Hat Tip to NewsBusters:
NBC’s Matt Lauer, broadcasting live from the Great Wall of China on Monday’s “Today” show, referred to the “double-edged sword” of the world’s attention being on China for the Summer Olympic Games and asked a Chinese professor about how that “spotlight” might be “co-opted by party crashers who have a bone to pick with this country. He then asked the professor, “How worried are the people here about that?”
Lauer, who will be in China during the next weeks for the Olympics, interviewed Professor Teng Dimeng of the Beijing Foreign Studies University 20 minutes into 7 am Eastern hour of the NBC program. According to the University’s own website, it is a “key university under the [Chinese] Ministry of Education” and that “since her initiation, the [Communist] Party Central Committee and the late Chinese leaders, including Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, has provided great care and teachings for the development of the university.” Therefore, Lauer, despite introducing Teng as a professor, was actually speaking to an employee of the Communist Chinese government.
Teng answered Lauer’s questions as you might expect a Chinese government employee would respond. He replied to the host’s “party crashers” remark that “China is a nation with a long history of forgiving, and also tolerance.” Lauer might want to check with the Dalai Lama and the Catholic bishops in China about that.
He also might want to check with the thousands of Chinese imprisoned for the ‘crime’ of criticizing the communist regime for its authoritarian brutality.
Excerpts from the transcript of the interview from Monday’s “Today:”
MATT LAUER: Teng Dimeng is a Chinese citizen and professor at Beijing’s Foreign Studies University. Professor, good morning, nice to see you. Eight in ten people in this country say that the Olympics are personally important to them. Why to you think that is?
TENG DIMENG: Well, personally, once again for me, it’s a great event. It’s going to be a historic moment that China is going to be a rising power, and China is going to be a sporting power, and the Olympics provides a better stage for China to make that statement.
LAUER: Double-edged sword though, with this great spotlight, China can say to the world, look where we have come, look who we are, but that spotlight can also be co-opted by party crashers who have a bone to pick with this country. How worried are the people here about that?
TENG: Well, China is a nation with a long history of forgiving, and also tolerance. I think they do what they do, and we stand firm on our position that any protest will be okay, but then we tolerate them.
……LAUER: How do you think the average Chinese citizen might react to something like that? Will they say, whether philosophically we agree with the sentiment of the protest or not, it shouldn’t happen during our moment?
“Our moment”, Lauer? Well, the Chinese government wouldn’t want to ruin the ‘moment’ by showing dissidents being beaten and dragged off to a prison, now would they?
Matt continues with the bootlicking:
LAUER: Talk to me a little bit — put yourself in my shoes as a Westerner coming here. What do you think I will notice as the major difference culturally and societally here than the way I live my life back home?
TENG: Well, China, once again, is a rising nation, is a rising power, and the most — the best thing that we want to demonstrate is economic accomplishment. Look at the city — look at the dramatic change that’s changing around the whole city and around the country in general — the highways, the expressway, the apartment buildings, the office buildings. As well, the cultural heritage that China still kind of tried to retain — look at the Great Wall. We are standing near right now.
More from the Times of London:
WHILE the world marvelled at the spectacular opening ceremony in Beijing, a surprising backlash was materialising this weekend among Chinese internet users.
A significant number of those posting comments on some less closely censored websites said the ceremony had glorified authoritarian rule and one said it reduced individuals to “cogs in a machine”.
……China sent at least 58 citizens to labour camps for “reeducation” to stop them staging protests in Beijing, according to official figures. Eight more were given prison sentences and 45 others are awaiting punishment for daring to travel to the capital to raise their grievances.
I haven’t watched one nanosecond of the Chinese-sponsored games, nor do I intend to.
Newsflash for Lauer and NBC: There’s a huge difference between visiting a totalitarian country as a celebrity in the spotlight, and being a citizen of that country, subjected to its barbarity with no means of escape.