Kudos to the Washington Post's Express tabloid, which on Friday published a gripping story from Associated Press by Didi Tang headlined "The Perils of Pregnancy In China." It described how China's communist government still carries out a one-child policy with late-term abortions that are supposed to be banned.
The text box in the Post tabloid came from once-expectant mother Gong Qifeng, who said "It was the pain of my lifetime, worse than the pain of a delivering a child. You cannot describe it." AP's Tang wrote a gripping account.
Nicholas D. Kristof (I've tended to call him "Nick" through the years) has made and implemented a momentous, course of civilization-altering decision effective 1/1/2014 (HT Twitchy): "If you look closely at my Times byline ... I’ve knocked out my middle initial for the new year."
Why oh why would Nick want to do that? "I think in the Internet age, the middle initial conveys a formality that is a bit of a barrier to our audience. It feels a bit ostentatious." I've got a clue for you, Nick, old buddy old pal: Your columns are much more than "a bit" ostentatious and pretentious. Unfortunately, the disappearance of your middle initial is not likely to change that. If ever anyone exemplified navel-gazing, knee-jerk, double-standard liberalism, it would be you. Accordingly, I suggest that you begin to use a more appropriate middle initial than the one you just dropped. My suggestion follows the jump.
The fascination with and excuse-making for long-gone communist dictators responsible for the murders of millions during their reigns is a long-standing phenomenon.
Both CNBC and the New York Times continued that hoary tradition last week. Each headlined reports on the 120th anniversary of the birth of Mao Zedong (whose name was written as Mao Tse-Tung until about two decades ago) with "Happy Birthday, Chairman Mao!" headlines. CNBC's appears after the jump (HT Twitchy; bolds are mine throughout this post):
Wow! File this one under: what would have been the MSM reaction to a conservative who had made the same un-PC statement?
On today's Morning Joe, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, discussing the way American children have fallen behind children in other countries in academic achievement, and are coddled, handed trophies for non-achievement and protected from stress, said: "stress will be not understanding the thick Chinese accent of your first boss. That will be stress." View the video after the jump.
The latest evidence of that detachment from reality came online Saturday evening at the New York Times, and appeared in today's print edition. Writer James McAuley, described as "a Marshall scholar studying history at the University of Oxford," wrote that Dallas collectively "willed the death of the president," and that it has prospered disproportionately in the subsequent 50 years because of "pretending to forget."
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer had some harsh words for President Obama Monday in the wake of Russia and China's handling of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.
Appearing on Fox News's Special Report, Krauthammer said, "If there's no element of respect or fear - and you saw it in the summit with the head of the United States and head of Russia and China within the last two weeks - they care nothing for what Obama says, and they know that when he makes a threat, it carries no weight behind it."
Over at Commentary, Jonathan Tobin notes that the New York Times finally published a story about woman in Oregon finding a note inside some Halloween decorations which told the tale of China’s system of forced labor prisons.
These facilities—formerly called laogai or “reform through labor” but now simply referred to as prisons to avoid negative connotations—have been in use for decades as a means of crushing beliefs unapproved by the country’s authoritarian regime. But given the vast market and huge amounts of money that the Chinese regime has at its disposal, these prisons are not something that Americans and Europeans hear much about.
On Thursday's World News, ABC News correspondent Terry Moran acted like it was a big surprise that newly-elected Pope Francis stands by the Catholic Church's teachings on sexuality: "Now, as the world comes to know him, it turns out, on many issues, Pope Francis is a staunch traditionalist. He compared abortion to a death sentence; called gay marriage 'destructive of God's plan.'"
By contrast, CBS surprisingly reported on the continuing persecution of the Catholic Church in China on Friday's CBS This Morning. Though he didn't explicitly label the Chinese government as communist, correspondent Wyatt Andrews noted how "millions of the faithful worship in groups at home, praying in underground churches where religion, if practiced too openly, can lead to arrest." Andrews' report stands out from his network's biased coverage of the papal election.
