In today's tour of state-sponsored propaganda: China addresses the Dalai Lama's "murky psychology," Iran cracks down a rapper and Venezuela tries to define propaganda. We begin in China.
The Dalai Lama Is Past His Prime
China's state-owned newspaper The Global Times lashed out against the Dalai Lama Monday following the Tibetan spiritual leader's accusation that Chinese agents attempted to assassinate him by training Tibetan women to expose him to poison. The newspaper responded to the strange allegation with a rather ham-handed editorial in today's edition. The message? If China wanted to kill the Dalai Lama, it would've done it years ago, but either way, the spiritual leader is old and crazy. "The Dalai appears to have become mixed up in his old age," reads the editorial. "Let's put it simply: If the central government wanted to 'eliminate' the Dalai Lama, why has it waited for such a long time?" Rubbing in the fact that the spiritual leader is 76-years-old, the paper says it would be "foolish to take action against Dalai at such an old age," noting that the incident "reveals his murky psychology."
Obviously, the Dalai Lama is getting up there in age, and diseases like Alzheimer's commonly begin showing symptoms after 60, but it's difficult to see this as anything other than a low blow by the state-owned newspaper. Especially given that the spiritual leader keeps a busy international schedule of speeches and talks in which he continues to wow audiences.