Concern for Human Rights Starts at the Water’s Edge

As Sam Husseini noted, one of the things we’ll miss about print newspapers is ironic juxtaposition of stories. The front page of Yesterday’s New York Times (1/20/11) provided a classic example: There was a story about Chinese President Hu Jintao visiting the White House, headlined (in the late print edition) “Obama Raises Human Rights, Pressing China.” And right next to it was an article about how the Obama administration was acknowledging that Guantanamo would stay open indefinitely, with some prisoners to be held forever without trial, while others would be tried by military tribunal instead of a civilian court because […]


Charlie Rose Talks China with Kissinger

With Chinese leader Hu Jintao in Washington, you got some of what you might expect inright wing media outlets–Rush Limbaugh doing a fake Chinese accent, and Bill O’Reilly opening his Fox show last night with crack about a Chinese dinner that wasn’t take out. Meanwhile, on public television’s Charlie Rose Show, the hour was spent with… Henry Kissinger. I had to go back to the Extra! archives to remember the Kissinger/China connection, which includes most notably his defense of the Chinese crackdown on Tienanmen Square. From Extra!, 10-11/89: In recent months, Kissinger has used his high media profile in a […]


Kidnapped Reporters Still Can’t Get Story Covered

When “journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling stepped back onto American soil after being detained in North Korea for over four months. Their safe return was covered widely in the American media, and rightfully so,” writes Women In Media & News guest blogger Tristin Aaron (8/12/09), “yet their reason for traveling to North Korea has been all but forgotten in the media reports on Lee and Ling”: Euna Lee and Laura Ling were reporting on the trafficking of women from North Korea into China. As Ji-Yeon Yuh notes in, “What Were Laura Ling and Euna Lee Looking For in North […]


When Reporters Are Present, Yet ‘Fail to Bear Witness’

Arianna Huffington’s latest column (Huffington Post, 7/13/09) presents a compelling portrayal of the power of new democratic media–versus the self-preserving corporate model of news gathering–in the Chinese government response to major riots last week: “It choked off the Internet and mobile phone service, blocked Twitter and Fanfou (its Chinese equivalent), deleted updates and videos from social networking sites, and scrubbed search engines of links to coverage of the unrest.” But here’s the rub: “At the same time, it invited foreign journalists to take a tour of the area”: That’s right, it slammed the door in the face of new media–and […]


NYT Names ‘Harsh Tactics’ as ‘Torture’ — by Chinese

Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald gets the site’s lead story today (5/8/09, ad-viewing required) with an excerpt from the New York Times obituary for U.S. fighter pilot Harold E. Fischer Jr., who, as the Times headline puts it, was “Tortured in a Chinese Prison.” Greenwald deems such naming of Fischer’s ordeal–“kept in a dark, damp cell with no bed and no opening except a slot in the door…handcuffed. Hour after hour, a high-frequency whistle pierced the air”–to be “a major editorial breach” for the paper that so agilely dances around the T-word when reporting on U.S. actions: So that’s torture now?… […]