Beware of Biased Rumors Masquerading as Truth

June 16, 2011

A Music Blog Post written by Caryn Ganz (posted May 13, 2011) reveals how often the Western media plays into the hand of rumors and misinformation. Bias has much to do with that as you may discover.

A 2010 Pew Global Attitudes Project revealed that unfavorable views of China in the West are legion.  The question Pew asked was, “Please tell me if you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable opinion of China.”

The response—sixty-one percent (50 million) of those that responded in Germany had an unfavorable opinion of China; France 59% (39 million); Turkey 61% (45 million); Spain 38% (17.5 million); United States 36% (112 million), and Britain 35% (22 million).  More than 285 million minds and mouths may have a negative opinion of China. To see the entire list (for other countries), click the link for the Pew Project.


Mao died in 1976 and the Communist Party guided by Deng Xiaoping repudiated Revolutionary Maoism. When anyone mentions Mao, they are talking of history—not today.

Just to make clear what an “opinion” means, here are a few definitions: judgment or belief not founded on certainty or proof; the prevailing or popular feeling or view (public opinion); an opinion formed by judging something

Just because people believe something that does not mean it is a fact.

With this in mind, consider that many of those people that have unfavorable opinions of China are publishers, editors and reporters working in the Western Media spreading rumors and misinformation in what they write and report.

For example the media rumor mill reported Bob Dylan was refused permission to perform in China.

In fact, Western newspapers and magazines made all kinds of incorrect claims that Bob Dylan played to half-empty audiences, and the Chinese government censored what he would play when he performed in China

Bob Dylan was not pleased. In fact, Bob Dylan wrote on his Website, “Allow me to clarify a couple of things about this so-called China controversy which has been going on for over a year. First of all, we were never denied permission to play in China….”

Dylan said, “According to Mojo magazine, the concerts were attended mostly by ex-pats and there were a lot of empty seats. Not true. If anybody wants to check with any of the concertgoers they will see that it was mostly Chinese young people that came.… Out of 13,000 seats we sold about 12,000 of them, and the rest of the tickets were given away to orphanages.”

“As far as censorship goes, the Chinese government had asked for the names of the songs that I would be playing…. If there were any songs, verses or lines censored, nobody ever told me about it and we played all the songs that we intended to play.”

If you are interested in everything Bob Dylan said, I suggest you visit his Website (the link above).

For those readers with open minds, if we are to learn anything from this,
“It is to take with a grain of salt everything you hear or read in the World about China.”  Most of it will be opinions written as fact based on bias, which shows us that Yellow Journalism  is alive and well in freedom land proving that in the West we have the freedom to lie and pretend it is the truth.

To discover the possible truth about other opinions of China, learn from What is the Truth about Tiananmen Square? and/or 2/28 Massacre in Taiwan

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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Renewing Pride One Win at a Time

June 10, 2011

Recently a Chinese friend was proud to announce that Li Na won the French Open in Tennis on June 6.

Li Na is the first Chinese woman ever to win an Open Tennis women’s final title and become a world champion.

My friend watched it on a Chinese language cable news station the morning Li Na won, and said, “I bet the American media will not report this, and we won’t see it on the evening sports news.”  The Chinese news anchor said that all of China would have been watching the game even if they had to give up sleep.

However, my Chinese friend was wrong. I Googled “Li Na wins the French Open” and discovered that ESPN, Yahoo Sports, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Huffington Post, the Wall Street Journal, CBS News, Fox Sports, CNN, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, ABC News, etc. had reported Li Na’s win. The comment my friend made reflects an attitude among many in China.

In fact, there may be a little truth to what the said. After I searched the first two pages of Google hits, I still hadn’t seen the New York Times and I’m not surprised. Over time, I have discovered that the New York Times along with The Economist in the UK seems to be particularly antagonistic toward mainland China in the way the news is reported about The Middle Kingdom.

The morning before Li Na won the French Open, I heard from the same Chinese language news source that Chinese military and police snipers had won four out of five events at the 10th Military and Police Sniper World Cup in Budapest. The Chinese snipers placed first in four of the five events winning four gold medals. Source: The Firearm Blog

For those that watched the 2008 Beijing Olympics, you may remember that although America won the most medals at 110, the Chinese were a close second at 100 and China won 51 gold medals to America’s 36.

What Li Na accomplished at the French Open and what the Chinese military and police snipers won is a sign that the Chinese are regaining confidence and rebuilding the pride that was lost after Western imperial powers won two Opium Wars, destroyed the emperor’s Summer Palace in 1860, the failure of the Boxer Rebellion by Chinese peasant in 1900, the collapse of the Qing Dynasty and the anarchy that followed, the invasion by Japan during World War II, the loss of Taiwan to an American supported dictator, and the fact that the Western media won’t stop criticizing China over Tibet or let the world forget 1989 and what happened in Tiananmen Square.

