Saturday, January 24, 2009

Partisan Gods

This just in: in an apparent PR coup, China's door gods have joined the ranks of the PLA. The afterlife communications secretary declined to comment.

Happy Chinese New Year

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama coverage on CCTV

This is great:

For those who don't understand Chinese, here's a rough transcript:
Obama: "Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism..."
[simultaneous translation]
[cue startled looking anchor] Wang Haiying (a correspondent), Wang Haiying...
Wang: yes?
Anchor: what economic challenges does Obama face?

Apparently they tried to do live coverage of the inaugural speech, but someone freaked out and pulled the plug when they heard that bit about facing down communism. If they had just left it alone, no one would have noticed, or better yet, it would have sparked a debate among ultranationalist youth about Obama's "attack" on Chinese ideals (actually, some people are arguing about that on the youtube page for this clip). Instead, they freaked out, and now it's all over the place. If they had stayed, though, I wonder what would have happened when Obama started talking about those who would crush dissent being on the wrong side of history.

The next question is, of course, who is going to get fired for this mess? Will it be the guy who thought it was a good idea to have a live broadcast of the speech without an advance copy? Maybe. But it's more likely to be the interpreter taking the blame. That's rough. We've got enough to worry about without having to do political analysis at 80 words a minute.

PS: props to for their coverage, and to Hoiking for posting the video.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Colors in Chinese!

I was very pleased to see this copy of Colors magazine for sale in Beijing the other day. I've been able to grab a copy or two before, but usually older issues in specialty stores. This issue is different for two reasons: it was at a regular bookstore (O2 Sun at Xiandai SOHO), and it's in English and Chinese.
I am happy to report that Colors has set up operations in China, and apparently has plans to publish regularly in China. If you haven't read a Colors magazine before, be sure to pick up a copy. It will change the way you see things.
This actually wasn't a huge surprise for me. Last year Colors put out an issue on Beijing, and I noticed that it was almost entirely done by local editors. That is a great issue and it's worth tracking down if you haven't seen it yet. I wondered at the time if they weren't taking the steps to set up shop out here.
We've seen some previous foreign magazies fail out here, as with Rolling Stone (twice, despite the efforts of the esteemed Hao Fang). I hope that Colors is here to stay. Spread the word, people.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Update on the Bombing and its Coverage (or lack thereof) has been doing a great job of keeping everyone posted, but I feel a need to do a followup on my last post regarding the bombing at Salvador's Coffee House.

Police have released evidence that clearly links the deceased bomber to the bus bombings of July. Evidence also shows that Salvador's was most likely not the target of the attack, and that the bomb was inadvertently detonated as the bomber left the bathroom (after ordering, I've been told, coffee and waffles).

Several days after the incident, Reuters finally picked up on the story. The headline was something like "Bus Bomber confesses on his deathbed". Basically, the bomb at Salvador's wasn't a story, and was barely mentioned. New York Times followed the next day with a short blurb to the same effect in their back pages. My letters to several major news outlets, including NYTimes and Wall Street Journal, all went unanswered, which is very disappointing.

So I guess we can all breath a bit easier now, knowing that there's one less maniac out there.

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