By John Kusumi
In the past 48 hours, U.S. TV “news media” have once again “made my point for me.” They have reinforced my disdain, by showing once again why I am boycotting ABC, CBS, and NBC “news.”
They have once again downplayed and diminished (suppressed) news that is likely to be a turning point for the Chinese pro-democracy movement. The YouTube video above tells the story — in more ways than one. It is a montage of television reports that stem from the sentencing of Liu Xiaobo, a top Chinese dissident, to 11 years in prison.
First is a report by AP television. Second is a report by World News Australia. It shows representatives of the U.S. and French governments calling for the release of Liu Xiaobo. Third is a report by France 24. Fourth is a video by PEN American center. That is a branch of International PEN, an organization for writers. Liu Xiaobo was the President of Independent Chinese PEN, another branch of the same organization.
The video montage is notable for more than what it shows — who is absent from the montage? (Here’s a hint: I was already boycotting ABC, CBS, and NBC.) Close analysis of the video reveals that there is no report from ABC, CBS, or NBC.
It’s a big story, internationally. Type “Liu Xiaobo” into News.Google.Com, and it indicates 4,793 recent stories on Liu Xiaobo. (His trial was December 23 and his sentence was announced December 25.) 15 different countries had diplomats who went to the trial (and were refused entrance). Headlines at this time include “France berates China over sentencing of dissident,” “US Reiterates Call for Release of Chinese Dissident,” “Taiwan leaders must push for Liu Xiaobo’s freedom,” “Switzerland joins protests against China,” and “Jailing of writer in China causes concern at UN.”
So what’s happening at ABC, CBS, and NBC, where the story is dark? Apparently, to shed light on the Chinese democracy cause, they need a permission slip from their Chamber of Commerce minders. Let’s face it. The news divisions at ABC, CBS, and NBC are each “mouthpiece” organizations. They are fastidious to be pro-corrupt status quo, which includes sanitizing the public image of Communist China and being agnostic about China’s ugly open secrets like genocide, organ harvesting, and slave labor, not to mention the abuse of Chinese dissidents.
At the networks, they are obedient sock puppets, reading from teleprompters. CNN is just an itty bit better, because they sometimes remember that China in fact has a democracy movement — something that ABC, CBS, and NBC have not let on since about 2002.
The story is a turning point because it shows that “moderate” Chinese dissent is met with a dead end. The severe sentence for Liu Xiaobo gives new initiative to the “hardline” Chinese dissidents who expect no results from any entreaties to the unreformed Chinese government. Is “further turmoil” ahead? Here is a statement from Wei Jingsheng, previously known as China’s most famous dissident:
Statement by Wei Jingsheng
Mr. Liu Xiaobo is an important representative of the moderate faction of the intellectuals inside China. The “08 Charter” he co-drafted is a document meant to push for reform in the way of reconciliation and cooperation, which represents an opinion inside China for an effort to solve social crisis in a peaceful and reconciled approach. In the past many years, the voices and opinions of this faction demonstrated at least some survival space inside China. They illustrated the possibility that the good sensed people within the Chinese Communist government still had the opportunity to present their opinions, thus leaving the option to solve the crisis inside China peacefully.
However, today the severe sentence that Liu Xiaobo received by the Hu Jintao regime releases the message that the regime refuses to reform the political and economic system in a peaceful manner. The regime refuses to reconcile with the people and continues its stand of being the enemy of the people. This kind of policy of being against the historic currents for sure will obstruct the future of reform, and thus result in an even bigger turmoil in China. It will be neither good for the Chinese people, nor for the Communist Party’s own existence. It is a policy of extreme stupidity.
We, the members of the Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition, are against this policy by the Hu Jintao clique. We urge the people who still have some intellect inside the Chinese Communist Party to convince Hu Jintao to change this stupid policy. In particular, the Chinese government must reverse Mr. Liu Xiaobo’s guilty ruling during the appeal period and release the person as innocent immediately. Only by leaving room for maneuvering for moderate reform can further turmoil be prevented.
Chair, Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition