erik lundegaard

Monday March 20, 2017

The Media Trump Wants But Doesn't Have (Yet)

Anthony Kuhn has been a journalist in China for years, but this month he became a viral sensation for asking a question about President Xi Jingping's “megaregion plans” around Beijing and the relocation of businesses/residents there. Video of his question at a government press conference went viral for a number of reasons: 1) he speaks Chinese like a native; 2) he seemed concerned about Beijing citizens; 3) the question was more pointed/critical than what the domestic press normally asks.

On NPR, Kuhn writes the following: 

All Chinese media are nominally state-owned, and the government has increasingly leaned on journalists to “correctly guide public opinion” to the conclusions that the government prefers.

China's leaders acknowledge that the press has a watchdog role, which they call “supervision by public opinion.” But since the heyday of investigative Chinese journalism, much of it done by metropolitan tabloids in the 1990s and early 2000s, the government has muzzled many of the country's more independent media outlets and forced many journalists either to censor themselves or quit the business.

It's exactly the kind of press Pres. Trump wants. And gets? Everyone applauded the German reporter last Friday for asking Trump about why he is scared of “diversity” in the news, dismissing anything he doesn't like as “Fake news,” and about his constant, unproven claims. It was a breath of fresh air. She all but asked, “Why do you keep lying?” It was a breath of fresh air because nobody else is saying that to his face. He dismissed her as “Fake news.”

Scarier: Andrew Marantz in The New Yorker on the right-wing blogs and jackass conservative sites that are increasingly making up the White House press corps

Really, the kind of press he wants is the question. 

Posted at 06:34 AM on Monday March 20, 2017 in category Media  
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Twitter: @ErikLundegaard