In China, a Patriotic Death Reeks of Alcohol

Apparently an official who died of a brain hemmorhage after excessive drinking in Xinyang, Henan, the city which has banned officials from imbibing during official lunch banquets, has had his “outstanding communist” award rescinded. From the New York Times:

What the officials did not mention was that Mr. Guo had died not on the job but at a karaoke bar after an evening of drinking with other officials. This week, Orient Today, a newspaper in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province, reported that hospital records indicated that Mr. Guo’s drinking had been so excessive that it had contributed to his death.

And so the same propaganda officials who fashioned Mr. Guo as an exemplar of Communist Party values have found themselves enmeshed in a delicate public relations exercise: damage control. On Thursday, they announced that Mr. Guo’s posthumous honors had been rescinded.

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