US Election: Global Times Reprints Modified LA Times Story

The Global Times reprinted a story from the Los Angeles Times with some interesting omissions.

The original title ran “China watches U.S. elections with bemusement.” The Global Times version translates it as “American Media: Chinese people don’t understand US elections, think they are a waste of money.” Unfortunately, the slant of the LA Times article was lost in translation. The original article highlighted the negative bias of Chinese coverage of the US elections and also implied hypocrisy of those Chinese who criticize the fiscal frivolity of elections when China spent $42-43 billion on the 2008 Olympics. Both of these points were excised from the reprint, leaving the ghost of a story in which Chinese disgust with the US elections seems warranted and logical.

Similar to previous reprint articles, which have been compared to the original texts in Black and White Cat and Mei-Zhong Guanxi, this reprint article attributed the original source and ran much of the story verbatim. Interestingly, omissions in this Chinese reprint include the discussion of how the Chinese political system differs from the US system, discussion of China’s historically negative depictions of American politics, and a quote from an anonymous Beijinger saying that he would welcome a democratic system, in spite of its flaws.

More clues about censorship in China’s state-led media…Curiously, the names of Chinese scholars that were quoted in the LA Times story were left out of the Chinese article, as were their specific affiliations. Just as in Mei-Zhong Guanxi’s reprint analysis, reference to the $42/43 billion spent on the Olympics was omitted from an otherwise intact paragraph from the LA Times. This supports a growing theory that Chinese newspapers have been banned from publishing the cost of the Olympic Games.