Sunday, August 03, 2008

Kusumi: Media, Media and Media

One and a half cheers for CNN

Diary Entry by John Kusumi

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If I can't say hooray, I can at least say hoo.


Broadly speaking, there are at least four weighty groups protesting against the Beijing Olympics of 2008. The Save Darfur Coalition and the Free Tibet campaign are two and hardly need introduction, as mainstream news has already reflected their presence in opposition to the 'Genocide Games.' The remaining two weighty groups would be Falun Gong practitioners, who have rallied this year with banners of the Human Rights Torch Relay, an alternative to the Olympic torch; and, Chinese pro-democracy political dissidents, many found in the Freedom First Olympics Second Coalition. (We could acknowledge even more supportive groups. One coalition member, Dictator Watch, represents the Burmese democracy movement. Monks in Burma have been in the news, due to a crackdown last year and a cyclone this year. Another coalition member, the Montagnard Foundation, represents a Christian minority ethnic group in Vietnam.)

My own work has been with the Falun Gong and the Chinese dissidents, through involvements that have included the China Support Network (CSN), the Freedom First Olympics Second Coalition (FFOSC), and the Human Rights Torch Relay. I have had relatively less interaction with Tibetans and the Save Darfur Coalition, although I am fully in support of them and their excellent causes, as well. I am recognized as both a founder and director of both CSN and FFOSC. I have long stood with "the good guys," the freedom fighters who press for more Chinese reform, human rights, democracy, religious tolerance, and government which is truthful and compassionate.

As it turns out, the Falun Gong and the Chinese dissidents have received less coverage, while campaigners for Darfur and Tibet have received more coverage, in the run up to the 2008 Olympics.

This is a continuation of a cat and mouse game that the U.S. MSM (mainstream media) has played for years. The public knew about Chinese dissidents when the Tiananmen Square disaster happened in China; Pew Research said that 45% of Americans were closely following China's political turmoil. For some time, a popular news story led to a popular cause, and America's TV anchormen followed up, showed Chinese abuses, and Chinese dissidents. That was in the early 1990s. Similarly, the public knew about the start of the Falun Gong crackdown in China. In 1999, that crackdown was covered with genuine concern, much the way that Chinese abuses were earlier covered in the news.

Let's think about the year 1999. In April, Falun Gong practitioners startled the government -- and got news coverage -- by having a protest with perhaps 10,000 people standing silently at the leadership compound in Beijing, known as Zhongnanhai. In July, the government started the crackdown -- again with news coverage. In November, U.S. President Bill Clinton signed the U.S.-China agreement for PNTR (permanent normal trade relations).

"Poof!" -- perhaps the wishful news executives would like a gullible U.S. public to believe that Bill Clinton "solved" China's human rights problem, at one stroke of a pen onto a trade agreement! In other words, the PNTR deal, ostensibly about trade, was apparently about more: censorship. Now, apparently, the news executives would be in the regime's corner, helpfully sweeping all Chinese abuses under the rug. The public has not been told much at all about Chinese abuses, from November of 1999 until March of 2008, when the Tibetan uprising again made the news.

The lights of attention went out. The TV anchormen "disappeared" Chinese dissidents and Falun Gong practitioners from the news. America the anti-communist nation was supposedly getting over it, as though the national security state of the Cold War was a passing fever. Anchormen for ABC, CBS, and NBC all said, cryptically, that "globalization is inevitable." Welcome to the trade state, where we have traded away such things as national security, your job, and/or your freedom. Certainly, news execs traded away concern for human rights. The puppet masters who control the sets and props of national TV studios thereby revealed themselves as the bent, craven, depraved, sociopathic, corrupt cabal that they are. In China, the persecution of Falun Gong escalated and is clearly a domestic genocide. Because news execs were "taking it to the next level," political correctness became genocidal correctness, and now I work on a book manuscript titled, 'Genocidal Correctness,' to document news media, corporate, and American behavior during the Falun Gong holocaust.

The archives of the China Support Network reveal that the human rights problem never went away; it was just the national TV networks that went away. Falun Gong and Chinese dissidents were left to suffer abuse after abuse, unnoticed; and to raise appeal after appeal, banner after banner, action after action in the West, to no avail.

I have previously written "One and a half cheers for Anderson Cooper," and today I am writing "One and a half cheers for CNN."

Why did I say that about Anderson Cooper, a CNN anchorman? Cooper produced a piece on "organ tourism," wherein some people go to Communist China for a transplanted human organ. Because the Chinese execute prisoners, the organ may be harvested from a now-deceased Chinese inmate. Anderson Cooper presented the experience of an organ recipient, an American tourist to China. As far as it goes, Cooper's was a fine report, and that is why I said "one and a half cheers." I suppose that my cheer is fine, as far as it goes. But, suppose that there is another side to that story. Suppose that we tracked the experience on the other side, of the organ donor rather than the recipient. And then, if it is a Falun Gong practitioner, we would face the jolt of knowing that here is a prisoner of conscience, meaning not a criminal but a religious believer, being put to death so that their organs can be sold! "Not a criminal" means someone who never belonged in prison in the first place! This type of crime against humanity has not been seen since Adolph Hitler performed medical experiments on unwitting prisoners who were kept in Nazi Germany.

