How CNN uses disaster to propagandize against a government
Western propaganda has become an art-form, and for the unsuspecting audience, it is invisible. If you decide to be critical though, you will immediately see how thinly-veiled the propaganda is. Some of you might have heard about the recent high-speed rail crash in Spain, killing 69 people according to the latest count. The weird coincidence is that China’s Wenzhou crash was exactly 2 years ago. Below are two articles from CNN reporting on the crashes. On the right column is of China’s crash two years ago and on the left column is a recent coverage for Spain’s. Notice how the Spain article is about the accident while the article on China is a condemnation of China’s HRS and governance. CNN can find tons of criticism and dissatisfaction on Spain’s Internet too if it wants. Yes, right now. CNN can find critical things to write about the Spanish government: for example, Spain woefully under-funds its infrastructure. These are CNN’s explicit choices to make. See the glaring difference in the articles as a result of the choices CNN made. Welcome to “free” press.
|Report: Train derails in Spain, killing 69
By Al Goodman. Elwyn Lopez and Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN
updated 1:12 AM EDT, Thu July 25, 2013
|Chinese netizens outraged over response to fatal bullet train crash
By Steven Jiang, CNN
July 26, 2011 5:16 a.m. EDT
|Madrid (CNN) – A high-speed passenger train derailed as it hurtled around a curve in northwestern Spain on Wednesday, killing dozens and injuring more than 100, a regional official said.
By Thursday morning, the death toll had reached 69, Galicia regional government official Samuel Juarez told the Spanish newspaper El Pais.
Pictures of the scene showed a train car snapped in two and another car on fire. Rescue crews and fellow passengers pulled out bodies through broken windows and pried open doors as stunned survivors looked on. Police escorted bloodied passengers from the wreckage.
More than 20 injured victims remained in critical condition early Thursday, said Agustin Hernandez Fernandez of the Galicia infrastructure ministry.
State railway Renfe said the train crashed on a curve several kilometers from the train station in the city of Santiago de Compostela.
The train had 218 passengers aboard and was nearing the end of a six-hour trip from Madrid to the town of Ferrol in northwest Spain when it derailed at 8:41 p.m., the railway said.
It was unclear how fast the train was traveling when it crashed. The train was capable of going up to 250 kilometers per hour (155 mph), the chief spokesman for Renfe said.
Residents who lived near the tracks told the Voz de Galicia newspaper that they heard a thunderous bang when the train crashed. Many of them rushed to the area with blankets and bottled water for the injured, the newspaper reported.
“The train had broken in half. Some pieces were on top, some pieces were on the bottom,” said Ivette Rubiera Cabrera of Florida, who caught a glimpse of the wreckage while on a family vacation in Spain and sent photos to CNN’s iReport.
“It was quite shocking,” she said. “We had never seen anything like that. We had just been on the train last week.”
Oscar Mateos told Spain’s El Pais newspaper that he saw fellow passengers thrown to the ground, then tossed from one side of the train to the other.
“Help came in five minutes, but that time became an eternity,” he said. “I helped people get out with broken legs and many bruises.”
Alen Perez, 16, said he had been walking nearby and saw passengers helping each other out of the train.
Emergency vehicles swarmed the scene. There were several bodies on the ground, he said.
Photos he took of the crash site showed mangled pieces of a train car and black smoke billowing out of the wreckage.
Investigators are looking at all possible causes of the crash, a senior aide to Spain’s prime minister said Wednesday; their initial assessment is that it likely wasn’t the result of terrorism.
Renfe’s spokesman said he did not know how many crew members were aboard the train when it crashed. Normally there would be at least five crew members on a train like that, he said.
Firefighters, police and psychologists were at the scene, the Galicia government said in a statement. In Twitter posts, officials said blood donations were needed as a result of the crash.
Spain’s train infrastructure authority said it was investigating.
The crash occurred shortly before a large annual celebration was set to start in Santiago de Compostela, a popular tourist destination.
