Was Obama’s China visit a failure? (No.)

James Fallows, for years just about my favorite commentator on China (and any other topic he writes about), debunks the absurdly negative spin the US media gave to Obama’s visit here. Applying the kind of diligence that reminds us how important the paid media is, Fallows provides a series of five separate posts, each of which is required reading for those who want to see the sloppiness of the US media in action, and to fully understand all the work the Obama team did to make the trip a successful one. And it was a success.

H/t to commenter Stuart, who sums up some of the best of Fallows’ observations on his own blog. The inside scoop of the hell the Obama team went through to get the townhall televised live is particularly intense, if not all that surprising. (We know how uptight the leaders are about content that cannot be fed through the censorship funnel, edited and, if necessary, deleted altogether. Live TV is kryptonite to prickly censors.) The townhall was a triumph, and it is beyond comprehension why the media is determined to brand it – and all other aspects of the trip – a failure.


Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 110 Comments

The Climategate event is very important, not because it’s exposing irrefutable proofs that scientists colluded to create false data and manipulate information about man made global warming (it doesn’t), but because it is shifting the opinion of the public on the subject, and this is where it really matters.

Shifting opinions.

December 5, 2009 @ 4:57 am | Comment

Tin foil hat wearing idiot


December 5, 2009 @ 5:09 am | Comment

Ahhhh, mumbling people… They are so annoying. Loonies…

You said it, not me. Now push your shopping cart over to that bridge you’re sleeping under. (Just joking, of course.)

December 5, 2009 @ 5:10 am | Comment


Alright, but please give me a “loonie” when you pass by, for food of course.

December 5, 2009 @ 5:17 am | Comment

“The GOP may do well in 2010. Palin, however, will never, ever be president. I am willing to place bets.”

hocker polls: That Sarah Palin-Barack Obama gap melts to 1 point


She must be thankful of Obama for lining her pockets with cash from her book.

December 9, 2009 @ 1:08 am | Comment

Bao, you did this same crap during the 2008 election, remember? Pointing to a poll and saying McCain would win. Remember? Palin will never be president of the US. If you understood how the US electorate works you’d understand this. You’d also understand how national polls, especially ones like this (it’s a popularity contest, not a poll of who they would vote for), are incredibly unreliable for calling election winners because they don’t take into account the weight of ech state’s electoral votes. So keep on babbling.

December 9, 2009 @ 1:47 am | Comment

I don’t think she would win (I don’t really care). it’s just interesting to notice the shifting of the political pendulum (from left to right ) once again in the U.S.

I’m not rambling Richard. One day you will realize it. But not now, it’s too early and you are not there yet.

December 9, 2009 @ 2:00 am | Comment

Here’s what bugs me about your comments and why I call you out for babbling. You come in here and make pronouncements of doom and apocalypse and talk as if you have some knowledge that we ordinary mortals don’t have, as if you know things we don’t, as if you have a pipeline to god that isn’t shared with the rest of us. You make sweeping and audacious statements and talk like a prophet, yet you offer no research other than obscure links you googled; no serious dialogue, no grappling with issues – just pronouncements, like a priest in robes and sandals returning from the Delphi oracle. And your insistence that others, like me, “don’t understand what’s really happening” only adds to the image you’ve cultivated as the town loon warning the end is near. Because you don’t say what we don’t understand. If you have an argument to make, then make it. If you have wisdom to impart, share it. But when you keep popping up like a nasty rash and utter incoherent and cryptic warnings, don’t be surprised that everyone either laughs at you, ignores you or pities you. Because trust me, those are the only reactions you elicit here. Not one commenter takes you seriously. Are you pleased with your unique status?

December 9, 2009 @ 2:32 am | Comment

Baruch Spinoza said: “I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them.

December 9, 2009 @ 3:01 am | Comment

Thank you. I rest my case.

December 9, 2009 @ 3:12 am | Comment

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