from the isn't-it-ironic dept
By now we should all be aware that in many arenas the United States and China are engaged in a giant political pissing match. Everyone by now is also aware of how afraid the Chinese government is of their citizens getting their hands on any information or news that the government hasn't scrubbed more clean than someone with OCD after exiting a sewer. Between porn, those terrifying monks in Tibet, and the infamous Great Firewall, it's all on lock down in what will ultimately be a failed attempt to stifle political criticism from the masses. I say it will ultimately fail because even when China's government does release something that has been scrubbed, it has the potential to become a flashpoint for blowback.
And that's exactly what happened recently when state-run media used a Daily Show clip in which Jon Stewart bashes the US government to play "poke the American bear."
CCTV recently used a Jon Stewart clip to lay into the U.S. over the Guantanamo Bay political stalemate. As SCMP [South China Morning Post] points out, state television's attempt to poke fun at the U.S. with Stewart backfired online in China, with people saying that CCTV was being hypocritical and missing the irony.That irony, of course, is that the Chinese state-run media, whose stated role is to serve the Communist party's interests, attempted to demonize America with a clip that brilliantly showed that our media is free to critique our own government. This is something that wouldn't have been permitted in China, a fact not lost on the online community there.
"There are so many problems happening domestically that you choose not to broadcast every day, but instead choose to smell the farts of other countries," one Chinese commenter wrote in video's comment section.
"This is our country's mainstream media... They just want to divert our attention to problems [of other countries] away from poisonous ginger, tainted milk, gutter oil and undrinkable tap water," quipped another.Now, there are many reasons why oppressive censorship of information just isn't going to work any longer, and perhaps it never really did, but this example of scrubbed information having the exact opposite effect on China's people is a wonderful reason for hope. It's been said that on a long enough time table, everybody's chances for survival goes to zero. I'd make the same argument for oppressive regimes. Eventually, the Chinese people will get tired of being treated like babies, and it looks like censorship fails even when you do it "right."