And furthermore, the Falun Gong movement has evidence that in fact exactly this is happening. A disturbing report was issued by two Canadian investigators, David Kilgour and David Matas. Kilgour was a Member of Parliament and Secretary of State for Asian affairs in Canada. Matas is a very senior human rights attorney in Canada. The practice of harvesting organs from incarcerated Falun Gong practitioners is believed to have taken tens of thousands of lives in recent years. In a recent speech, Clive Ansley (a Canadian human rights attorney who is North American President of the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong, or CIPFG) said, "This is the holocaust all over again. The Beijing Olympics is the Berlin Olympics of 1936 all over again."

"Those who do not recognize this parallel are limited to the willfully blind; the morally bankrupt; and the profoundly ignorant." --Well, that would only be the U.S. MSM who are now caught out being willfully blind, morally bankrupt, and profoundly ignorant. (Or, if you prefer my phrase, they are a bent, craven, depraved, sociopathic corrupt cabal.)

At least I could say "one and a half cheers" for Anderson Cooper. Cooper plays it right down the middle. He might be a smart guy. He might be a dumb guy. I still can't tell!

Now, I am here to say "one and a half cheers" for CNN. I watched with interest this weekend as Christiane Amanpour presented her piece on "Buddha's warriors," the freedom fighters of Tibet and also Burma. She spoke with the Dalai Lama, with various monks, and prominently featured two activists. It was good to see Lhadon Tethong, the Executive Director of Students for a Free Tibet, doing her work with coverage. And from the Return March to Tibet, CNN showed Tenzin Tsundue, a prominent activist who is clearly "on our side." For the China Support Network, Tsundue has organized events that commemorate June 4 (the Tiananmen Square massacre) in Dharamsala, India. So, it was great to see "the good guys" getting the light of day placed onto their work.

The only problem about the coverage was the scope. Still nothing about the Falun Gong or the Chinese dissidents with their persecution and push back that challenges Mainland China, domestically. Some things never change. Before and after the report, CNN seems mum about the Falun Gong persecution. (In fairness, I have heard the Lou Dobbs show mention Falun Gong, but only as a bullet point, not as an expose.) These days, we are looking for exposes and long form journalism about the Falun Gong and Chinese dissidents. In fact, I am helping the BBC to produce one such broadcast this week.

For all the world, it looks like U.S. newsrooms have an ideology which is (a.) pro-newsroom, and (b.) anti-Falun Gong. Of course, the United States is now run by Baby Boomers, who could change the national motto to be, "hooray for me, and f*ck you." The following people are in Generation X: Tiananmen Square dissidents, Tenzin Tsundue, and myself.

It's very cool how human rights groups have been putting out "tourist guides" for the reporters who are covering the Beijing Olympics.

For a list of the secret hidden prison labor camps in China, they are now less secret in the CIPFG's Guide to China's Labor Camps, headlined "Torture Outside the Olympic Village." That 22 page PDF file is available at

For a list of actual prisoners who have suffered actual torture, the Falun Dafa Information Center has released "Behind the Olympic Spectacle: A Journalist's Walking Guide to the Persecution of Falun Gong in Beijing." It includes the profiles and contact information for sixteen recent detainees of the Falun Gong. Some are dead, some are alive. That 22 page PDF file is available at

Human Rights Watch has released its "Reporters' Guide to Covering the Beijing Olympics." That 23 page PDF file is available at

And for our part, we release MP3 files. As the Olympics open, we will release a third rock song from Light Club, the group that has entertained at many China Support Network events. This follows on the heels of two earlier songs, Remember Tiananmen Square and Freedom First (Olympics 2nd). The two earlier songs are available now at, and the third song will appear as the Olympics open. The new song is titled Chinese Democracy Defiled, and it contends with Guns'N'Roses in the "Chinese Democracy" space. (GNR has an unreleased album and a song both titled Chinese Democracy. Ours will be released sooner -- theirs seems always to be promised for later.)

My one and a half cheers for CNN is due to the graphic photographs that were included in the report by Christiane Amanpour. In recent years, our cause and indeed all news watchers saw the enormous power of still photographs of abuse. As we remember, the U.S. news media obtained and displayed photos from Abu Ghraib, the prison in Iraq where torture was the subject of the photographs. The publication of those photos "moved the needle." And yet, Falun Gong has been obtaining still photographs of those wounded or killed in that persecution -- stomach turning photos that easily match the Abu Ghraib or the Tibetan photos as for vividly documenting the gruesome results of government malfeasance.

The Tibetan photos are at:

The Falun Gong photos are at:

CNN gets one and a half cheer based on their showing the world the Tibetan photos. The Falun Gong ones are just as readily available, as one can see at the URL above. Instead of showing the public the Falun Gong photos, the news media has been sitting on the story while a modern day holocaust has continued for nine years. Why is that? Is it the better to serve their communist masters? Is it the better to prolong others' suffering and extend the neglect of this issue? Is it their attempt to be genocidally correct -- validating the John Kusumi manuscript called Genocidal Correctness? My book has a regrettable narrative about the media, and the U.S. MSM conforms its behavior so my narrative fits like a glove! CNN cannot have more than one and a half cheers unless and until it exposes the Falun Gong persecution.

What does it say about the U.S. news media, where one of the above reports says, "With the exception of one article in the Times of London about a Beijing musician who died in custody in March, there has been little attention in the international media to this aspect of Olympic 'preparation.'" Perhaps the box score tracking upright news outlets with integrity reads, "Britain 1; U.S. 0." (Actually, I know a bit more-- I'm working with the BBC this week, so it's "Britain 2, U.S. 0.")

In light of the fact that the U.S. has zero in the score above, it seems generous that I am saying, "One and a half cheers for CNN." And, there you have it.

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

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

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