People's Daily deserves not our scorn but our patience and understanding. I make the comparison with autism with absolutely no intention of being insulting to autistic people or their family and friends, and please accept my apologies if this still sounds offensive. But maybe the proper response to People's Daily -- which has underdeveloped communication skills (despite being the official mouthpiece of the government), difficulty grasping abstract concepts, and fantasies that are simply untenable in the real world -- should be with tolerance, composure, and encouragement?
People's Daily has had an eventful week. Last Monday it called the New York Times "circling vultures" for an article on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370; on Friday it sought "immediate rectification" from a parody Twitter account, @relevantorgans; then, somehow, it got a guest editorial out of Bill Gates. But PD truly tops itself with this next thing, because these are words that someone actually wrote. Via Reuters:
People's Daily, the gift that keeps on giving, did a most glorious thing at 1:39 am today by "publicly condemn[ing]" a parody Twitter account, The Relevant Organs. "We have noticed that a Twitter account has been misleading people by stealing People's Daily 's web address and National emblem of China to make false impression that the account is related to China officials or People's Daily," reads PD's tweeted statement.
On April 14, New York Times reporters Kirk Semple and Eric Schmitt published an article titled “China’s Actions in Hunt for Jet Are Seen as Hurting as Much as Helping" that quoted two government officials -- one from the US and one from Malaysia, both unnamed -- who said China has not, to put it nicely, contributed much to the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. It was a disturbing piece, not least because it seemed to signal the search may have entered a new phase in which the frustrations and difficulties of finding the missing jet could spill into finger-pointing and politics.
First, we need to collectively realize -- then get over the fact that -- People's Daily has a Facebook page. Then we can get to this story, first tweeted by Bill Bishop with the question, "People's Daily fall for fake news again?"
Turns out, yes. Very fake.
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:
There's phallic -- the Washington Monument, skyscrapers, ice cream drumsticks -- and then there's penis. Behold the above, purportedly the new headquarters of People's Daily. As Hug China explains:
Pictures of the People’s Daily new headquarters that is under furnishing at the moment have gone viral on Chinese social media. One of the picture taken by a netizen from a special angle on April 11 when the top part of the building was framed with construction racks makes the construction look like a colossal human male genital.
Are you healthy? Are your parents alive? If you answered in the affirmative to these two questions, you’re well on your way toward being happy currently, as a fun little People’s Daily quiz tells us. But like a bad dictionary entry in which the word you’re looking up is used in the definition, some answers are... Read more »
Valentine’s Day is a lot of things, including fake, commercialized, contrived, and unworthy of intellectual consideration, but in China, it’s also a “breeding ground” of “corruption and debauchery for a minority of party members,” as SCMP puts it, paraphrasing People’s Daily. A four-paragraph story in People’s Daily said Valentine’s Day had become a hatchery of decadent ideology, indulgent lifestyle,... Read more »
People’s Daily Online is openly soliciting feedback for China’s English-language newspapers, using language that doesn’t even try to conceal the fact that papers such as China Daily and Global Times might be affiliated with the government. This is the shocking part, of course. Those of us familiar with China know how complicated the media environment... Read more »
Yesterday, People’s Daily published a front-page column calling for better behavior on the Internet, not sure whether with the window open or closed in its ivory tower. As translated by China Media Project (emphasis theirs): An open China requires a civilized and healthy online world governed by rule of law. Everyone, whether supervising government bodies... Read more »
Alicia first saw this slideshow on China News, but it’s since migrated to Sina, and if you thought a slideshow of scantily clad women doing Gangnam Style wouldn’t make it to People’s Daily, under the headline, “40 sweet beauties dance Gangnam Style in bikini,” you have been living under a rock. Catch up. These ladies (and... Read more »
The flagship CPC newspaper People’s Daily is, well, it’s a bit, you know. It’s rubbish. The design is terrible, the editorials are as pleasant as a shirt of broken glass and Captain Crunch, they have military equipment on their flash home page every day and their non-CPC related stories have the detached insouciance of a disabled child petting a kitten too hard.
Earlier this year, I gave a lecture to high school journalism students in China about the importance of citation, spending a good 10 minutes on the how and why of it. This may or may not surprise you, depending on whether you read Chinese publications and/or crappy blogs, but sourcing is often optional here; what’s... Read more »
The Associated Press succeeded in getting People’s Daily on the line to answer for its slideshow, “North Korea’s top leader named The Onion’s Sexiest Man Alive for 2012.” An online editor said the 55-pic spread would be taken offline (note: it already has been), and also: “We have realized it is satirical,” said the editor who... Read more »
Remember when Chinese propaganda rag People’s Daily confused an Onion spoof for real news, proudly touting that Kim Jong-Un was the Sexiest Man Alive? Of course you do, it happened yesterday, and everyone in the world is talking about it. It was only a matter of time, of course, that The Onion would talk about... Read more »
This is too perfect. The Onion — you know, that website whose lead story is currently, “42 Million Dead In Bloodiest Black Friday Weekend On Record” — named North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un its “sexiest man alive” on November 14, writing: “He has that rare ability to somehow be completely adorable and completely macho at... Read more »
“Look, a female!” exclaims People’s Daily. We’ve been waiting for this. In March, we saw the Ouroboros of Chinese media, when journalists took pictures of other journalists in a slideshow for China Daily. But this year? The humor hasn’t been handed to us on a platter, so we’ve had to dig a little. No longer. Here’s People’s... Read more »
Venerable titans of journalism, People’s Daily, published an attack piece on the New York Times yesterday (in Chinese) accusing the Gray Lady of deteriorating standards and bad breath. “In recent years, there has been an explosion in plagiarism and fabrication by its journalists,” PD writes, highlighting two particular debacles involving infamous plagiarists Jayson Blair and... Read more »