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Posts Tagged ‘media bias’

Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t

August 22nd, 2017 3 comments

We have talked aboDamn Chinese Suppliers, Damn Chinese Consumersut media bias against China, Chinese culture, and Chinese people a lot here.  Almost every day, you hear stories about how China is doing illicit things … or creating demands for illicit products.

We hear about China polluting the world, “flooding” the world with steel or solar panels or electronics or toys, etc. Of course, we rarely hear about the social good the world reaps with China’s “cheap” steel, solar panels, or electronics …

And when it’s not China doing bad things, we hear how China is making others do bad things.  We hear for example how China creates illicit demand for shark fins, ivory, rhino horns, etc.  The poachers become the victims when it comes to China. There are no evil poachers à la say evil “drug growers” and “drug dealers” in Mexico or Columbia supplying illicit drugs to the U.S. …. just bad Chinese consumers.

The world is rarely about saints and villains, but the West almost always caricatures China in those terms.  If China is involved in any way in a problematic supply chain, the fault is placed squarely on the Chinese.  Such reflexes are so ingrained that people often do it without even thinking about it.

The following screen shot is taken from Asia Times, not the most anti-Chinese publication per se.  But it’s noteworthy in the sense that rarely do I find a publication that unabashedly blames China on both the demand as well as supply side on the same page.

It’s truly damned if you do, damned if you don’t…

 

The Presstitute Exposed

March 10th, 2017 No comments

This blog was started to counter Western Media Bias.  But overtime, I realized it’s not about “bias” – but also misinformation – or disinformation.  Getting to the bottom of it requires not only facts but also attacking the most cherished ideologies of the West.

At times we succeeded, but for the most part, I think we fell short – way short.

Now – we have found an unlikely ally in the U.S. President.  With “fake news” “mainstream” reporting now much in the public eyes, I see finally some Americans – even some parts of the U.S. media – at least alternative voices such as infowars.com, counterpunch, Norm Chomsky, “truth in media,” naturalnews, and Lew Rockwell – waking up.

Here is an article from Global Research that I like titled Joining the Dots: Why the Establishment Hates Donald Trump.

There is so much I can write drawing from real life examples about how crazily dishonest yet effective Western media is.  I will have to find time…

Western Media’s Monkey Business

February 19th, 2016 2 comments

Happy Year of the Monkey everyone. Sadly the first monkey related blogpost on HH is about Western media’s on going monkey business when it comes to China reporting.

For 2016, the first salvo is about the shameless nouveau riche of China illegally owning endangered “thumb monkey” of Amazon:

MetroHeadline

However quick Google fact check revealed this story is, again, monkey business. Here are some facts about “thumb monkey”, aka “pocket monkey”, aka “pygmy marmoset”:

1) Contrary to condemnation, pygmy marmoset is not endangered or threatened. IUCN conservation status for pygmy marmoset is it’s not threatened in any major way:

Least Concern – Lowest risk; does not qualify for a higher risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category

Seems some just noticed IUCN had a Red List publication for pygmy marmoset and assumed it is endangered, without scrutinizing what the Red List publication actually said:

pygmymarmoset

2) Pygmy marmoset is available for sale in US and UK as pet. Google “pet pygmy marmoset” showed some very ordinary stuff on permitting, sales, and care of this creature. This one I’m most incredulous about – would an endangered spices be so readily available for sale in enlightened first world nations?

In contrast, Google pygmy marmoset with keyword “China” revealed a multitude of vitriol against the evil Chinese, on behalf of this suddenly poor, endangered species. Even worse when adding the keyword “endangered” (note the article count actually goes up):

pygmymarmosetendangered

3) Another fallacy is that pygmy marmoset is illegal in China. Actually importation of exotic mammals are legal in China, subject to quarantine and permitting regulations. It is illegal to circumvent quarantine (which unscrupulous vendors in China, as well as US, UK, do.) Here’s what China’s regulation on Wildlife Domestication and Rearing Permit says:

第三条 具备下列条件的单位和个人,可以申请《驯养繁殖许可证》:
(一) 有适宜驯养繁殖野生动物的固定场所和必需的设施;
(二) 具备与驯养繁殖野生动物种类、数量相适应的资金、人员的技术;
(三) 驯养繁殖野生动物的饲料来源有保证。

Article 3 Qualification For Business Entity and Individual To Apply “Wild Life Domesticaiton and Rearing Permit”:
(1) Having permanent location, appropriate and necessary facility, equipment for domestication and rearing the wild animal;
(2) Possessing needed capital, expertise, for domestication and rearing the wild animal;
(3) Gauranteed food supply for domestication and rearing the wild animal.

