Media blackout on lethal swine flu

It’s definitely a winning formula for the CCP — whenever citizens’ lives are at risk from a deadly disease, simply ban the media from reporting on it and maybe it’ll go away. Thank God they learned from SARS. Thank God they’re reforming.

The Discussion: 7 Comments

When they told you they had it “under control” what did you think they meant?

August 14, 2005 @ 10:40 pm | Comment

Just don’t talk about it, and it doesn’t exist. Just say that everything is getting better, and everyone will believe everything is better. Just say we have a harmonious society, and we’ll have it! Just say we represent the best interests of the people, and, er, maybe someone will believe it. At least MAJ and bingfeng.

August 15, 2005 @ 12:03 am | Comment

It’s kind of like traffic and pedestrians. If you ignore the cars that are coming, they just disappear.

August 15, 2005 @ 12:26 am | Comment

Two Hong Kong newspapers Ming Pao and Apple Daily reported an incident today (15/8) of Chinese Government official confiscating more than 1,200 kg of pork from 2 markets at the Nanshan District of Shenzhen. There are notices at the markets warning people about consuming pork that were on sale yesterday at those 2 venues. Government officials also conducted a door-to-door search in that District when they discovered that about 800 kg of pork in question had already been sold earlier yesterday. People who had allegedly consumed that batch of pork are now under observation. No official reasons had been given for the confiscation. When a reporter pressed a government official for an explanation, he was told that tapeworms had been found in pork on sale in those markets. Medical professionals in Hong Kong are sceptical of the explanation and are suspecting that something more serious had happened. This is causing some panic in Hong Kong because it is believed that about 10% of pork supply in Hong Kong would have come from the same source as those sold in Shenzhen. My question is: why is information about public health not released instantly via radio or TV broadcast? I am sure that if there is nothing to hide, a much better way of handling cases like this is to make a public broadcast with proper explanation and help line information. Imagine the kind of panic and paranoid that this kind door-to-door search is causing!!! For those of you who don’t read Chinese (or traditional characters), Reuters also a report based on extracts from those 2 HK newspapers. Some details of the Reuters translation are not very accurate though.

August 15, 2005 @ 2:20 am | Comment

Now I checked the story that Gordon linked to and it has two dates at the top. One from Aug 13 and the other from Aug 3.

Given the first line mentioning a Tuesday and a death toll of 37, I’m guessing that the original report came from Aug 3. Since then there have been many reports updating the death toll from 37 and officials having been sacked.

So I’d take this report of a news blackout with a grain of salt.

August 15, 2005 @ 4:32 am | Comment


Already covered the 4 officials being sacked over the pig disease.

The last I heard the death toll was somewhere around 38.

August 15, 2005 @ 5:58 am | Comment

See no evil, hear no evil, and “believe” in no evil. This particular Chinese culture still has not changed much.

August 15, 2005 @ 11:06 pm | Comment

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