest to the truth.

It is of course hard to convince people who spent their entire life reading Western media. I recommend you read some Chomsky such as manufacturing consent.

I have seen cases like this and it no longer angers me. As an example, in my own church, I have tried to convince my fellow Christians that the bible isn't God's words, yet despite all the evidence I brought out, all still refuses to believe me, because they have accepted it was a dogma.
At best, they claim ignorance and skepticism rather than to agree with me. So I am putting out videos now, enjoy:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=1-vJN1l71NQ

If a bible can be a tool of propaganda with 1 billion people in the world accepting it as God's words, the Western media surely can be propaganda without people realizing that it is.


barnychan

Rebecca, I've looked all over your home page but I can't find the poll to vote on whether Charles should have breast implants. My vote would be in the affirmative, so perhaps you can register it on my behalf. Many thanks, Barny.

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