Archive

Posts Tagged ‘media bias’

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?

Categories: Analysis, media Tags:

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…

American Public Media’s Marketplace casts doubt on China’s investment in Mongolia, what about America’s in Canada?

May 18th, 2012 2 comments

In this American Public Media’s Marketplace report (which I heard on NPR yesterday), reporter Rob Schmitz casts some doubts about China’s investments in Mongolia (podcast segment starts at 10:40 mark), especially with respect to recently discovered coal deposits. Of course, this is the same Rob Schmitz who exposed the Mike Daisey lies about working conditions at Foxconn. Schmitz is one of the best Western reporters covering China right now. I love listening to Marketplace and appreciate his work. Read more…

Categories: Analysis, media, News, politics Tags:

A few gripes with Tania Branigan’s Bo Xilai corruption piece

April 19th, 2012 38 comments

(Update 4/20/2012: see update section below with response from Branigan.)
There has been a lot of rumor mongering going on in the Western press about Bo Xilai and the alleged murder of British citizen Neil Heywood by his wife Gu Kailai. In an otherwise fairly well researched article by Guardian U.K. reporter, Tania Branigan, there were couple of crucial errors that were uncalled for. This scandal is indeed one about corruption. However, as Premier Wen recently said, corruption is the most critical problem China faces today. That view is unanimous across the whole country. Insinuating the Chinese government not sincere about it is ridiculous. Read more…

Virulent racism endemic in the western animal rights movement

March 15th, 2012 72 comments

This blog may be taken as a second part my Collective Defamation article (with possible further blogs in the future involving other kinds of anti-sinitic defamation). It is inspired by recent events blogged by Charles Liu. Another vicious slander that is common in the west is that the Chinese are a cruel people. The image is made visceral, rage inducing, when a cute animal is shown being killed or tortured. These kinds of images are often made focusing on Chinese people as the perpetrators. This is an effective image that serves to single out and dehumanize the Chinese as a group and it is very effective.

Read more…

Wen Jiabao Urges Political Reform and Praises Internet Criticism of Government

March 14th, 2012 6 comments

The Fifth Session of the 11th National People’s Congress (NPC) has just ended.  Here are two stories about Wen that I found interesting.  I have no personal insights beyond what is reported, but I thought it is helpful to bring attention to such stories to balance the distorted view in the West that the Chinese government somehow has in its DNA a fear of criticisms and a distrust of people and reforms. Read more…

Examining The Non-Existent “Rich Chinese Hunting Polar Bear” Story

March 13th, 2012 94 comments

Recently a story by Peter Simpson of Daily Mail UK made waves in the conservationist circle, that wealthy Chinese businessmen, as many as 100, are paying upwards of $80,000US to hunt endangered polar bears into extinction with this headline, “Rich Chinese Thrill Seekers Paying £50,000 for ‘trip of a lifetime…’ to kill endangered polar bears.”

The Daily Mail then followed up with an OpEd with the temerity to question how cruel the Chinese race is: “are the Chinese the cruelest race on earth?Read more…

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: “The danger of a single story”

March 13th, 2012 65 comments

Hat tip to reader, perspectivehere, in sharing this important perspective (through our Open Forum) from the continent of Africa, from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, where in this 20-minute talk to a TED audience, she warns against a dominant Western narrative about other peoples on the planet. It’s called, “The danger of a single story.” Adichie’s words must be spread. As perspective rightly noted:

This is one of the problems that Hidden Harmonies is trying to address is to present voices that are different from and challenge the one-sided stories we often see in the western media about China.

 

Read more…

U.S. Media Preparing Americans for Invasion of Iran

February 20th, 2012 7 comments

A U.S. or U.S.-backed attack on Iran seems to be a foregone conclusion if we simply look at how the U.S. media covers the issue. FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting) recently had this to report while looking at U.S. media, “Do TV Networks ‘Practice’ for War?

02/13/2012 by Peter Hart
Alexander Cockburn’s latest piece at CounterPunch (2/10/12) included this from a tipster:

I was visiting ABC News the other day to see a friend who works on graphics. When I went to his room, he showed me all the graphics he was making in anticipation of the Israeli attack on Iran; not just maps, but flight patterns, trajectories and 3-D models of U.S. aircraft carrier fleets. Read more…

Categories: Analysis, media, News, Opinion, politics Tags: ,

Listen up, Syria, Google wants you invaded

February 14th, 2012 9 comments

Well, at least indirectly. Google in its exit from the Chinese market for search tried to bolster it’s “do no evil” motto by trying to demonize China’s censorship laws. We have written quite a bit about Google in the past – some directly and others indirectly (see our other  ‘Google‘-tagged articles). In this article, I would like to simply show how Google participates (willfully or not makes no difference) in this one-sided mass barrage of attacks in the Western press against Syria. Read more…

Categories: Analysis, media, Opinion Tags: ,

The Economist and the South China Sea: It is “complex” if I can’t understand it

February 9th, 2012 17 comments

 

The Economist is often held prisoner by its own prejudice arising from its whatever-China-does-internationally-is-wrong stance, and a recent article on the South China Sea disputes proves it. Behold the latest offering from intellectual dungeons of the The Economist: “The devil in the deep blue detail”.

