In today's tour of state-sponsored propaganda, the Brian Williams of China has some explaining to do, a Photoshop fail has no explanation, and a U.S. congressman wants to repeal a ban on domestic propaganda. We begin in China.
You Can't Say That on Television
Last week a well-known Chinese TV anchor named Yang Rui shocked audiences with an unhinged rant against "foreign trash" who move to China from the U.S. and Europe to "grab our money." The freewheeling rant also took aim at recently expelled American reporter Melissa Chan who had been working for Al Jazeera. "We kicked out that foreign bitch and closed Al-Jazeera’s Beijing bureau," he said, according to The Wall Street Journal. "We should shut up those who demonize China." The rant was unusual because, as The Atlantic's James Fallows explained on Saturday, it's not like Yang Rui is China's Rush Limbaugh—he's more like China's Brian Williams (that is, if Williams worked for state TV).
Today, Yang clarified his remarks to The Wall Street Journal's Josh Chin.
The more serious part of the accusations against me is the mischaracterization of what I said in Chinese; pofu (泼妇) if you look it up on Jinshan Ciba (金山词霸), one of the most popular Chinese traslation sites, and A Chinese English Dictionary (汉英词典; Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, Third Edition, Jan, 2010) means “shrew.”
I hope this will put this issue to rest for those who are willing to listen.
It's a pretty amusing non-apology that essentially amounts to: I didn't call that excellent reporter a "bitch," I called her "a small mouselike insectivorous mammal" or a "bad-tempered or aggressively assertive woman." (Oxford English Dictionary). Much better, Yang!