Here’s a very recent coverage about a company in Hangzhou importing small monkeys, and monkeys passing their 30-day quarantine.

Monkey business, or business as usual? You decide.

Categories: Analysis, media Tags: ,

So China is Doomed Because of a 30% market crash … ?

July 16th, 2015 11 comments

gay men in paradeThe news is abuzz with China’s recent stock market crash.  The naysayers are all coming out.  Not that they were ever hiding, but now it’s a parade – with horns and drums to toot!

Some reports are however darn right silly.  For example in this CNBS report titled How China might have given itself a black eye, a reporter would first accuse China of committing the sin of fighting in vain against market forces, then accusing China of not being able to do enough.

Then there are outlets like Wall Street Journal pronouncing China is doomed to fail, and then a few days later pronouncing everything is fine. There are of course also those who swear that they had foreseen the crash all along, for umpteenth obvious reasons.

Here is my take. Read more…

Xinjiang in the News Again … as Political Islam is Ignored Yet Again

June 25th, 2015 14 comments

So Xinjiang in on the Western news again.  In the last few days, articles have appeared at Reuters, Wall Street Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, to name just a few…

Here is an excerpt from the Christian Science Monitor: Read more…

The True Face of “Occupy Central With Peace And Love” Western Media Self-Censored

December 20th, 2014 3 comments

Besides the romantic, simplified “freedom” Official Narrative that framed the biblical David against Goliath story onto the Occupy Central protesters, seemingly for the purpose of indoctrinating media consumers in the West – is anything being left out?

Here, not so elegantly, are some raw YouTube clips – Occupy Central’s “peace and love” our supposedly free and objective media has choose to self-censor.

(Note: if youtube doesn’t work for you, scroll down to the bottom of post to get the videos we hosted here).

Foul-mouthed protester threatening people who disagrees:

Read more…

The Soft-power of Hong Kong Protesters – Freedoms not enjoy by American, Britain, Canadian and Australian

November 5th, 2014 6 comments

Hong Kong protest images not shown by Western media

Above Picture: Images of so-called “pro-democracy” protesters in Hong Kong ignored by the Western media

In a recent international human rights forum at Oslo where Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning and other jailed Occupy Wall Street protesters such as Cecily McMillan were not invited,  BBC report (21 Oct. 2014) revealed that, “it is an open secret at this meeting … that plans were hatched for the demonstrations (in Hong Kong) nearly two years ago … perhaps more than 1,000 of them have been given specific training to help make the campaign as effective as possible.”  The forum is filled exclusively by well funded non-western “dissidents” demonstrating no interest in echoing the voices of the 5,500 anti-US military protesters in Okinawa;  or the suffering of the victims of U.S. nuclear tests in the Pacific without compensation; or the extrajudicial killing of almost a thousand unarmed civilians and children within five years by U.S. drones operation in Pakistan alone.  The protesters in Hong Kong enjoyed an overwhelming support from the Oslo Freedom Forum, while  the death of 5,000 civilians across America since 9/11 by the brutal and trigger happy U.S. police forces were ignored.    Read more…

Umbrella Revolution and Authoritarianism with Chinese Characteristics

October 10th, 2014 8 comments

Hong Kong’s Umbrella Freedom Fighters can’t possibly be fighting for “freedom” in one of the most indulging communities on earth; it’d be like fish keep asking for more salt in the ocean. If succeeded, it’d turn them into anchovies.

