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This is how we roll in China ...

The Rover

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The censoring of dramatic pictures showing the fire that engulfed part of China's state TV headquarters has sparked a furore.

As flames consumed the 44-storey block housing recording studios for China Central Television (CCTV) in Beijing on Monday, the state broadcaster did not cut away from a gala variety show celebrating the final day of the Chinese New Year holiday.

By midnight, with the fire still raging but under control, the station had issued a one-line news item on its website.

Chinese have long since grown accustomed to the dreary, carefully-vetted news bulletins broadcast by CCTV, but this glaring ommission has them venting anger online.

It is possible that the blackout was prompted by CCTV’s embarrassment at the discovery that its own – unauthorised – show of fireworks outside the building sparked the blaze.

One bulletin a few hours after the blaze started showed brief footage, describing heroic efforts by the fire services and identifying the city leaders who had rushed to the scene. By the next morning no images were being used and newsreaders were provided brief reports. The English-language blog blackandwhitecat has a detailed account with links.

One joke circulating on China’s heavily-monitored internet is that CCTV created one of the biggest stories of the year – and then failed to cover it.

Citizen journalists have more than made up for the blackout, however, filling the void with pictures taken on camera phones, text messages and e-mails.

The web police who patrol in Chinese cyberspace have failed to keep pace with the number of postings.

One blogger, Wang Xiaofeng, wrote: “Even though the fire was up to their eyebrows, they were still trying to hide the truth... in this breaking news, the official media was defeated by the citizen media."

An official directive was sent to the media ordering no photos, video or in-depth reports and requesting they rely only on the version put out by the official Xinhua news agency. Even that notice of censorship was soon posted on the Internet.

One of the most popular bloggers in China, the Shanghai-based Han Han, 26, was among the first to post about the fire. His blog – which has about 140,000 page views per day – was subsequently censored.

Perhaps this comment in which he refers to the dramatic main building of the new CCTV headquarters – untouched by the fire – by its popular nickname in China may have irked the authorities.

“The burnt building has always been called ‘the Thing underneath the Big Underpants’. Now CCTV burned its own ‘thing', such self-castration just perfectly fits the image of CCTV being the world’s number one eunuch media. For sure, the present CCTV does not deserve to have one. “

In chatrooms, gleeful users have digitally edited photos to add giant robots and fire-breathing dragons attacking the broadcaster’s landmark new building, which is due to be completed by the end of this year. Among the more irreverent are to be found at chinasmack.com

The popular criticism of CCTV is not new. Twenty-two academics launched an online boycott campaign last month condemning the station's "brainwashing" and failure to report sensitive news such as the contaminated milk scandal that led to the deaths of six children.

Another website, called Anti-CCTV, which is dedicated to highlighting the broadcaster’s mistakes, has attracted more than 178,000 visits since April last year.

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These people on this forum claim what Pres. Obama is doing is not leading towards us to socialism. That can be debated, but with the pending bills like Card Check and the fairness doctrine. Red China may cross the blue see and into the white states.

Still, China holds most of our Debt, so could they be that bad. Yes, because they are having too many problems themselves that they won't buy our trillion dollar spending bill debt, so we would have to print the fucking money.

Yeah, Hope and Change.

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Still, China holds most of our Debt, so could they be that bad. Yes, because they are having too many problems themselves that they won't buy our trillion dollar spending bill debt, so we would have to print the fucking money.

The Chinese will continue to buy US treasuries because it is in their self-interest to do so. It is their way of keeping the USA dollar up so that they can to export into the country. Now if a wave of nationalism were to sweep the country and they were too turn inward then look out as far as the dollar goes

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