I have long been in the habit of occasionally reading extracts from Mao’s Little Red Book for laughs. Yes, I do need to get a life.
But just in the past few days, I have discovered The Global Times, the Chinese Communist Party’s answer to the BBC and Voice of America, and I must say that I am hooked.
The sheer naivety apparent in the tone of the ‘journalism’ in the articles in The Global Times is fascinating. Take the following passage from a current article supportive of China increasing its nuclear warfare capacity:
Even many ordinary Chinese people feel the urgency of strengthening China’s nuclear deterrent is common sense. We don’t know if those structures shown in the satellite photos in Yumen and Hami are silos or the foundations of wind power plants as some scholars have speculated. But if it does turn out that they really are silos, Chinese public opinion will definitely support the construction of them unconditionally.
Translation: We don’t know if those are missile silos, given we have a more secretive and repressive regime than most that does not tell us such things. But we are cool with it.
Of course, the Olympics gets a great mention, given the PRC has won even more gold medals than the tax funded Australian team, the adulation will put even our own one-sided sporting commentators to shame:
Overcoming the obstacles and opposing voices under the shadow of the unprecedented pandemic, the Tokyo Olympic Games, which is drawing to a close, turned out to be a huge inspiration to athletes, spectators and the world.
On the field, a total of 37 gold medals by Saturday morning have lifted Team China to the top of the medal table, more than the US. China is eyeing its best overseas Olympic record as well as the first time as gold medal leader outside China.
Off the field, observers noted that the success of the Tokyo Olympics under huge pressure is a desperately needed inspiration for the world. Tokyo’s experience in carrying out a major international event under such circumstances sets an example for next year’s Beijing Winter Olympics, experts said.
The article goes on to report:
“As Chinese athletes have won the most gold medals, we often get admiring glances from athletes from all over the world in the Olympic village,” a Chinese medalist who preferred to remain anonymous told the Global Times on Thursday.
“As a Chinese athlete, I am very proud, for we are strong not just in sports, but in overall national strength.”
What can I say? That such commentaries flow off the keyboard of some hack CCP propagandist cum journalist without any smattering of irony?
I once met a retired journalist who had been nominated for a Walkey award for best headline. If Communist China has such an award, they should surely consider the author of the article title ‘China’s youngest Olympian wins national respect for spirit’.
I know that a lot of people in the Anglosphere complain about the Murdoch Press and its apparent bias and its influence on democracy. However, I think that the Murdoch Press is a doyen of impartiality compared to the Global Times.