City Paper is not for tourists
So yesterday, Paul Farhi of the Washington Post wrote a nice little post about how NBC conveniently omits mention of less pleasant aspects of life in China. The money graph is here:
Political protests? Not on this channel; no sir. Beijing’s fearful pollution? Maybe, but only if a marathoner coughs up a lung or it spoils a beauty shot. Doping scandals? In passing, perhaps. Tibet? China’s role in Darfur? Now, wait just a second. . . The aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake? Why be unreasonable. . . Tiananmen? Mao’s barbarities? No, and hell no.
Instead of actually covering real life in China, Farhi noted, the network has Mary Carillo running around doing lifestyle features on China. First came a piece on all the big things that China has built over the years. Then came the panda piece.
And last night, Carillo dined. She nibbled on fried scorpion, she had some odd duck parts, she chowed some entrails, and she went to a tea house and was blown away by the long spout on the tea kettle.
After a few minutes of that, I had to give it to Farhi: A piece on pollution, the pros and cons of the Three Gorges Dam, Internet censoring would have been far more welcome—anything but Carillo stuffing her face with a cuisine that we’d never consider embracing here in America. What a shock!
Of course, then you have to consider this Hobson’s choice: Carillo-generated fluff or synchronized diving. I’ll take a bowl of fried scorpion!