Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Freedom is a word that is very hard to spell.

The NYT on the disparity between the China People's Daily and the US State Department's versions of a speech by Dick Cheney: An editor at the People's Daily Web site involved with preparing the transcript denied that any censorship had occurred. The editor, who declined to be identified, said missing sentences or sections were attributable solely to the speed with which the transcript had been prepared. People's Daily[1], US State Department.

Admittedly it's also the paper that brings us this story, titled: US should follow Spain in withdrawing. Has China heard of a little thing called a "power vacuum"? (and I don't mean a Dyson).

But news stories on Killer Milk Powder also register as a little odd. Not necessarily the story, more that Killer Milk Powder (TM) exists in the first place.

And ignoring the censorship debate, this is what CCTV's website says about CCTV-4 [the channel that broadcast Cheney live]: CCTV-4 mainly serves overseas audiences and residents in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

[1] Sorry this isn't the actual transcript, but every search I've tried on Chinese websites have all come back with [what I assume to be] error messages. Xinhua does a nice picture of a cat though. But it's not very anatomically correct, as the tail appears to come out of the cat's navel. At least, I hope that the stripy thing is a tail.

Anyhoo, once again the degree to which some people are able to decide what others should know worries me. It makes me glad that I don't live in such a society, and makes me wonder if perhaps I do.

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