In the Belly of the Beast

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A series of fascinating posts on the panicked reaction inside China’s propaganda machine to the early, erroneous reports that the Virginia Tech shooter was a Chinese national. There are observations by foreigners working on the inside, the blog itself belonging to a sub editor working form Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency. There are several trenchant comments to his initial post, one of them written by a foreigner working at China Central Television’s English language channel which if anything excels the original post in detailing the weird mindset there. Apart form the illustration of the workings –or otherwise– of the bureaucracy, these posts are a reminder of just how unprepared Chinese officialdom still really seems to be for the massive onrush of international coverage that will precede Olympics. As I remarked earlier in a post, as the Starting Ceremony looms ever closer it will be instructive to watch the reaction when activists start trying to take advantage of the presence of so many foreign reporters to advance their causes. My money is still on a heavy-handed overreaction at some point, which will of course garner just the sort of negative coverage these officials are so desperate to avoid……