A popular reason cited by supporters is that China’s an authoritarian state, therefore to be loathed unconditionally. Anyone who reads mainstream newspapers would know that much. If this fear is indeed the real cause, I’d like to take this opportunity to examine China’s authoritarianism by reviewing some known facts:

1) In 1949, when the Communist Party took over, average life expectancy in China was about thirty-five, illiteracy was 80%, and GDP was lower than Qing Dynasty’s. After a century of pillage and plunder by colonial powers, the country was struggling to recover from near-fatal wounds inflicted by opium, corruption, barbaric invasions and civil wars. Sixty-five years on, it’s the world’s second largest economy. In the past thirty years, the miraculous transformation (GDP growth, productivity, urbanisation of population etc.) of this continent-sized country is comparable to (relatively tiny) Britain’s evolution after the industrial revolution, which took about 200 years. Martin Jacques’ book contains a lot of hard data for comparison, in plain English (<a href="http://www.martinjacques.com/books/when-china-rules-the-world/"). However, economic development isn’t everything. It shouldn’t be.
Read more…

Western Media’s Pervasive Bias Against China Today

October 4th, 2014 7 comments

Zack recently pointed out in the open thread the following article by Stephen Harner that accurately – though not necessarily exhaustively – hit on so many points on what is wrong with the Western press, which I quote in full:

Dealing With the Scourge of “Schadenfreude” in Foreign Reporting on China
Stephen Harner, Former US State Department Official
October 3, 2014

Stephen-HarnerWhy are we so often disturbed by Western media reporting and analysis of China? Why does reading commentary of China’s economy, foreign relations, politics, and society leave us feeling emotionally abused, injured, or even angry and resentful?
I believe our reactions are a response to the pervasive, ugly, and malevolent, but largely unnoticed element of schadenfreude in this commentary.  It is our natural revulsion to writing and thinking that is anti-humanistic, hostile, and harmful.

Schadenfreude is a German-origin term defined by the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary as  “a feeling of pleasure at the bad things that happen to other people.”  Schadenfreude is rarely expressed plainly, or in relation to a specific event or situation.  Rather, it is an attitude and bias that disparages achievements, discredits sincerity, and hopes for failure.

We see this vile sentiment often in Western media coverage of news events, in reporting on Chinese business, and particularly in analysis and commentary on policies, plans, and initiatives of the government and the Communist Party.

Read more…

Categories: aside Tags:

Are the Occupy Protesters really about “Democracy”?

September 30th, 2014 21 comments

false_godsAs the Occupy protests continue in Hong Kong, articles, editorials and op-eds in the Western press continue to characterize the conflict as one between those in Hong Kong demanding “real democracy” and Beijing reneging on its promise of “universal suffrage” under “one country two systems.” Western media and leaders – including the New York Times Editorial Board and President Obama, for example – have all but argued that “universal suffrage” in Hong Kong means that Beijing should have no say in determining which candidates are eligible to run for elections … that the system China has proposed is but a “charade” of democracy.

But does this narrative hold any water?

A quick glance at history and Article 45 of the Hong Kong’s Basic Law is revealing. Read more…

What is Your Take on Hong Kong Police Breaking Up Protesters Occupying Government Buildings and Public Spaces?

September 28th, 2014 23 comments

The news of Hong Kong Police using tear gas to disperse crowds aimed at occupying government buildings and public spaces to protest against Beijing rules on how Hong Kong residents vote for its next leaders are plastered on the first page of all the major news site today.

The Wall Street Journal, for example, has this story.

HONG KONG—In the harshest response against protesters in Hong Kong in nearly a decade, police used pepper spray and several rounds of teargas to disperse pro-democracy crowds blocking traffic on some of the city’s busiest streets.

An effort by police to keep protesters away from government buildings appeared to backfire on Sunday. As police converged on the scene and protesters spread out from its center, the conflict spread across three of Hong Kong’s most important commercial neighborhoods.

When police started lobbing tear gas at the crowd, protesters dispersed but quickly regrouped and retook some ground. They ignored police signs telling them to leave and used metal barricades to prevent officers from moving them away.

Late Sunday evening, thousands of protesters were still spread through downtown Hong Kong, and police continued to pour into the area. But the Hong Kong Federation of Students around 10:10 p.m. started urging protesters to leave, citing a fear that police would start using tactics such as firing rubber bullets. Read more…

Malaysia Airline MH370 – American Media Fanning the Flame Wars

April 22nd, 2014 5 comments

MH370 SearchApril 15 is tax day for most Americans.  It is the deadline for Americans – rich or poor – to file and pay their taxes.  But this year, it appears, it is also smear China day.  You may think with so much things going on in the world, things to do, that perhaps for this one day, China might be spared unnecessary smearing.  But it is not to be so.

