Rolling Stone’s China edition – whitewashing uncomfortable truths?

So this blogger claims in an intriguing post. What the heck? Everybody doing business in China has to compromise on their ethics to some extent. Why not Rolling Stone?

I finally read the Rolling Stone China cover story on Cui Jian on the plane from Kunming to Beijing yesterday, and the way they totally elided the man’s political importance was pure sophistry genius. The article totally focused on his song Yi Wu Suo You translated sometimes as Having Nothing, Less than Nothing, etc. – which has a great, great deal of its fame wrapped up in its becoming an anthem for student protestors in Tienanmen Square in the weeks leading up to the June 4 massacre. So Rolling Stone writes the whole story about the song’s first performance in 1986 with this aura of divine provenance about how the song was destined for fame because it was just so awesome from the get go, eg. it was only rehearsed once before its TV performance debut and all kinds of stuff like this. Then from 1986 they jump straight to 2006, leaving out all the important history, with one major excuse being that Cui Jian himself isn’t willing to talk about it. What a hoot!

Emphasis added. Interesting blog, well written and well worth a look.

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