The news here is not that People’s Daily did something ridiculous, because they do that all the time. It’s the netizen response.
But before we get there, let’s set the scene first with People’s Daily’s ridiculousness:
The Dishonest Americans Series
From editor: Most Chinese people think that Americans are honest, reliable, and righteous. But once you live in the country for a while, you may discover the descriptions above are a bit misleading. Today’s topic, “The Dishonest Americans Series”, does not refer to all Americans. We want to unveil some incidents and Americans we have encountered, so to provide a more objective picture of what the US and Americans are really like.
It “does not refer to all Americans,” says People’s Daily, which is good because we would never expect such generalizations and generally shoddy work from China’s state media.
By the way, have you seen the related links on the “Dishonest Americans” articles?
People’s Daily only wants to “provide a more objective picture of what the US and Americans are really like.” That’s good. Objectivity is definitely the forte of articles such as this one:
“I am tremendously distressed and disappointed by United Airlines. Over the several rounds of back and forth communications with them, I can now see clearly how unreasonable this airline is!” said Mr. Liu, a Chinese passenger who got insulted by UA staffs. He was still indignant when recounting the incident to People’s Daily Online reporter.
And this, about ADP:
Are you considering of using ADP’s services?
Actually, I’m not really, so….
Hold on for a second. Let’s read on before making your decision.
Alright, we’ll humor ya, PD. What you got?
ADP is one of the largest global outsourcing agencies that provide human capital management solutions for businesses. We have been using its services since 2010.
Really, since 2010? So it must be a pretty helpful service if you’ve been…
But ADP is not helpful, at all.
During this period, we have spent countless hours trying to contact the appropriate person in ADP who could answer our inquires.
But… since 2010?
Frustration is the word that best describes our experience.
A good word. Frustration. It’s what I feel, often, when my VPN cuts out, or my IP is killed because my Google Image search turns up a hit from Blogspot, or when I try to use Gmail. I know exactly what you mean.
Every time, we may either get transferred to several agents, but none of them could provide us the correct answer.
However, since I’ve personally have never had any problems with customer service anywhere, you’re on your own there.
And the time that we were put on hold was ridiculous. At the end, we would look at the clock and realize we had been on this call for 2 hours or more but still couldn’t get the answers. A complete waste of time.
You get the picture.
SCMP reports that the series, in Chinese, is titled “Immoral and Dishonest Americans.” We don’t know why “immoral” was taken out in the English version, but it doesn’t matter. It’s not like “dishonest” describes the scenarios above much better.
With three articles published from March to May, the series remained largely unnoticed until earlier this week, when a huge debate began online after several prominent Chinese media outlets reported the column.
The “debate” mostly consists of readers lambasting People’s Daily.
“Why do our officials keep sending their wives and sons to this immoral and dishonest country?,” asked many.
“There are immoral and dishonest people in every country, ” said Wu Zuolai, a Beijing scholar, “But we all know how many immoral and dishonest governments there are in the world – and we don’t need a column to tell us.”
But keep trying, state media. One of these days, you’ll get it — or do you not read the advice you solicit?