Last week, on April 15, both New York Times and Wall Street Journal ran two underhanded articles on China, assigning the blem for the unfruitful search for missing Malaysian airline MH370 squarely on China.  Both papers reported that China was in big on the search for MH370 not necessarily because a majority of the victims were Chinese citizens, but really because Chinese leaders wanted to show off their new technology wares – to grab the International spotlight to to show off.  Unfortunately, the Chinese bumbling not only made China look bad, but may have actually stymied the search. Read more…

Fact Checking US Government Propaganda On Maoming PX Protest Death

April 3rd, 2014 5 comments

It is often said Chinese government propaganda like Xinhua, People’s Daily, are highly agendaed and utterly unreliable. But how about America’s government propaganda? Here’s a recent example as illustration.

Recently, news of protesters killed in Maoming over a chemical plant made suspicious rounds – only in the usual propaganda outlets, Radio Free Asia, Voice of America, and ancillary outlets like Epoch Times, Boxun. These accusations of Chinese government killing protesters were accompanied with photos of citizen laying on the ground bleeding. However, a quick Google image-based search revealed these photos are not from the PX plant protest, but were victims of violent crime elsewhere in China:

RFA used a photo from a hacking attack that occurred in 2012, and was subsequently regurgitated by Falun Gong outlets like Epoch Times:

RFAprop Wenzhoutruth

VOA used a photo from a hacking attack that occurred in 2013 that was then Echo Chambered by Boxun:

VOAprop Qinhaitruth

As a loyal tax payers I am completely disappointed by how my hard earned tax dollars are misused.

On Yemen drone strikes and U.S. mainstream and social media

August 12th, 2013 7 comments

For those of you who pay attention to the news, the United States have stepped up drone strikes recently, including many in Yemen. It is interesting to observe how the U.S. and British media report on such strikes and their damages. CNN headlined those killed as, “militants.” Reuters, “suspected militants.” Bloomberg, “Al-Qaeda Suspects.” U.K’s BBC, “militants.”

Except, according to Press TV, an Iranian-based station, “US drones kill mostly civilians in Yemen.”

So, what is the real truth? Difficult to know isn’t it? However, as FAIR.org recently argued, the U.S. mainstream media are basically letting U.S. government officials decide who the casualties are and never bother to find out: Read more…

How CNN uses disaster to propagandize against a government

July 24th, 2013 26 comments

(最近,一些中国朋友对这篇文章表示兴趣。我简单解释。两年前,中国温州有高铁遇意外。最近,西班牙的高铁也有意外。右边的CNN报告是关于中国的意外。左边是报西班牙的。这两篇文章非常清楚。CNN关于中国文章的目的是骂中国。不像西班牙的报告, 唯一关于意外。这是他们的宣传技巧。这是西方媒体的宣传技巧。他们不希望中国高铁进入他们的市场。中国人,行业,社会,政府都需要被他们骂的臭臭的。)
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.
Read more…

Categories: Analysis Tags: , , , ,

Opinion: China’s Acquisition of Smithfield Is A National Security Threat To America

May 30th, 2013 5 comments

[Please note this OpEd does not reflect the opinion of Hidden Harmonies, or even the author. It is a summarized survey of media coverage and netter comments in America.]

After getting their communist hands caught in the cookie jar with cyber espionage and covert theft of our technology and IP, the sneaky Communist Chinese are shifting tactics and resorting to overt acquisition of our safe, efficient pig husbandry and processing technologies to save their crumbling communist pork industry rife with disease, contamination, poison, censorship, lack of freedom.

They have to be stopped. Write to your congressman, boycott Communist-China-made products and turncoats who sell out to the communists. Burn all your possessions contaminated with Communist-China-made parts, like you and your neighbor’s cars (especially if they are ChiComs.) The evil Communist Chinese even force-feed Tibetan babies rotten pork (Tibetans abstain from pork as muslins) while wrapping them in flea blankets infested with smallpox.

Communist China is evil, we are great, USA, USA, USA…

Signed,

Freedom loving, patriotic but not nationalistic, America

Opinion: Why There Is So Much Pro-War Reporting in the West? A Comment on Bloggers, Tyranny, and the Fourth Estate

May 19th, 2013 10 comments

Once in a while one runs into articles that seem to fly against convention wisdom, that seem to tear at the veil of world injustice, that seem to open one’s eyes to provide insight into the causes of so many of today’s ills. This article titled Why There is So Much Pro-War Reporting from “the Big Picture” blog is one of them.