Andrea Mitchell isn't about to let a good hurricane go to waste in her push for economy-wrecking climate change regulations.
On her MSNBC show today, Andrea Mitchell claimed that recent weather events including Superstorm Sandy have "taught us if nothing else, that we have a real climate problem and that we have to deal with this here even if the rest of the world isn't going to deal with it in China and elsewhere." View the video after the jump.
In 2008, as reported by Tim Graham at NewsBusters at the time, Thomas Friedman at the New York Times wrote that America ought to become "China for a day," so that Friedman's dream, in Graham's words "of a green revolution -- all those allegedly planet-saving taxes and regulations and product bans -- can be permanently enacted."
The mainland's totalitarian regime isn't merely not "green" in any meaningful sense. It also is often remarkably unconcerned about the health and well-being of its subjects. For example, a recent chemical spillp poisoned the water of millions (that's right, millions), and the government didn't bother telling anyone about it for almost a week. The story has received almost zero attention in the U.S. press. Excerpts from a January 7 story at the UK's Financial Times follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer made a scary statement Tuesday.
Appearing on Fox News's O'Reilly Factor, Krauthammer said, "China is developing a huge and sophisticated navy which it never had. And it is quite clear what the objective is: to expel the United States from its coastal waters in the Western Pacific where we have been the prevailing power for the last 50 years since the fall of Japan."
With President Obama's election win, the worldwide celebrations have commenced again. NBC's Today show documented as much as they possibly could on Wednesday morning.
Reporting from London, foreign correspondent Michelle Kosinski was tasked with narrating the story of how the election has been perceived and reported overseas. Eerily similar to four long years ago, jubilant residents from other sovereign nations were shown in a high spirits after a second term was guaranteed to Obama. [ video below, MP3 audio here ]
While President Obama's record-breaking pace to raising a total of $1 billion earlier this month received significant media attention, there was little if any curiosity among the traditional press about how he was on track to achieve such an unprecedented milestone in presidential fundraising. The broadcast networks in particular have not bothered to mention the growing scandal that is being scrupulously pieced together by alternative media outlets.
An independently-owned website Obama.com (redirects to official site here) has been suspected of accepting millions of dollars worth of illegal foreign donations for months now. Despite all the speculation and accusations coming from a nonprofit organization known as the Government Accountability Institute (GAI), no action had been taken until recently.
(See Updates re President Obama's statement in 2010 and money the State of Michigan flushed down the drain.)
Eric Savitz at Forbes relays news this morning that "A123 Systems has filed for bankruptcy protection in federal court ... Late yesterday, the battery company had warned that it was about to default on several loan issues, noting that a bankruptcy filing was a possibility; but it still seems startling to see them file just hours later."
What does (or did) A123 do? It "makes rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for electric cars." Savitz can't resist casting the bankruptcy in political terms in his third paragraph:
NPR's All Things Considered on Friday night aired a shocking piece questioning China's one-child population policy and the forced abortions that result when people try to go around the prohibitions.
Host Melissa Block said loud pleas inside China "come after gruesome photos of a 7-month-old fetus whose mother was forced to have abortion spread across the Internet last month. Increasingly, Chinese scholars say the government's population policy is not only inhumane, it's also creating a demographic disaster, one that will leave China with far fewer workers and more elderly people to take care of." Reporter Frank Langfitt told the story of Deng Jiyuan and his wife Feng Jianmei, who have a six-year-old daughter. After Feng got pregnant again, she was abducted and given a labor-inducing injection :
Despite devoting 33 stories to the dramatic case of Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, NBC and ABC have all but ignored the major cause of the human rights activist: Opposing the communist country's policy of forced abortion and sterilization. From April 28 to May 7, the two networks only mentioned this detail five times– and then only in passing.