Local officials canceled festivities planned for Wednesday night and Thursday.
|Beijing (CNN) – Nationwide outrage continued Monday in China over the government’s response to a deadly bullet train collision last weekend, even as operations resumed on the affected high-speed rail lines.
A bullet train was struck from behind Saturday night by another train near Wenzhou in eastern Zhejiang province, killing at least 38 people — including two American citizens — and injuring almost 200. The first train was forced to stop on the tracks due to a power outage and the impact caused six cars to derail, including four that fell from an elevated bridge.
Although Chinese reporters raced to the scene, none of the major state-run newspapers even mentioned the story on their Sunday front pages. A user of Sina Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, first broke the story and increasingly popular social media outlets then provided millions of Chinese with the fastest information and pictures as well as the most poignant and scathing commentaries.
By the time the railway ministry held its first press conference more than 24 hours after the collision, the public had seen not just reports of passengers trapped inside dark trains or images of a mangled car dangling off the bridge — but also bulldozers crushing mangled cars that had fallen to the ground and burying the wreckage on site.
“How can we cover up an accident that the whole world already knew about?” said a defiant railway ministry spokesman Wang Yongping. “They told me they buried the car to facilitate the rescue effort — and I believe this explanation.”
Wang was terse when reporters asked him to explain the fact that a toddler girl was being pulled out of the wreckage alive 20 hours after the accident — and long after authorities declared no more signs of life in the trains.
“That was a miracle,” he said.
Blaming lightning strike-triggered equipment failure as the cause of the accident based on preliminary investigation, Wang put on a brave face on the safety of China’s controversial high-speed rail.
“Chinese technologies are advanced and we are still confident about that,” he said.
While some state media echoed Wang’s sentiment, many netizens questioned his every statement from the death toll to the cause and called him the face of a ministry mired in allegations of corruption and ineptitude.
“This land is a hotbed for the world’s most sprawling bureaucracy and most cold-blooded officials,” user “chenjie” wrote on Sina Weibo.
Netizens also dug up an old video clip showing the railway ministry’s chief engineer proudly telling state television in 2007 that China had developed modern technologies to ensure bullet trains never rear-end each other.
The quick sacking of three top local railway officials in Shanghai — who were in charge of the affected rail lines — failed to placate the public, either. The announced new Shanghai railway chief prompted more scorn than applause, as the replacement — the railway ministry’s chief dispatcher — was once demoted for his role in another fatal train accident in 2008 that killed 72 people.
In a user-generated opinion poll on Sina Weibo on the government’s handling of the accident, more than 90 percent of the 30,000 respondents chose the option “terrible — it doesn’t treat us as humans.”
Now the world’s second-largest economy, and flush with cash, China has built the world’s longest high-speed rail network — boasting more than 8,300 kilometers (5,100 miles) of routes — in a few short years. The government plans to pour over $400 billion into rail projects in the next five years.
The massive investment and rapid construction have long raised public doubts on the new lines’ safety and commercial viability. The skeptics’ voices became louder after the former railway minister — a champion of high-speed rail — was sacked for corruption early this year.
Even the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail — the ministry’s newest and proudest project — has broken down several times since its much-touted launch less than a month ago.
“It’s not the faster, the better,” Sun Zhang, a railway professor at Tongji University in Shanghai and a long-time railway ministry consultant, told CNN last month. “We have to take safety, economics and environmental impact into consideration.”
“Strategically we can talk about a great leap forward in the industry, but tactically we have to do things step by step,” he added.
Back online, many users — already jittery about safety in their daily life — now view China’s high-speed rail, long considered a symbol of the country’s fast rise, as a metaphor of its troublesome approach to development.
“This is a country where a thunderstorm can cause a train to crash, a car can make a bridge collapse and drinking milk can lead to kidney stones,” user “xiaoyaoyouliu” posted on Sina Weibo. “Today’s China is a bullet train racing through a thunderstorm — and we are all passengers onboard.”