In reading this article, I note how the article also parallel a lot of what Norm Chomsky (Manufacturing Consent) and David Swanson (War is a Lie) have written about pro war sentiments.  Yet, I still feel that this article is flawed in so many ways.  We are only scratching at the surface of, not diving deep into, the problem.

The article points to 5 major reasons why free media is not so free, and why it’s so pro-war. Read more…

Hollywood has underwent self-censorship training, so should Feng Xiaogang

April 18th, 2013 38 comments

Western narrative likes to pit Chinese against China’s government censorship.  In accepting the director of the year award, Feng Xiaogang (冯小刚) publicly lamented the difficulties he faced in complying with Chinese censors.  What Feng and the 10,000-some people who retweeted him on weibo (sizable, but not that big a deal given the 500 million+ users) need to realize is that Hollywood will never make blockbusters about innocent Iraqi’s or Afghani’s and other innocent civilians killed in America’s drone strikes.  Hollywood will never do a lot of things.  All Feng needs to do is to ask his Hollywood friends to make a list, then he will understand perhaps what he has to put up with is not all that bad.  Don’t get me wrong.  All societies practice censorship.  The simple truth is really just that some societies simply have thick skin like the fattest pig and feel no embarrassment wagging fingers at others.

Life in flames: The story behind Tibetan self-immolation (Xinhua News)

April 3rd, 2013 7 comments

(It’s worth noting that Gady Epstein of The Economist calls this video, “remarkable propaganda document.” If you think about it, that’s a wholesale rejection of the Chinese point of view. This is politics. But, then, don’t forget that The Economist and other Western media self-proclaim to be “free.” According to their definition, Western journalism is supposed to be about presenting differing perspectives. That’s rubbish. As regular readers of Hidden Harmonies know, Western media is every bit about propaganda as much as anything else.)

CNN and Financial Times spin news of China topping U.S. in importing oil as shake up to geopolitics of natural resources

March 4th, 2013 10 comments

CNN recently repeated an article from Financial Times on the news China has temporarily overtaken the United States as the world’s largest net oil importer. In spinning this news, their narrative went as follows:

“China has overtaken the US as the world’s largest net importer of oil, in a generational shift that will shake up the geopolitics of natural resources.”

First of all, China offers a lesson to the world, and especially to the NATO countries. You can become the world’s #1 net importer of oil without invading and occupying countries. You simply trade. China just did it. And, the last time I checked, it doesn’t appear China is upsetting any geopolitics. Is China kicking out American bases anywhere for oil? Nope. America may withdraw some ships from the region because America is becoming less dependent on Middle East oil, but that is on America’s own accord. So, all we have here is CNN and Financial Times agitating fear within the American public; corporate media and military industrial complex on display.

A powerful infographic of America’s inequality perception gap

March 3rd, 2013 6 comments

Back in October 4, 2011, I predicted the Occupy Wall Street movement would fizzle, simply because the U.S. corporate media were not behind it. pug_ster argued Obama’s first term supporters were starting to become disillusioned, “Just today the Unions, Moveon.org and many other left groups whom have supported Obama in the past are joining this protest.” While true, I still think U.S. media propaganda is too strong. For sure, they talk about the wealth gap in this country. However, their narratives in painting a more dire picture abroad and not pushing the Occupy’s narratives domestically allows a skewed view to fester within the American public. The following short video does an exceptional job in explaining this perception versus reality gap in America.

Chinese hackers hacking Western journalists to want to know what they THINK about China?

January 31st, 2013 4 comments

What’s the most absurd nonsense that’s out there in the American press lately? Now that the Wall Street Journal has jumped into the fray, asserting, “Chinese Hackers Hit U.S. Media,” I thought the paper would at least cite some hard evidence. Alas, no. Instead, when you see the whole article premised on “people familiar with incidents said” or “several people familiar with the response to the cyberattacks said,” well, what can you say? Perhaps there is a career in journalism in quoting cats and dogs too. But I must give the WSJ credit for interviewing Chinese Embassy spokesman Geng Shuang, who condemned the allegations: “It is irresponsible to make such an allegation without solid proof and evidence. The Chinese government prohibits cyberattacks and has done what it can to combat such activities in accordance with Chinese laws.”
Read more…

Categories: Analysis, media Tags:

Savaged Again, Understanding the BBC’s Role

November 27th, 2012 No comments

Copyright, Truthout.org. Reprinted with permission.