Sadly, but not surprisingly, the newspaper warns against the dangers of viewing the dispute through cold war lenses, and then proceeds to do exactly that.  In a nutshell, the article can be summed up as follows: China is the bad guy. (Of course, that applies to most articles about China that it publishes).

The Economist, it is time for a new editorial overhaul

January 26th, 2012 110 comments
The Economist recently announced a dedicated weekly section on China.  It said, China is the second country for them to have done this for, followed only by their singling out the United States since 1942.  In my view, the extra attention they give to ‘China’ as a topic is hardly going to help Westerners’ understanding of China.  Their editorial staff really needs an overhaul, as one of their reader observes:

You need an editor and staff with some personal background in China (and I don’t mean expats with Chinese spouses). You need better academic resources. And somehow you must all learn that western values are not universal values, and that all cultures are internally legitimate yet benefit from external contact. To fail in this regard will simply amplify existing cultural misunderstandings and cripple the great impending social and political globalizations that must follow the economic one already in progress.

The Economist’s coverage of China is bigoted, as exemplified by their debut article – which I am rebutting in this post (my rebuttal on the right).  If The Economist is genuinely interested in improving China for the Chinese, they’d be able to discuss the issues and policies specifically – not a wholesale rejection of the China ‘model.’ Read more…

Categories: Analysis, media Tags: ,

Five reasons why China will not invade Taiwan, and an analysis of Cross-strait Relations

January 24th, 2012 47 comments

‘So solidly built into our consciousness is the concept that China is conducting a rapacious and belligerent foreign policy, that whenever a dispute arises in which China is involved, she is instantly assumed to have provoked it.’

— Felix Greene, 1965.

When a superpower is engaging in full hegemonic and supercilious display, another country with slowly increasing economic clout and rising international status can raise apprehension. When countries are used to a bigger country that is settled for some years in a bullying position, someone starting to come close to that bully’s level of power, however remotely, has the potential to raise various concerns.

This rise is often wrongly construed as a zero-sum game – the newcomer challenging the bully’s position. In such a case, the existing bully, in its efforts to manipulate popular conceptions about the comparatively-unknown newcomer, will (hypocritically) spread the myth that the newcomer is, and always has been, overtly aggressive. If this myth-making and spreading is successful, even to a small extent, it can negate the effect that the newcomer might have in compensating for or balancing the bully’s hegemony and its hubris. The newcomer’s assurances about its peaceful rise will then be dismissed as deception. The focal point of the bully’s containment policy will be to encourage and manipulate various types of pawns against the newcomer. If such pawns already exist, then they will be fostered and strengthened, and in case they don’t, new ones will be created (Or as Stephen Walt terms it, “a competition for allies”).

Read more…

India v/s China: We’ve got Facebook! What’ve you got?

December 1st, 2011 70 comments

An interesting analysis in TIME magazine, to the extent that it tries to be an analysis:

And don’t forget to check out these two accompanying arguments, one for India and one for China:

I plan to blog about this general issue sometime soon. Right now however, I just can’t help commenting on just two points for the time being, particularly because many westerners have humongous misconceptions about these issues. Almost every article on the topic contains at least a reference to these two fallacious points.

Read more…

Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks

November 30th, 2011 2 comments

The TED interview below (video at the end of the post) was conducted in July 2010 with Julian Assange talking about the need for the public to keep an eye out for government conduct. Americans cherish freedom of the press, and by that, it is generally understood that the media’s job is to be the watchdog of the government and any other organization of power.

Do Americans have freedom of the press? I don’t think so. Or definitely not in function as how Americans understand their purpose to be. Assange is about to release a new documentary film criticizing the Western media. Referring to the New York Times, he said: Read more…

NYT says ‘Journalist Is Detained in China for Article on Sex Slaves,’ but journalist says not

September 27th, 2011 25 comments

The New York Times is at it again. For some recent expositions of their nutty ‘journalism’, make sure to also read:
1. “Fact Checking NYT’s Qi Chonghuai Jailed Journalist Story
2. “‘Catching Scent of Revolution, China Moves to Snip Jasmine’ – Retarded Government or Retarded NYT?

This time the NYT reporter, Andrew Jacobs, lies about a Chinese journalist being detained by Chinese police. How do we know? In fact, the journalist has come out to say that he wasn’t and that the NYT didn’t even interview him. Below is the NYT article and I show what a propaganda garbage it is. Read on. Read more…

Newsweek bottom-feeding

September 8th, 2011 40 comments

What is a bottom-feeder? It usually refers to some fish swimming and feeding at the bottom of a lake or river. Just imagine what generally falls to the bottom. This is what I think of whenever the Western press engages in putting the most fringe unto a pedestal and worships it.

Recently, Newsweek published an essay by Ai Weiwei titled, “The City: Beijing” with the byline, “Ai Weiwei finds China’s capital is a prison where people go mad.” Needless to say, this byline is stupid and so is the essay. I will get into that momentarily. Read more…

All your Schadenfreude are belong to us?