What angers most Chinese is the Western media criticizing China over Tibet and Tiananmen Square based on falsehoods (you know—half lies).  Most Chinese know the whole truth but many Westerners don’t and do not care to know.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


Doing the Environment the Western Corporate Way

August 15, 2010

Michael Wines wrote in the Environmental section of The New York Times about China downplaying environmental disasters.  However, according to his conclusion, China is improving.

The problem is that his piece is missing balance, which isn’t surprising since the “New York Times” is famous for reporting bad news about China, but to be fair, most of the Western media is guilty of that.

Maybe Wines’ piece was published so most Americans, who are famous for having short memories, might forget the Gulf of Mexico oil spill now that it is capped.

How long did it take the public to learn that BP didn’t install the back-up safety system just to save a little money?

There’s also a movie, Erin Brockovich (based on a true story), about an unemployed mother who becomes a legal assistant for a lawyer and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city’s water supply and trying to hide what was happening.

Let’s not forget the Niger Delta—that is if you’ve ever heard of it. CNN reported a spill there in 2006, but we should be hearing about the Niger Delta daily since there have been 7,000 oil spills there adding up to more than 13 million barrels of oil.

What about Bhopal, India where seven men held accountable for the 1984 Union Carbide pesticide plant accident are still out on bail. Twenty-five years later, no one has spent time in jail and 500 thousand residents continue to suffer from birth defects, blindness, early menopause and a host of other horrid illnesses.

Next up on our pollution list is the Lago Agrio in the Ecuadorian rainforest in 1964, where eighteen-billion gallons of toxic run-off were discovered in the river. Texaco defended this by saying it was, “within industry standards.” 

Maybe it is time to change the standards?

The list is long: the Love Canal in the United States, Minamata Bay in 1956 Japan, Probo Koala in the Ivory Coast, Ok Tedi in Papua New Guinea, Esperance in West Australia, Exxon-Valdez, 3 Mile Island in Middleton PA, Chernobyl in Russia, Savesco in Italy, and the Sandoz Spill where toxic waste was released into Germany’s Rhine River. Source: Business Pundit

If anything, China learned from the British, French and the US, who taught the Chinese that by starting two 19th century wars in China, huge profits were made selling Opium to the people.

Then more than a century later, Deng Xiaoping said, “Getting Rich is Glorious.”

See Oil Spills

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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Media Demons

April 2, 2010

When I read it, I laughed. To me, it was obvious.

Definition for propaganda: ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause; also: a public action having such an effect (Merriam Webster.com) Or—manipulation of information to influence public opinion.

In 1948, the CIA established Operation Mockingbird, a program designed to influence the American media to play an important role in the propaganda campaign against the spread of Communism. The CIA recruited journalists, who wrote for The Washington Post, New York Times, Time Magazine, New York Herald Tribune, Newsweek, Miami News, Chattanooga Times, etc.  By 1953, this CIA network had a major influence over 25 newspapers and wire agencies (like the Associated Press and United Press International).

Evidence suggests that Operation Mockingbird (or something like it) exists today. If so, whom would this operation target? After all, Cold War Communism is gone.

The reason I mention Operation Mockingbird in this post is because of something I read in the New York Times today—Journalists’ E-Mails Hacked in China. The first few paragraphs of this piece infer that China’s government is responsible. Later, the piece indirectly mentions there is no way to know who did it. In the last paragraph, we are not sure if Google is partially responsible. As a journalist, why organize the piece this way?

See Google Recycled http://wp.me/pN4pY-2r


Peter Hessler, an expatriate, on China

March 30, 2010

Peter Hessler is a Beijing correspondent for the New Yorker. He has lived in China for fifteen years. After leaving the Peace Corps, Hessler freelanced for Atlantic Monthly and the New York Times before returning to China in 1999 as a Beijing-based freelance writer.

I agree with Hessler when he said in a CNNGo interview, “People in China are not forthcoming like Americans; they don’t like to tell you their personal story. It’s a type of modesty, I think, in a culture where people are not encouraged to see themselves as the center of the universe.”

I have an American born-again Christian friend who has bragged about Christianity being the fastest growing religion in China. I wonder what he’d say if he read what Hessler had to say here, “The Chinese relationship with religion is pragmatic and fluid; people often change their faith very quickly. And I don’t see them following religion to a degree where it’s clearly not in their self-interest….”

On happiness, Hessler says, “At this particular moment I think that Americans…might be less happy than Chinese people. The Chinese can roll with the punches…. Everybody in China has seen ups and downs; if they get laid off from the factory, they just go back to the village and play mah-jong….”

Discover The Influence of Confucius

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.