21 Edicts for Election Coverage
by The Breach, Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 10:40:59 AM EDT
All journalists in Beijing have been issued the 21 edicts from the Chinese Governments propaganda unit.
While the American media enjoys freedom of the press and prides itself on ability to speak truth to power, they figured the Chinese were onto something here and issued their own 21 edicts.
What follows is an item-by-item comparison of the 21 Chinese edicts with The 21 edicts for mainstream media election coverage.
1. The telecast of sports events will be live [but] in case of emergencies, no print is allowed to report on it.1. The telecast of gaffes will be live [but] if McCain has a "senior moment", no print is allowed to report on it.
2. From August 1, most of the previously accessible overseas websites will be unblocked. No coverage is allowed on this development. There's also no need to use stories published overseas on this matter and [website] operators should not provide any superlinks on their pages.2. From mid-July, most of the previously unacceptable character attacks will be unblocked only for the candidate trailing in the polls. No coverage is allowed on this development.
3. Be careful with religious and ethnic subjects.3. Be careful with religious and ethnic subjects.
4. Don't make fuss about foreign leaders at the opening ceremony, especially in relation to seat arrangements or their private lives.4. Don't make fuss about candidates when they travel abroad, especially in relation to crowd arrangements or their ability to inspire.
5. We have to put special emphasis on ethnic equality. Any perceived racist terms as "black athlete" or "white athlete" is not allowed. During the official telecast, we can refer to Taiwan as "Chinese Taipei". In ordinary times, refer to Taiwanese athletes as "those from the precious island Taiwan....." In case of any pro Taiwan-independence related incident inside the venue, you shall follow restrictions listed in item 1.5. We have to put special emphasis on ethnic equality. Any perceived racist terms as "black politician" or "white politician" is not allowed. During the official telecasts, we can refer to Sen. Obama as "Sen. Barack Obama". In ordinary times, refer to Sen. Obama as "that black man from the precious island Hawaii....." In case of any pro race-baiting related incident inside any venue, you shall dissect it for a minimum of 3 news cycles.
6. For those ethnic Chinese coaches and athletes who come back to Beijing to compete on behalf of other countries, don't play up their "patriotism" since that could backfire with their adopted countries.6. For those ethnic Scotch-Irish Americans who surface from their hollows to speak on behalf of Appalachia, don't play up their "patriotism" since that could backfire with Americans who believe, "all men are created equal," and other quaint notions expressed in our founding documents.
7. As for the Pro-Tibetan independence and East Turkistan movements, no coverage is allowed. There's also no need to make fuss about our anti-terrorism efforts.7. As for Darfur and Afghanistan, no coverage is allowed. Please make a fuss about our anti-terrorism efforts.
8. All food saftey issues, such as cancer-causing mineral water, is off-limits.8. All food safety issues, such as the deadly strain of e coli that develops only in corn and grain-fed cattle and spreads in the confined quarters of our factory farms, are off-limits.
9. In regard to the three protest parks, no interviews and coverage is allowed.9. In regard to PUMAs protesting in Denver, interviews and coverage is encouraged.
10. No fuss about the rehearsals on August 2,5. No negative comments about the opening ceremony.10. No fuss about the conventions on August 25-28, and September 1-4. No negative comments about the speaker slots.
11.No mention of the Lai Changxing case.11.Please mention the Rielle Hunter case.
12.No mention of those who illegally enter China.12.No mention of our economy's dependence on the labor of those who illegally enter America.
13.On international matters, follow the official line. For instance, follow the official propaganda line on the North Korean nuclear issue; be objective when it comes to the Middle East issue and play it down as much as possible; no fuss about the Darfur question; No fuss about UN reform; be careful with Cuba. If any emergency occurs, please report to the foreign ministry.13.On international matters, follow the official line. For instance, follow the official propaganda line on the North Korean nuclear issue; be objective when it comes to the Middle East issue and play it down as much as possible; no fuss about the Darfur question; No fuss about UN reform; be careful with Gitmo. If any emergency occurs, please follow the Bush Administration's lead.
14. If anything related to territorial dispute happens, make no fuss about it. Play down the Myanmar issue; play down the Takeshima island dispute.14. If anything related to territorial dispute happens, make no fuss about it. Play down the Georgia issue; play down failed African nations.
15. Regarding diplomatic ties between China and certain nations, don't do interviews on your own and don't use online stories. Instead, adopt Xinhua stories only. Particularly on the Doha round negotiation, US elections, China-Iran co-operation, China-Aussie co-operation, China-Zimbabwe co-operation, China-Paraguay co-operation.15. Regarding diplomatic ties between USA and certain nations, don't do interviews on your own and don't use online stories. Instead, adopt AP stories only. Particularly on the Kyoto Protocol, Reasons for going to war in Iraq, USA-Saudi Arabia co-operation, USA-Georgia co-operation, USA-Pakistan co-operation, and our role in the UN.
16.Be very careful with TV ratings, only use domestic body's figures. Play it down when rating goes down.16.Be very careful with any poll that shows one candidate with a decent lead, only use national polls that are close to tied. The race is always tied or too close to call. Remember to report that honestly.
17. In case of an emergency involving foreign tourists, please follow the official line. If there's no official line, stay away from it.17. In case of an emergency involving Americans struggling against an act of nature, please follow the official line. If there's no official line, stay away from it.
18. Re possible subway accidents in the capital, please follow the official line.18. Re possible accidents in the capital, please follow the official line, i.e. accuse Arab terrorists first. Note: If government official becomes primary suspect in an act of terrorism, stay away from it.
19.Be positive on security measures.19.Be positive on security measures. Always remind Americans to be afraid.
20. Be very careful with stock market coverage during the Games.20. Be very careful with economics coverage during the election. Americans don't understand basic economics. Try to keep it that way.
21.Properly handle coverage of the Chinese sports delegation:
A.don't criticise the selection process
B.don't overhype gold medals; don't issue predictions on gold medal numbers; don't make fuss about cash rewards for athletes.
C.don't make a fuss about isolated misconducts by athletes.
D.enforce the publicity of our anti-doping measures.
E. put emphasis on government efforts to secure the retirement life of atheletes.
F. keep a cool head on the Chinese performance. Be prepared for possible fluctations in the medal race.
G. refrain from publishing opinion pieces at odds with the official propangada line of the Chinese delegation.
21.Properly handle coverage of the rest of the media:
A.don't criticize speculation in reporting.
B.don't overhype the candidates engaging the issues; don't issue predictions about our country being in a crisis; don't make fuss about cash rewards from lobbyists.
C.Please make a fuss about even the faintest whiff of connection to or actual impropriety by key members of campaign staffs.
D.enforce the publicity of our anti-terrorism policies. Again, terror is everywhere.
E. put emphasis on government efforts to secure the retirement life of Americans. Hide the fact that the previous Administration failed miserably at this goal.
F. keep a cool head on polling performance. Be prepared for possible fluctations in the horse race and report on even the tiniest movement.
G. refrain from fact-checking.