Netizen Voices: Rui Chenggang’s Patriotism

"I represent Asia, I represent the world." See Representative Rui.

“I represent Asia, I represent the world.” See Representative Rui.

CCTV host Rui Chenggang has built his public image on a staunchly patriotic and nationalistic demeanor—the LA Times describes Rui as “China’s Stephen Cobert—only his patriotism shtick isn’t a put on.” Long a controversial figure in China, many of Rui’s critics reveled in the recent announcement that the celebrity anchor had been detained and is now facing an investigation for alleged corruption. The following netizen comments pointing out Rui’s hypocrisy were deleted from Sina Weibo, and retrieved from FreeWeibo:

赵士林: Thoughts on Rui Chenggang’s custody—many practitioners from CCTV and other official media have become the symbols of today’s China: gilded on the exterior, broken-down inside; presenting earnestness, living shamelessly; on their lips virtue and morality, in their souls thieves and whores.

有感于传芮成钢被拘。央视及一些官媒很多从业者成了今日中国象征:金玉其外,败絮其中;一本正经作戏,寡廉鲜耻生活;满口仁义道德,满腹男盗女娼。

南京李汛: When Rui Chenggang came on the scene, virtually no one sympathized with him. There is an essential difference between him and his predecessors, Cui Yongyuan and Bai Yansong–Rui has always maintained the utmost agreement with the corrupt system. He defended the Yangzhou Party Secretary’s high salary. He ridiculed the U.S.’s incorruptible ambassador. He even tore into Cui Yongyuan for pleading on behalf of the people. He may want to represent China or even Asia, but he doesn’t want to represent the interests of the taxpayers.

芮成钢进去了,基本没人同情他,和他的前辈崔永元白岩松有本质上的区别,——他始终和腐败的体制保持高度一致,他为扬州书记的高薪辩护,他嘲笑廉洁的美国大使,他甚至嘲笑崔永元为民请命。他要代表中国甚至要代表亚洲,就是不想代表纳税人的利益。

While Rui’s fellow and equally nationalistic state-media celebrity Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Global Times, didn’t offer his colleague direct support, he did jump to the defense of Chinese patriotism:

胡锡进: Patriotism springs eternal in Chinese culture. No one is qualified to be its “spokesperson,” including Rui Chenggang. So if you must curse, curse Rui Chenggang, not patriotism. I know there are people online who have no idea what they’re talking about, or who are exceedingly arrogant. But I hope that’s not you.

爱国主义在中国文化中生生不息,没有人能有资格做它的“代言人”,芮成钢也不是。所以你要想骂就骂芮成钢吧,别骂爱国主义。当然,我知道网上有一群根本不知道自己在说什么的糊涂蛋,以及狂妄之徒。但希望你不是。

Netizens responded:

主要是防止左: I hope you get kicked out just like Rui Chenggang!

祝你和芮成钢一样下场!

極地冰封V: The China I love isn’t your Party’s country!

我爱的中国,不是你的党国!

ThirstyTravel: We weren’t cursing patriotism, and we weren’t particularly cursing Rui Chenggang for representing patriotism. What we are cursing are those people who speak loftily of patriotism, but who spend their days doing things that hurt the country and the people. And those who spend their days shouting behind other people’s backs about patriotism, but who don’t know if they’re helping or harming the country! I hope that’s not you!

大家没有骂爱国,也没有特别骂芮成钢代表爱国主义,骂的是那些高谈爱国,却整天干着危害国家和人民事的人。还有那些整天跟在别人后面高喊爱国,却不知是爱国还是误国的人!希望你不是!

–yuan-H: I saw “patriotism” in the Carrefour boycott of 2008, in the calls to kick Starbucks out of China, in the smashing of Japanese cars. I saw the government appeal to “patriotism” during the melamine scandal. In these few short years, I’ve found these “patriotic” acts to be completely absurd and hypocritical. But I’ve never found any motivation in patriotism. The more we emphasize patriotism, we just become more populist and extreme.

我在08年抵制家乐福中看到了“爱国主义”、在把星巴克赶出中国中看到了“爱国主义”、在打砸日本车中间看到了”爱国主义“、在三聚氰胺中看到政府呼吁“爱国主义”,短短几年间,发现这些爱国主义多么荒唐或是虚伪。却不曾发现爱国主义对于我们有什么激励,越强调爱国主义,只会越民粹、偏激。