Okay, so I blatantly stole the title line from my friend Jeremy Gordon over at the China Business Blog, but since he has been on a blog vacation since December 7 (why is it that Europeans go on vacation — or as they put it —go on holiday, and we Americans don’t?), I figured I would borrow it.
I liked the following quote so much, I had to do something:
Chinese authorities may not have a great sense of humor in many respects, but they absolutely LOVE applying western-inspired regulations exclusively to foreign-invested companies doing business in China. They think it’s hilarious ‘ and it goes over GREAT in the Chinese blogiverse.
So says Andrew Hupert of the Diligence China blog, in his post, “The Evil Industrialist in the Mirror.” The post is on how the New York Times delights in painting foreign companies in China as bad guys and the quote nicely dovetails with our recent posts,China Consultant, Protect Thyself, China’s Foreign Business Blame Game, and “URGENT ALERT: Register Your Business In China NOW“) on the Chinese government’s mounting crackdown on foreign companies seeking to skirt China’s laws.
I actually learned of this Diligence China post from a loyal reader who e-mailed us with the link in response to our recent posts, eBay: How To Fail In China 101 — What’s Politics Got To Do With It? and eBay As China Failure, Part II — Guilty As Charged, attacking the New York Times for its fawning (and inaccurate) coverage of eBay in China. The loyal reader, who has spent many years in China, has this to say about the Times’ China coverage:
The NYTimes’ approach to journalism is as follows: to look for poignant or otherwise revealing “local” stories that somehow transcend their specific place/time to reveal something paradigmatic about the country as a whole.
The value of that approach is that it is often entertaining and emotionally laden; the danger is overreaching. This approach tends to veer closer to storytelling than to to fact-telling.
What troubles me about the NY Times on China is that it implicitly presents itself as neutral while adhering conveniently to a pre-conceived story arc or moral lesson. Other papers do this as well, but the Times, perhaps due to arrogance, tends to presume a certain divine authority.
What do you think?