Savaged Again, Understanding the BBC’s Role
Monday, 26 November 2012 09:20
By John Pilger, Truthout | Op-Ed

In the Middle East, the Israeli state has successfully intimidated the BBC into presenting the theft of Palestinian land and the caging, torturing and killing of its people as an intractable “conflict” between equals. Understanding the BBC as a pre-eminent state propagandist is on no public agenda and it ought to be.
Read more…

National Geographic gets in on anti-China defamation

October 15th, 2012 21 comments

Criticism of China’s high-speed rail development is rampant, but I must take exception to Ian Johnson’s recent piece in the National Geographic. Before his article even begins, the defamatory lede reads: “Engineering blitzkrieg continues despite financial and human toll.” For Westerners, ‘blitzkrieg’ conjures Nazi aggression during WW2 as they trampled their way around Europe in domination. America’s NASA program had her human toll too in the Challenger disaster in 1986. I wonder if Johnson would dare to characterize the U.S. shuttle program as “engineering blitzkrieg.” Read more…

Riots in Assam

August 16th, 2012 19 comments

There has been terrible violence in India’s Assam region recently and the violence has spread to other parts of India.  Since this is a blog on China, not India, I am not going to dig too much into the cause or even meaning of the riots.  But I do want to point out the relatively “favorable” coverage India is getting.

In almost all reports I see, India is cast as the force of stability (and humanity), with the forces of conniving politicians and ethnic-based politics the root of instability.  By comparison, when ethnic violence occurs in China, the opposite story is told, with ethnic-based politics held in high regard (under the guise of “human rights”) and any efforts to stabilize the situation seen as somehow oppressive and barbaric.

You see this fairly uniformly across Western media in all Western countries, including even self-professed “independent” news sources such as the global post.  Here is a recent article global post had on Tibetan self immolations – which place the blame squarely on China.  The Tibetans who burned themselves – and by extension the Tibetans who rioted in 2008 – were seen as oppressed people who had a right to riot, to fight back and were cheered on for their presumptive courage. There was never a reference to the official Chinese perspective on what’s really going on. Read more…

The Political Olympics

August 9th, 2012 27 comments

As the Olympics wind down in London, there can be little doubt in anyone’s mind that this Olympics is about politics.  How else can one explain the string of smears against Chinese athletes and their performances – coming from unexpected sources such as the prestigious journal of Nature – all in the name of “science and objectivity” – as well as expected sources such as the NY Times – where personal tragic setbacks such as Liu Xiang’s can be made into a kind of political statement?

Nature’s article on Ye Shiwen was especially troublesome.  The editors of Nature wrote:

At the Olympics, how fast is too fast? That question has dogged Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen after the 16-year-old shattered the world record in the women’s 400-metre individual medley (400 IM) on Saturday. In the wake of that race, some swimming experts wondered whether Ye’s win was aided by performance-enhancing drugs. She has never tested positive for a banned substance and the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday declared that her post-race test was clean. The resulting debate has been tinged with racial and political undertones, but little science. Nature examines whether and how an athlete’s performance history and the limits of human physiology could be used to catch dopers.

Nature then went through the “science” of how unusual, super-human Ye’s performance and how a clean drug test during competition does not necessarily rule out the possibility of doping. Read more…

Ye Shiwen follow-up: media scorecard (BBC & New York Times)

August 9th, 2012 28 comments

First, let me emphasize that I don’t believe or even suspect the 800m freestyle Olympic gold medal winner Kathie Ledecky is doping.  Yes, she came from nowhere (ranked #55 in 2011) and had a huge one-year improvement (4.2%), but these aren’t unheard of for teenagers.  For example, the 2004 200m backstroke gold medal winner, Zimbabwean Kristy Coventry had the similar trajectory (ranked #19 in 2003 and one-year time improvement was also 4.2%).  Compare to Ye who was fairly well known prior to the Games, they truly came from nowhere and had much larger one-year improvement (Ye’s one-year improvement was 1.9%.).

While on the topic of suspicion of doping, I am having a hard time to believe Carmelita Jeter is clean.  Jeter’s personal best of 100 meter dash was at age 26 11.48”, at age 27 11.02”, and she has managed to improve to 10.64” at age 32.

