龙信明 BLOG     Global Edition              Shanghai Diary     Watching China

The North American Media in the World Today

  • Some Examples of Western Media Transgressions

  • A Typical Case of Deliberately Misleading News

  • A lawyer in China had accumulated some fame by defending what we might call 'personal rights' victims, and this man was recently arrested and jailed.  His story was widely reported in the US press, and presented as a victim of an 'authoritarian' government suppressing not only rights victims but those who defend the downtrodden.  In fact, it was presented that his arrest was BECAUSE he had defended personal rights victims.  In the NYT and Canada's Globe & Mail, it was only the very last sentence in the article that made passing mention of some 'tax problem'.

    In fact, this lawyer and some associates had for years been conducting a wide-ranging tax evasion scheme involving hundreds of millions of RMB in fake tax receipts and were finally caught and arrested.  But all reports I saw in the US press deliberately ignored the actual cause of this man's arrest, and twisted the facts to appear he had been arrested as a 'dissident' because he was defending the poor and downtrodden.  How is it possible for people in the West to have a realistic view of China, when most 'news' follows this form?

  • CNN Fake Tibetan Suppression Photos

  • Readers may recall CNN's famous 'on-the-spot' news report from Tibet in 2008, where the network showed photos providing 'evidence' of brutal Chinese suppression in Tibet.  However, it was quickly revealed that the photos were taken in Nepal, not in Tibet, and that the event depicted a staged photo-shoot of Nepali soldiers pretending to brutalise civilians.  CNN pulled the photos very quickly after the discovery became public, and their 'apology' consisted of, "Ok, so we mis-captioned a photo.  Big deal."
  • Faked Photos of XinJiang Riots

  • Everyone will recall the recent terrorist attack in China's XinJiang province.  To review quickly, a group of several hundred well-organised Uigurs burnt, bombed, hacked into pieces, killed and mutilated hundreds of buildings, vehicles and people.  Readers will also recall the support offered by the US government for the terrorists, claiming them to simply be 'political dissidents', and bemoaned the thought that the Chinese government was 'cracking down' on them.

    In evidence of this position, Rabiya Kadeer, a Uigur exile supported and financed by the US government and the CIA, prominently displayed a large blown-up photo evidencing police brutality of peaceful protestors in her home town of Urumqi in XinJiang.  This was widely publicised in the US, to gather political support against China.

    Unfortunately, the photo was recognised by many people both inside and outside China, as being taken a year earlier in Shishou, Hubei Province, and dealing with a totally unrelated peaceful demonstration.  If you look closely, you can see the two photos are the same.

    Click Here to see the photos.
  • Canadians are Terrorists

  • When the US was upset wth Canada for not joining the 'coalition of the willing' to attack Iraq, Canada became an enemy of the US almost overnight. The US media were replete with stories about how the 9/11 terrrorists were Canadian, had Canadian passports, got their training in Canada, entered the US from Canada.

    It was totally false, not a shred of truth, but it got air time for months, and John McCain and Hillary Clinton sometimes use it today to put pressure on Canada or attract public support from the radical right-wing. They know it's a lie, but they do it anyway.
  • Misleading Newspaper Headlines

  • When North Korea recently test-fired some missiles, the headlines in different countries told a very different story:
    New York: World outraged at Korean missile test
    London: US miffed that N. Korea won't obey
    Beijing: N. Korea test-launched a short-range missile today

    There are dozens, possibly hundreds, of examples every month of strongly-slanted headlines and a skewed story intended to turn public opinion in some chosen direction.  It is possible to produce scores of examples of this kind, with headlines so twisted you wouldn't recognise the event.  It's covert and insidious because it is presented as factual news.

  • Iran Threatens to Sink US Carrier

  • The recent claims by Bush on the Iranian 'threat' to a US warship in the Gulf. We all read about this one, where Iranian 'gunboats' were threatening to sink a US carrier, and how dangerous Iran had become.

    And then it was revealed that the released footage had fabricated by the U.S. Navy and US Dept. of Defense.  They admitted they’d recorded the film and the sound separately from different events and spliced them together to create a totally false and greatly alarming picture.  The information reports were quickly removed from all media websites, and the response to all enquiries was, "No comment."

  • The Iraq War Buildup

  • Forged Yellow-Cake Uranium documents purporting to prove Iraq had 'WMD', and many other half-truths or outright fabrications, to build support for an invasion.

  • Fabricated and Twisted Op-Ed Masquerading as News

  • In the NYT, Paul Krugman criticised China's currency policy for "predatory mercantilism", arguing that China's currency exchange rate was the source of world imbalances.  An article in the Guardian even argued that "(China's) emergence on to the world stage .... a key reason for the global economic meltdown between 2007 and 2009."  The NYT at one point reported that the world financial crisis was caused because 'the Chinese save too much.'

