City Desk

Updating NBC’s Fawning China Coverage

So yesterday, Paul Farhi of the Washington Post wrote a nice little post about how NBC conveniently omits mention of less pleasant aspects of life in China. The money graph is here:

Political protests? Not on this channel; no sir. Beijing's fearful pollution? Maybe, but only if a marathoner coughs up a lung or it spoils a beauty shot. Doping scandals? In passing, perhaps. Tibet? China's role in Darfur? Now, wait just a second. . . The aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake? Why be unreasonable. . . Tiananmen? Mao's barbarities? No, and hell no.

Instead of actually covering real life in China, Farhi noted, the network has Mary Carillo running around doing lifestyle features on China. First came a piece on all the big things that China has built over the years. Then came the panda piece.

And last night, Carillo dined. She nibbled on fried scorpion, she had some odd duck parts, she chowed some entrails, and she went to a tea house and was blown away by the long spout on the tea kettle.

After a few minutes of that, I had to give it to Farhi: A piece on pollution, the pros and cons of the Three Gorges Dam, Internet censoring would have been far more welcome–anything but Carillo stuffing her face with a cuisine that we'd never consider embracing here in America. What a shock!

Of course, then you have to consider this Hobson's choice: Carillo-generated fluff or synchronized diving. I'll take a bowl of fried scorpion!

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Comments

  1. #1

    This morning Al Roker on the today show dined on pig parts and scorpion, etc. The rest of the cast did same except for that wuss Matt Lauer who confessed to having some stomach issues.

    Pollution is just haze or fog or something.

  2. #2

    A Hobson's Choice does not me a difficult choice; it means an illusory choice.

    Classic Hobson's Choices are "Your money or your life" or "You can have any color, so long as it's black". A catch-22 dilemma is not a Hobson's Choice.

    In this situation, the real Hobson's Choice is on the part of NBC. China will let them cover all aspects of the country, so long as it's fluff.

  3. #3

    It would be awesome if Carillo went to places where nobody has seen an American in person before.

  4. #4

    Well you can't mix politics with sports, especially in the olympics. What if the olympics were being held here in the U.S., would you want these reporters talking about Iraq, Guantanmo Bay, Katrina and other issues instead? I bet you did not think of it like that.

  5. #5

    Send general assignment reporters across the globe. Make them rise early, sit on hard stadium seats, and watch the same contests over and over and over again as competitors are eliminated. For two weeks. Personally, I would start asking passersby about Uighurs on the morning of Day 2.

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