Although Chen's high profile plight might seem like a logical time to take an expansive look into China's one-child policy, the two networks passed. CBS, however, touted Chen's pro-life activities the most, referencing them in seven of 16 stories. (The three networks totaled 44 stories over ten days.) On April 28, World News reporter David Kerley mentioned, as an aside, that Chen,"who has protested and exposed forced abortions and sterilizations, was able to scale a wall and escape" his house arrest.
In the domain of what properly constitutes human rights issues, forced abortions and sterilizations have to fall in that category. So why isn't the Washington Post describing Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng as a "human rights activist"?
In two stories packaged side-by-side on page A9 of the May 8 paper, the Post's Andrew Higgins and Keith B. Richburg failed to use the term to describe Chen. Higgins tagged Chen a "blind activist," as in an activist who is blind, not an activist for the blind, but the term could confuse casual readers unfamiliar with Chen's plight. Richburg opened his story by tagging Chen as "the self-taught lawyer who has become the center of a diplomatic crisis between the United States and China."
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams on Thursday fretted about the "very tough spot" a Chinese dissident and human rights activist has put Hillary Clinton in. On Friday's Good Morning America, Josh Elliott kept the spotlight on Clinton, lamenting that the Secretary of State is "caught in the middle" of this ongoing diplomatic crisis.
Rather than start his report by focusing on Chen Guangcheng, the man who's life is in danger, Williams warned, "We begin tonight with a man who has changed his mind and by doing so put the U.S. and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a very tough spot in what is already a complicated relationship with China." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Tim Carney has an excellent post this morning at the Washington Examiner about how the media are reluctant to note the reason that Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng -- who is believed , but not confirmed, to be in hiding in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing -- is in hot water with the Communist government. Chen "has exposed the horrors of China’s one-child policy, including forced abortions and forced sterilizations," Carney noted.
Yet that fact was curiously missing from today's "1300-word Washington Post story." Indeed, "Of the five Post news articles I found discussing Chen, only one of them has the word 'abortion,'" Carney noticed. And the Post isn't alone in its bias by omission:
The Web headline was more explicit: "Firm Romney Founded Is Tied to Chinese Surveillance." Romney's name was mentioned 12 times in the 1,800-word story, although the Times itself admitted (in paragraph five) that he has had no role in Bain’s operations since 1999.
Today, President Obama visited Master Lock, a company he cited in his State of the Union speech on January 24 using the following words: "But right now, it's getting more expensive to do business in places like China. Meanwhile, America is more productive. A few weeks ago, the CEO of Master Lock told me that it now makes business sense for him to bring jobs back home. Today, for the first time in fifteen years, Master Lock's unionized plant in Milwaukee is running at full capacity."
Now note how Ken Thomas's report at the Associated Press originally described (since revised) what Obama supposedly said:
Sometimes you read the most interesting things in those supposedly boring trade publications.
One such item of interest comes from an article in Manufacturing News (HT to an emailer) written by Richard A. McCormack which is primarily about the Mainland China's designs on the worldwide auto parts industry, including the U.S. Some of the larger American unions are demanding that the administration and Congress take action on what they see as unfair trade practices. One sentence is indicative of a more pervasive problem, and it directly contradicts what the establishment press has been telling Americans for months. It's of particular concern to all Americans because the U.S. government still owns over 25% of General Motors, and reads as follows: "China has told GM that it will not be able to sell its Volt electric vehicle in China unless GM transfers technology to China and produces the vehicle there."
If $1.1 trillion owned by Americans to China is no big deal, as MSNBC weekend host Chris Hayes would have you believe, at what point does it become one -- five trillion? Ten? Ever?
Hayes, filling in as guest host on "The Rachel Maddow Show" Feb. 6, was criticizing GOP Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra's "Debbie Spend It Now" ad against incumbent Democrat Senator Debbie Stabenow. (video after page break)
Michael Schmidt reported from Baghdad Wednesday for the Times on the conclusion of the trial (held in California) of the last Marine accused in the so-called Haditha massacre in Iraq: “Anger in Iraq After Plea Bargain Over 2005 Massacre.” Although Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich pled guilty to a single misdemeanor that called for a maximum of 90 days in jail, Schdmit insisted on calling him a "ringleader" in the "massacre."
