Apparently, now China is trying to shut down free speech outside its borders as well as within.
On Tuesday, we reported that the Web site Change.org, which is hosting a petition for the release of detained artist Ai Weiwei, stated that it was facing “highly sophisticated denial of service attacks from locations in China,” and that it was appealing to the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of East Asian Pacific Affairs for help. Well, the latest news is that the attacks haven’t stopped — they have only escalated, and the site says that it has engineers “working around the clock to fend off the attacks.” Below, find the complete text of Change.org’s message sent out to supporters today (in this case, our own ace associate editor Emma Allen) to update them on the situation:
( Email behind the cut )
NPR's board had pushed for the resignation of Vivian Schiller, whom conservatives also criticized in October for firing analyst Juan Williams over comments he made about Muslims. She was not in the video, which was posted Tuesday by a conservative activist, but she told The Associated Press that staying on would only hurt NPR's fight for federal money.
"We took a reputational hit around the Juan Williams incident, and this was another blow to NPR's reputation. There's no question," she said.
The timing of the video was exceptionally bad from NPR's perspective, with Republicans in the new House majority looking to cut all federal funding of public radio and television. Public broadcasting officials say that would force some stations to fold.
( Read more... )
This is some bullshit.
If organizers planned big protests in China to echo those in the Mideast and North Africa, they failed.
On Saturday microbloggers passed around tweets calling for protests at 2 p.m. (0600 GMT) Sunday in a dozen major Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. But no specific place was cited until several hours beforehand.
In Beijing, the place was supposed to be in Wangfujing, a typically busy shopping street less than a kilometer from Tiananmen Square.
Wangfujing may have been a perfect place to trigger a mass action. The four-lane street is a designated pedestrian street, with thousands of people walking there at any given business hour; no cars and buses are allowed. For decades it has been a favorite shopping district, especially for out-of-town Chinese and foreign tourists. (Locals prefer to shop elsewhere.)( Read more... )
Twitter, Facebook and You Tube are regularly blocked in China, even though savvier internet users could overcome the firewall with a VPN, or virtual private network. The popular Sina Weibo microblogging service is erratic, with retweeting and the posting of photos blocked.
Success or no, in the wake of the protests, the Chinese government blocked the word "jasmine" from all search engines. I'd say that's definitely a Pyrrhic victory at the very least. The next protest should be the Harmonious Society Protest. That would really throw the government for a loop! :D
( Is it any wonder this guy's from CNN? )
Is this the sort of pernicious propaganda that Isaacson wants to protect delicate American sensibilities from?
As an aside, this is the most bizarre piece of propaganda I have seen in some time. It is deceptively shallow. What's going on between Medvedev and Putin here? Who would you say is presented as being in charge? Who comes off as more powerful?
Realizing that he had made an ass of himself in his first speech as chairman, Isaacson backpedaled, later claiming "I of course did not mean to refer to, nor do I consider, that Russia, China, and the other countries or news services are enemies of the U.S., and I'm sorry if I gave that impression."
Evidently, the only person in all of Western news media that Premier Wen Jiabao will talk to is Fareed Zakaria. I don't blame him; there are few people in news media in general -- whether it be Eastern or Western -- that are capable of presenting an interview in a way as thoughtful, impartial, objective, and non-judgmental as Dr. Zakaria.
The entire video is about forty minutes long, but it is more than worth it. The interview with Premier Wen is interspersed in relevant segments throughout the broadcast.
The main topic, of course, was economics. What does Premier Wen think about the way the US handled the financial crisis? How does the US stimulus package compare with China's stimulus program, which Premier Wen engineered? What is Premier Wen's take on and deconstruction of the trade and currency imbalance between the US and China?
I thought the segments where Dr. Zakaria directly and frankly asked Premier Wen about censorship in China -- especially Internet censorship -- were interesting, but not very enlightening as far as Premier Wen's answers went; he did some major waffling.
I wish I could have listened to Premier Wen without the voiceover translation. I much prefer subtitles when it comes to these things. Much of the nuance of his rhetoric in the original Chinese may have been lost in translation, since Chinese is one of those finicky languages with turns of phrase for oddly specific things.