    Which of course is all fabricated nonsense.  The huge financial crisis was entirely made in the USA, in the housing bubble, in the subprime markets, in the derivatives, in the loose credit, in gross financial recklessness.  It was in no way related to China or the RMB exchange rates.  The stated 'facts' are false and without merit.  The content of the articles is not only incorrect, but deliberately so.
  • China Copies Everything

  • When China sent its satellite to the moon recently, the satellite made a photo record of the moon's surface. Some of those photos were published in the media in China and other countries. The US media published only one photo from the Chinese satellite, and claimed that the photo was not taken by the Chinese at all, but was just a copy of a NASA photo taken 20 years earlier. That's a typical Right-Wing media agenda, and of course all Americans believe that China's satellite took no photos.
  • Mine is Bigger than Yours

  • The 200-inch diameter Hale optical telescope at Mt. Palomar in the US was widely and consistently advertised as being the largest in the world, and for more than 50 years Americans believed their country had the largest telescope for watching the stars. But they didn't. Russia had one that was about 40% larger by area, but the Right-Wing US media refused to recognise that a 'communist' country could do anything better than them.

    So even highly-respected journals like Science or Nature, or the National Geographic, dutifully reported the US agenda. Even all US high school and university textbooks carried the same false story about the US telescope being the largest in the world. And it wasn't. The Europeans knew, but the Americans didn't know.
  • Americans made the first Flight of an Aircraft - or Did They?

  • For 100 years, all Americans have believed their country made the first powered flight by an aircraft - the first great milestone in aviation history. The greatest museum in the US, the Smithsonian Institution, has a grand display with a replica of the Wright Brothers first aircraft and a story of their first flight.

    But it was never so, and the Smithsonian and US authorities have always known that. There were many powered aircraft flights made prior to the one by the Wright Brothers in the US, one of those in Canada in my home province of Alberta. These earlier flights have been extensively documented and there is no doubt about their authenticity. But the US media, the Smithsonian, the textbook publishers, all choose to ignore the facts and present their version of history.
  • Amcham is a US Government Organisation

  • We normally think of these international Chambers of Commerce as being purely business-oriented, whose purpose is to help arrange exports of their country's products, but this isn't always so. The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) functions more as an offshoot of the US State Department and sometimes even an affiliate of the CIA.

    A year or two ago, AmCham in Shanghai published a report on their website about a discovery (by them) of 'terrorists' in Shanghai, and a discussion of how they had reported these events to the Shanghai police. But some curious Chinese reporters followed up on the AmCham story, including speaking to the police, and discovered that was totally untrue. There had been no terrorists and the police had never had never received any contact from AmCham.

    When the reporters broke the news that AmCham had fabricated that story in a attempt to frighten Shanghainese, the page was quickly removed from AmCham's website and they refused to respond to Chinese media questions about their purpose in doing such a thing.

    And interestingly, Google seems to have 'lost' this event. An extensive search produces no results, as if the event never happened.
  • 80% of All Chinese Scientists Use Google as Their Primary Search Engine

  • And, maybe not exactly.  The (supposedly-renowned) UK magazine Nature published results of a survey they did, which indicated that almost 80% of Chinese scientists primarily used Google.  However, the article was strangely silent on the location of their respondents.  It said only that "Nature surveyed Chinese researchers ...", and then cleverly led in with a quote from someone apparently in China - which would lead one to believe that the entire research poll was done INSIDE CHINA.

    But having carefully looked over that article and what was said and not said, it's very likely that Nature simply polled Chinese scientists living (and possibly born) in the UK.  And of course many of them would use Google.

    Readers should note that most of the Western media adheres to the Right-Wing agenda, and often their material can be badly misleading.  The National Geographic magazine seems to have an excellent worldwide reputation, but you need only read some of National Geographic's travel articles on Asia, to realise the deep extent to which that magazine has been politicised.  Most of these publications are sympathetic to the US Right-Wing 'national interest', and appear more than willing to further any such agenda put to them.

  • Purchased News

  • It is not a secret that the US pays large sums of money to newspapers in Iraq to publish US-written stories of the benevolent invaders. And it isn't only in Iraq..... US dollars fund covert propaganda in the media of (probably) most countries.

  • Unreported News

  • Large and significant events are simply and inexplicably never reported. For e.g., in 2009, many large cities in Europe had protests about Israel's actions in Gaza - many tens of thousands of people in cities all across Europe were in the streets.  I searched high and low and found only one small report in any US paper.  That news didn't meet the right-wing agenda, and so was ignored.

  • Covert Propaganda as Part of US Foreign Policy

  • It should be noted that the U.S. government and its intelligence agencies have a long history of rogue operations intended to discredit governments or social movements with whom they happen to disagree.  To see how far this can go, one need only recall the sordid history of disinformation, lies and deceit propagated by U.S. government and media to frighten people into supporting the Iraq war.

    Readers need to know the American Government's basic approach to the world, and to understand the full extent of cunning and deviousness underlying much of it.  There is little honor in American foreign policy; consider this extract from a US government-related document:

    Classic examples include providing weapons or funding to a favored party in a conflict, supporting agents to influence political affairs in another nation, engaging in psychological warfare, disseminating disinformation about a disfavored party, or deceiving a disfavored party.

    Specific (covert and surreptitious) actions include:

  •  Funding opposition journalists or newspapers that present negative images of a disfavored party in power

  •  Paying intelligence agents or party members to make public statements favorable to U.S. interests

  •  Providing financial support to opposition civil society groups and helping them set up international networks

  •  Advancing conditions for economic disruption in disfavored countries

  •  Bolstering leaders favorable to the US who could plausibly fill a power vacuum once the party in power is ousted

  •  Funneling money to a favored party through legal or illegal means

  •  Instigating a fight or discord between two adversarial, disfavored parties

  •  Influencing an election

  •  Disseminating propaganda