As far as live television goes, it doesn’t get much more compelling. What was supposed to be a stately ceremony inaugurating China Central Television’s 2008 Olympics coverage turned into a public spectacle after a popular Beijing newscaster grabbed the mike, interrupting the festivities to accuse her husband, a CCTV anchor, of adultery. For three long minutes, Hu Ziwei regaled an audience of thousands of Chinese and foreign reporters with tales of sports department head Zhang Bin‘s alleged infidelity, repeatedly asking, “If Chinese have no humane values to present to the world, what is the purpose of the Olympics after all?” Eventually, Hu was bundled off the stage by CCTV handlers, while Zhang made a quick apology. According to Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television, Hu was later jailed on charges of damaging the name of China and the Olympic Games, and will only be released after the Games are over.
The Communist party cadres who control China’s airwaves doubtless hoped the story would end there. But a video clip of Hu’s Dec. 28 outburst was soon uploaded to the Chinese video-sharing site Tudou.com, as well as a dozen other sites, and instantly became one of the most downloaded Chinese videos on the Internet, with 650,000 views on Tudou alone. (The clip was removed within hours from locally hosted websites, although it is still available on YouTube.) [Full Text]