The purpose of this post is examining the coverage of Ye and Ledecky by a couple of major Western media outlets, and scoring them in terms of being fair and balanced.

 

BBC – A

It aired the viewpoint of John Leonard; it also aired the rebuttals by Ye, her team and her Australian coach.

It reported the WADA test result as it is, and Lord Moynihan’s view.

Its guest commentator Ian Thorpe offered his defense of Ye.

At the end, with all information available so far, it has done a couple of fine pieces of summary reports (report A, report B).  Also the pictures of Ye Shiwen aren’t the unflattering ones, certainly not PS’d.

 

New York Times – F

What an embarrassment of horrendous journalistic integrity!  I know New York Times has sunk into hell, but I simply can’t imagine it can sink this low.

Like everybody else, it provided a stage for John Leonard’s viewpoint.  It made no mention of the rebuttals, but had no problem of summarizing the reactions by the Chinese media and the public — in its twisted way I might add.  It didn’t report the WADA test result, or Moynihan’s defense, or Ian Thorpe’s defense, or Michael Phelps’ defense of Ye.  It also didn’t report the doping questions being raised on Ledecky because of her improvement being far better than Ye’s.

Finally, check this piece out. Like the great Ludacris asked, how low can you go?

Categories: Analysis, media Tags: ,

The Tragicomedy of Errors: China, British Imperialism, and the Opium Wars

July 30th, 2012 21 comments

  Julia Lovell, in her new book The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams and the Making of China, finds something funny in the tragedy

Great Britain has many reasons to feel great about itself. Its empire was the largest in history and covered over a fifth of the world’s population. It had more Asian and African colonies than any other European power. It came, it saw, it divided, and it conquered. It raped and it reaped, gleefully slaughtered millions of people, joyfully massacred entire populations, regularly caused civil wars, flattened countless cities and towns, and destroyed whole civilizations and dynasties with pleasure. It sucked the life out of its colonies and reduced them to what we now call third-world nations. It drew and redrew boundaries and created whole new countries randomly on a whim. Most of the conflicts in the world today can be traced back to British Imperialism – the Kashmir issue and India-Pakistan rivalry, the Sino-Indian border dispute and India-China rivalry, the Tibet issue, the Israel-Palestine conflict, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Sudan – the list goes on.

Yes – Great Britain had reason to feel greatly proud about itself. It had the largest empire in the world. It had managed to keep it’s European competitors in check. There was no known threat to its global dominion. It seemed that Great Britain was destined to rule the world.

And then it all came tumbling down. Sometime in the past century, the great Island Story crumbled to pieces, and the empire followed. Slowly but surely, the empire on which “the sun never sets” went out like a cigar puff. Today it finds itself with as much geopolitical influence as an American missile base. Once great, Great Britain is now America’s top bitch – a tart of a nation that can be ordered to suck America’s coattails whenever required. The relationship between the two countries is much like that between a dog and its master, or as they call it in public, a “special relationship“. Read more…

An irony for Asia Society

June 29th, 2012 12 comments

An Asia Society piece here with three experts weighing in on the 15th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong. Winston Lord, Orville Schell, and Jeffrey Wasserstrom are all individuals we can respect. What struck me really, really hard was that they were talking about press freedom. Wait a minute! How about adding a Chinese perspective there, say, from Eric X Li? Then, that’d make it 1 out of 4 being a China voice. Still, that’d be 3 Americans versus 1 Chinese. I guess they never thought of that. Does “freedom of the press” = balanced perspectives?

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The New Yorker throws stone in a glass house

June 18th, 2012 14 comments

In this recent article at the New Yorker, Evan Osnos insinuates Chinese companies ultimately cannot be trusted because their relationship with the government cannot be known for certain. His entire article basically boils down to the following:

Part of the complexity about being a big Chinese company is that it’s not clear what information related to your relationship with the government counts as a secret.

I guess China could simply declare Apple has a secret spy chip implanted on behalf of the NSA in every iPhone. No evidence required. Therefore, Apple should be blocked in China and around the world. Imagine a Chinese journalist writes, “part of the complexity about Apple’s relationship with the NSA is you don’t know what counts as a secret.” The secret is so secretive, we can’t find anything! Hence it’s complex. What idiocy. Does that even make sense? Read more…