Propaganda Officials Set Tone for Liu Xiang Coverage
After Liu hobbled off the track, China’s Internet was filled with comments that ranged from sympathetic to deeply suspicious, with some people blaming officials or even his corporate sponsors for staging his exit. By Monday afternoon, China’s propaganda authorities had issued an order forbidding the country’s news media from criticizing Liu or probing into the details of his withdrawal, according to one Chinese journalist. Coverage of Liu’s situation in the state news media was almost uniformly sympathetic. China’s vice president, Xi Jinping, set the official tone by sending Liu and Sun a message expressing sympathy and concern.