After the incident came to light in July 2006, Times reporter Paul von Zielbauer filed over 30 stories on the alleged killings of two dozen Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha, which anti-war activists were quick to compare to the My Lai massacre of Vietnam. The Times has long presumed the guilt of the Marines involved, while barely covering the steady drip of acquittals of all but one of the eight Marines charged in the “massacre.”
President Obama's decision in 2010 to cut NASA's budget and abandon the Constellation program, established by the Bush administration, which was charged with returning Americans to the moon by 2020 and creating an "extended human presence on the moon," has created a vacuum, which China will attempt to fill.
China has announced an ambitious five-year plan that includes the launch of space laboratories, a manned spaceship to the moon and the creation of its own global satellite navigation system that will almost certainly be used for military purposes.
Wednesday's CBS Evening News featured a report by correspondent Mark Strassmann playing up the reservations that some are having about the new law to strictly enforce immigration laws in Alabama.
After noting that a poll supposedly shows that Latino voters are dissatisfied because the Obama administration has deported record numbers of illegal immigrants, substitute anchor Jeff Glor introduced Strassmann's piece by playing up the "second thoughts" that some supporters of the law are having: "Mark Strassmann went to Alabama, where some are having second thoughts now about a tough new law."
A just released book, "Bowing to Beijing" by Brett M. Decker and William C. Triplett II, will change forever the way you think about China — even if, like me, you already have the deepest worries about the Chinese threat. As I opened the book, I was expecting to find many useful examples of Chinese military and industrial efforts to get the better of the United States and the West.
Indeed, there are 100 pages of examples of the most remorseless Chinese successes at stealing the military and industrial secrets of the West and converting them into a growing menace — soon to be a leviathan — bent on domination and defeat of America. The authors itemize the sheer, unprecedented magnitude of this effort. But the opening chapters dealt with human rights abuses, and my first thought as I started reading was that I wanted to get right to the military and industrial examples.
Gary Locke, Obama's Commerce Secretary turned ambassador to China, drew an unlikely "rock star" goo-fest on NPR's All Things Considered on Friday night. In China, the former governor of Washington state is now apparently an "internet sensation" with "runaway popularity," a "rock star" who's mobbed by crowds with outstretched hands, but is still "very down to earth," since "He carries his own backpack, travels in economy and buys coffee with discount vouchers."
NPR reporter Louisa Lim insisted to the audience at home that nominating an ethnic Chinese man to be ambassador to China was a very wise move on Obama's part, as was proven by Locke's third trip to his ancestral homeland in southern China:
For the past few years, fear of China's predatory mercantilism has been steadily growing in America, both amongst the public and in elite business and political circles. But last week, for the first time, one could discern the genuine possibility that America might actually do something about it — even if it means a trade war.
It's not that anything new has been revealed about China's practices, but rather that something new has emerged about the nature of Washington's opposition to it. Last week, the Senate passed a bill that would force U.S. retaliation against China's currency manipulations. The bill passed with 63 votes — including 16 Republican votes.
The romantic treatment of the leftist sit-in at Wall Street by Michael Kimmelman in his Sunday Review “news analysis” “The Power of Place in Protest" was bad enough, with talk of Aristotle and “the size of an ideal polis” and how “Zuccotti Park has in fact become a miniature polis, a little city in the making.” But the real offense came in the New York Times's choice of comparison photos.
The think-piece by the paper's architectural critic was accompanied by archive photos of other massive legendary protests; Kent State in 1970; the Central Park protest against the Vietnam War in 1967; the famous man in front of the tank in Tiananmen Square in 1989; the fall of the Berlin Wall that same year. Of more recent vintage was the Tahrir Square protest in Cairo and Occupy Wall Street.