Here is the perfect example of a Chinese state mouthpiece spinning cock out of bull. Attention: this piece, “President Hu picks up China’s dignity,” published on People’s Daily at 1:05 pm today. Scene: G20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico; as leaders walk off after their photo op, Chinese president Hu Jintao bends over to pick up something…
After posing for the family photo, all the leaders walked off the stage stepping on the national flags. Only Chinese President Hu Jintao bent down to pick up the Chinese national flag and carefully conserved it. This little detail was highly praised by netizens, who expressed their respect to the Chinese president.
Nothing in People’s Daily’s write-up is technically false. But what really happened? Why did Hu Jintao alone pick up that flag? Let’s go to the video:
The flag was stuck to his shoe, and that’s why he stopped — just long enough to pick the flag off his shoe, mind you.
Wait, I got that wrong. The flag of the motherland flung herself on her beloved leader’s noble wingtips and the leader was so moved as to carefully extricate her so that she may more comfortably be transported back to her country of origin, near his bosom.
To People’s Daily’s credit, this story did not originate from some patriotic editor at its office. It came from Weibo — specifically, this post by Huaxin News, which has been forwarded 166,600 times as of this moment. According to Offbeat China, at first, “99% of the 200o comments left to this post are shouts of ‘Bravo’ or ‘Love you. Brother Hu.’ Many called it an ‘epic moment’ that is ‘trivia’ but has the power to ‘move the entire nation.’” But after closer examination, netizens pulled an about-face: “Opposite to the overwhelming ‘Bravo’ comments to the earlier post, almost every single post with the image now is flooded with comments from cynical netizens who call Hu’s action a show and the ‘truth’ a slap on the face of those ‘stupid patriots.’”
And here, People’s Daily loses whatever credit I just gave it, because despite the truth, it proceeded with the editorial stating that Hu Jintao loves Chinese flags so much, he couldn’t bear to leave one behind even after all the other leaders did just that.
And because it’s People’s Daily out on the lead with this, I think it’s safe to say we’re going to see several similar editorials appear across state media. Sheep follow sheep, you know. But it’s not slaughter they’re being led to — it’s laughter. Beautiful, mocking laughter.
(H/T TAR Nation)