August 25th, 2011 143 comments

 

Lecturing others amounts to schadenfreude
Wait. What?

 

An interesting phenomenon seems to be in the air. With the current financial crisis in America and unrest in Britain, it appears that multiple western media outlets cannot resist the temptation to interpret China’s and other countries’ responses in terms of “schadenfreude“. Although not as amusing as accusing the politburo of smoking weed, it certainly has all the qualities that characterize the distinct flavours of garrulous western reporting about China and Asia in general.
In response to the crises in Washington, Xinhua, in a much cited phrase (One that the international media has gone completely gaga over), called upon the US to “cure its addiction to debt” . This was interpreted by The Economist as schadenfreude, claiming that “regional celebrations” have erupted in Asia over the debt crisis. Read more…

China pledges $55m in food aid to Horn of Africa

August 16th, 2011 23 comments

BEIJING (AFP) — China’s Premier Wen Jiabao on Monday pledged 353.2 million yuan ($55.3 million) in food aid to African countries suffering their worst drought in years.

Read more…

Propaganda sprinkling

August 14th, 2011 51 comments

After first reading this article from the Associated Press (echoed by the NPR), I thought, well, it seems to be all facts based. Over the years, I have come to realize critical thinking is required when consuming Western press. Read the left column through first before reading my comments on the right.  Try to ignore my highlighting.  Let me know if you think I am being too critical.  Did my points of contention jump out at you during your initial reading? Read more…

The Colbert Report, “Norwegian Muslish Guman’s Islam-Esque Atrocity”

July 28th, 2011 6 comments

A mentally retarded journalist, take 2

July 28th, 2011 23 comments

(Bad journalism on the left. Right column are Allen and my commentary on why. Fortunately, not all Brits are like this.) Read more…

A mentally retarded journalist

July 27th, 2011 26 comments

During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Chinese people complained too. You would just need to be able to read Chinese to see it. Doing so didn’t land them in jail as this Brit (I presume) claims in this piece, “London Games will outdo Beijing because of freedom.” Breaking Chinese law does. In referring to the 2012 London Olympics, and apparently feeling inadequate, this retarded journalist says:

But these will still be better Olympics — in some ways, they already are — because London has the key ingredient that Beijing sorely lacked to host truly soul-searing games: freedom.

Let’s not forget. U.K. is bombing Libya to “protect Libyans.” This author apparently have no idea what freedom from bombs mean. I truly wish for a successful London 2012. Using ‘freedom’ to fill your feelings of inadequacy? It’s like saying my penis doesn’t work, but I have a convertible made in the heavens. And, by the way, that heavenly convertible has a habit of running over people.

Categories: Opinion Tags: ,

Glenn Greenwald on Western media coverage of Oslo, ‘terrorism’ is not when the perp is White

July 25th, 2011 19 comments

[Update: Please see Wukailong remarks in the comments section. He is correct, and my fault for lumping Norwegian media into this supposed ‘Western’ media madness on this particular issue. To their credit, they are reporting the Oslo shooting and bombing as ‘terrorist’ acts.]

In looking at the New York Times coverage of the Oslo bombing and shooting, Glenn Greenwald sees ongoing pattern of attributing terrorism only to Muslims and not acts committed by the White. As I have written here about a year ago – “Harvard University study catches major U.S. media pants down – systematic reporting of U.S. waterboarding as not torture,” this sort of behavior is nothing new. Some may argue there is no conspiracy by the Western media for this sort of thing. Probably not. I often like to ask back – do racists need to conspire to commit racism? I don’t think so. Their public display emboldens each other for sure. Greenwald’s analysis below: Read more…

Reader cp on China and the West

July 21st, 2011 6 comments

Lately, we have focused on propaganda in the Western media. Reader cp made (what I think) are very measured and accurate characterizations of what is happening around us. It is short and to the point, and I simply want to highlight it. As many here have argued in the past, these type of issues need to be discussed in the public. Comedians bring awareness to social issues through satire. Mark Twain challenge prevailing racist attitudes through his novel, “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Though this blog may sound ‘serious,’ we feel it is critically important for everyone to wake up and recognize the nature of Western capitalistic media. This is not about choosing sides. Rather, it is about not letting ourselves to be further polarized. Read more…

Categories: Analysis, media, Opinion Tags: ,

Propaganda? NPR reports, “Dalai Lama Wanted ‘To Show An Old Friend’s Face'”

July 19th, 2011 57 comments

The Dalai Lama recently met with U.S. President Obama and news of it made headlines both in China and in the West.  I want to first address this point made by some that China shouldn’t make a big deal out of this meeting, because after all, China recently met with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and the U.S. made no objections.  That is a faulty comparison, because the Dalai Lama is likely visiting the U.S. to secure his annual funding for the TGIE, and in contrast, al-Bashir is not trying to split off any portion of the U.S.. Read more…

Categories: Analysis, News, Opinion Tags: ,