Boing Boing quoted a number of bloggers and news sources about the unrest in Tibet. Particularly interesting was the report of a reader named Adam who was (is?) there. Adam writes,
The China Daily newspaper I grabbed from the lounge has a small article on the bottom of the front page, titled “Dalai Lama behind sabotage”, and states that his “clique” has “organized, premeditated, and masterminded” the beatings, looting, and arson, which “has aroused the indignation of, and is strongly condemned by, the people of all ethnic groups in Tibet.”
Seriously? I’ve seen press-releases run as news stories, or thinly veiled opinion-pieces run as news, but this really takes the cake. There’s nothing thinly veiled about this.
Curious, I looked up the China Daily and am still quite surprised that the above quote barely hints at how plainly manipulative the Chinese press is. Not only that, but it’s remarkably obvious and ham-fisted in the way it attempts to manipulate the public.
The first China Daily story about Tibet I see linked from their homepage is titled “Dalai coterie’s secessionist attempts doomed to fail.” Is it doomed to fail because of something the article’s author discovered after some crack investigative reporting? Of course not. It’s doomed to fail because the government says so. The lead paragraph does not sum up the core of the story, as is typical in a western news story. Remarkably thin of facts, the lead spares no time shoveling on the propaganda:
Memories of horror were alive again. Rioting that erupted in Lhasa on Friday resembled two previous riots in 1959 and 1989, only in its cruelty and always indisputable links to peace-preaching Dalai Lama.
You can bet that when the government doesn’t give the facts and instead claims their conclusions are indisputable, the conclusion can certainly be disputed, or is a complete fabrication.
Thank goodness the government forces are there to take care of the people.
Throughout the incident, Lhasa police officers exercised great restraint. They remained patient, professional and were instructed not to use force. In humanitarian spirit, they even rescued the malicious monks who attempted sensation through hurting themselves. But such restraint was met with even more malice.
I’ve read reports of more than ten thousand Chinese troops entering Tibet. Goodness knows they’ll need overwhelming numbers if they’re not using force. They’re all such nice guys though:
Young officers — fathers, husbands and brothers — were stoned, lunged, stabbed and clubbed, like any other innocent victim. Twelve of them were badly injured, two of them critical.
I can almost hear songs of togetherness, self-sacrifice, and protecting the motherland.
It gets worse, however. The author of the article isn’t credited, likely because of his or her weak grasp on reality.
It has been the common understanding of the international community that Tibet is an inseparable part of China. No country in the world recognizes the so-called “Tibetan government-in-exile”. The series of farces and sabotages by the Dalai clique were strongly opposed by the international community.
I’m thinking the author thinks the term ‘the international community’ actually refers to the Chinese government. The only people I know who believe the Chinese propaganda are themselves from China, recently arrived in Canada.
It’s pretty clear that the article is pure propaganda, written for Chinese consumption. The only thing that surprises me is that they’d publish it for the international community to see. It might work on people who have always had their news fabricated and provided with conclusions so the reader doesn’t have to worry their little head about it, but looking at it with western eyes makes me a little embarrassed on China’s behalf. Over the top satire is more credible than what the Chinese government tries to pass off as news.
I guess this is what happens when the government controls the news. There’s no need to spin what others are reporting, because they’re the only game going. They can just say whatever they want.
Let me leave you with the last paragraph of the story:
All these facts have come to say and will continue to prove that the Dalai group’s ill-willed attempts to destabilize Tibet, in whatever forms, will not succeed, since such efforts go against the popular will of the international community and 2.8 million people in the Tibet Autonomous Region.
See? All is well. Now just put it out of your head and the government will take care of you. Your betters will do all of your thinking for you so you can get back to work and not worry about it.