Thursday, July 31, 2008


The western press is all worked up over Beijing's limitation on website access for those who are covering the Olympics.

Maybe there's something wrong with me, but I can't see a lot of difference between Beijing's up-front censorship and western censorship, which is more subtle but just as effective.

Beijing's limitations on visiting journalists apparently do not affect savvy Chinese internet users, while the self-censorship that western, and especially American journalists have to exercise, affects what the public gets to know on a broad range of vital issues, from the war in Iraq to the amount of vacation other developed countries grant their workers.
As for spin, talking points, rewriting of experts' reports - for example on climate change - what is that if not censorship?

Most Americans don't even know there is such a thing as an alternative media, and many of those who are aware of it, believe that reading it or watching it could be a form of brain washing or lack of patriotism.

This is all part of the charade that goes on over our heads: all leaders go to the limit of what their respective publics will allow them to get away with, and on a certain basic level, even enemies understand that about each other.

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