Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Heck of a job, Commie

Op/Ed: Diary Entry by John Kusumi

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It's about the news media.


Heck, they never reform their ways, nor even acknowledge any error on their part. That sentiment could apply to the leaders of China, America, or the talking heads of U.S. network television. They may be growing accustomed to my occasional blasts and bricks for them -- I write, more prolifically than I would like to, about the foibles and follies of all three groups. It's not just musing, either. I give speeches, write articles, and work on a book manuscript titled 'Genocidal Correctness.' To indict the news media is easy -- all it takes is to write about some aspect of how they conduct business as usual. The faultiness cannot be narrowed down to one report; rather, it is their M.O. (modus operandi) which is faulty.

Before the earthquake in China, it was easy to say that America's media was wrapped around the little finger of Communist China. Now, has the earthquake revealed anything in this regard? No! --After the earthquake, we can say again that America's media is wrapped around the little finger of Communist China. America's media trips all over itself to be fawning spin meisters for the Communist Party, which presumably must be great, glorious, and correct. (Note. The Communist Party is not great, glorious, nor correct. The Communist Party is China's obstacle to a satisfying future.)

When I finally issue my book, 'Genocidal Correctness,' it is likely to conclude that ABC, CBS, and NBC should simply shutter their discredited news divisions. But, even before we get around to the release of that book, I would say that there is a higher priority: U.S. news organizations should discontinue having news bureaus and foreign correspondents in China. Not long ago (but before the earthquake), I sent an email to the Foreign Correspondents Club of China. They had released news about how tense and threatening was the environment, based on a nationalistic backlash and fervor that was stirred in China by the Communist Party, against Western news organizations which had reported sympathetically about the Tibetan uprising. (In particular, there were protests against CNN and Jack Cafferty, who referred to the Chinese government as "goons and thugs." In essence, Cafferty was accurate but made a poor choice of words.)

In my email, I expressed zero sympathy for the FCCC. When foreign correspondents go to Beijing, they operate under a compact that is akin to selling their souls. Even if a written contract does not specify the deal, it is widely understood that foreign correspondents get access to the authorities in Beijing, and in return those correspondents write little or nothing about Falun Gong. Now in the absence of their souls, those correspondents are whisper-quiet about persecution that Falun Gong endures on a daily basis, due to China's ongoing crackdown against the peaceful spiritual practice. This editorial policy is akin to leaving the Jews in the gas chambers. My email struck a balance: they have zero sympathy for Falun Gong, and I have zero sympathy for the FCCC.

There is a future date in history that will be like opening the gates of Auschwitz, and then it will be clear what these Beijing correspondents assisted with covering up. In that eventuality, perhaps I should also recommend Nuremberg trials for those particular journalists. So by now, my recommendations resemble a three step formula: (1.) Shutter the Beijing news bureaus; (2.) Shutter the ABC, CBS, and NBC news divisions; (3.) Conduct Nuremberg trials for the ersatz journalists who perpetrated the lengthy cover up of Chinese human rights abuses.

However, I think I realize that there are likely defenses that could be raised. The Beijing correspondents could say that they wrote and filed many stories that were buried by the managing editors in the U.S.. And, the managing editors could say that they were unaware, or missed it, or didn't get the memo. In other words, some media types might get off the hook by pointing the finger at the other end of their operation. Was this a failure in the field in Beijing, or a failure at headquarters in the U.S.? --For the news consuming public, it may be unimportant to play the blame game. From the public's perspective, the only sure thing is that the news media is lousy. But as I research my book, I would be happy to hear from any Beijing correspondents who found Falun Gong stories turned away at the headquarters level in the U.S..

I really don't expect cooperation from the Beijing correspondents. I really flamed them in my email, and referred to U.S. corporate media as "filth in the form of humans." There truly are lives being lost in the Falun Gong story, and whether it is foreign correspondents, managing editors, or executives at the media -- they are making life-and-death decisions, playing God, and choosing to err on the side of death (death plus good relations with the Chinese government -- apparently those good relations are more important than life itself).

Now, Sichuan province lies in ruins, and the occasion is kindred to that of Hurricane Katrina in the United States. What did President Bush say at that time? "Heck of a job, Brownie." --He was patting FEMA Director Michael Brown on the back for a job well done. Now in the present day, what is the news media saying? "Heck of a job, Commie." --They are patting the Communist Party on the back for a job well done in response to the Sichuan earthquake. In the former instance, it was President Bush who was disconnected from reality. In the latter instance, it is the news media (largely relying upon the reporting of their Beijing-based foreign correspondents) that is disconnected from reality.

What is happening here is that the Communist-controlled Chinese domestic media is patting its government on the back, and the reports are being picked up and passed along uncritically by Western journalists, who are supposed to know better than to pass along Communist propaganda, unedited. About 5 million Chinese people can see right through that "lipstick on a pig" strategy, that is used by the powerful when reporting to the powerless. Residents of Sichuan are likely to demand justice, sooner than the U.S. media notices any problem. I will be surprised if residents of Sichuan are like residents of America, who were hit on 9/11 only to have the attack smoothed over with news media narrative that passed along Bush adminstration propaganda uncritically. The media still hasn't noticed any problem about 9/11; they have gotten over Katrina even while survivors are still homeless; and, they are not likely to report any problem in the wake of the Sichuan earthquake.

Perhaps this is what China and America have in common: Powerful people congratulate themselves. The larger masses of ordinary citizens are lucky if they are given a ham sandwich and a road map as they hit the road. The common people are getting the short end of the stick, while the news media resembles my observation that they are "the corrupt, flacking for the corrupt." They are fat and happy people, reading "the news" from Easy Street, and they keep their feet on the desks about genocide. I have something to say, and it's not "God bless the news media." No, no, no! ....

* P.S. - Note. Someone showed me a lawsuit that was filed by offended Chinese people against CNN and Jack Cafferty. It is a frivolous lawsuit that will rightly be laughed out of court. However, CNN should have hung tough. It looks bad (for them) that they apologized AGAIN to the Chinese. Commenting about the CNN apology, a Chinese person wrote: "
Relax. Media like CNN are doing the US more harm than good. CNN should also apologize to it's own brain-bashed American audience. When the curse fails, the witch dies."

* * P.P.S. - Note two. In a lighter mood, I recently made up these acronyms--

AP: Absent Professionalism
ABC: Assinine Buffoons and Clowns
CBS: Could Be Sociopathic
NBC: National Buffoons and Clowns
CNBC: Commercial Nitwits Being Corrupt
MSNBC: Military Sales, No Ballots Counted

The first Generation X presidential candidate, John Kusumi was the 18-year-old for U.S. President in 1984 (Independent / Practical Idealist). He is the founder and Director Emeritus of the China Support Network, formed with fellow Americans in 1989 to respond to the tragedy of China's Tiananmen Square massacre. He is also a leader of the Freedom First, Olympics Second Coalition -- a combination of many groups that are opposed to Beijing's Olympic Games unless China first is free. He is also a columnist, podcaster, public speaker and advisor to leading Chinese dissidents, with material at Kusumi.com.

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

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