Thursday, April 17, 2008

China and Netizens Demand Apology from CNN

China rejected on Thursday CNN's response to its demand for an apology over remarks made by commentator Jack Cafferty after the Foreign Ministry summoned the network's bureau chief in Beijing the night before.

During the broadcast of CNN's "The Situation Room" on April 9, when asked to comment on the U.S. relationship with China as the Olympic torch relay was underway in San Francisco, CNN news commentator Jack Cafferty said: "I think they're basically the same bunch of goons and thugs they've been in the past 50 years."

He also said that the United States continues to import Chinese-made "junk with the lead paint on them and the poisoned pet food..."

In the wake of the March 14, Lhasa riots, CNN posted a picture on its website showing people running in front of a military truck. The original picture uploaded by Chinese netizens, however, also shows mobsters throwing stones at the truck. The latter had been cropped out of the photo by CNN. (See first pic below)

Chinese Americans and Chinese have since launched an online campaign, demanding an apology from CNN and its "The Situation Room" program for insulting the Chinese. "We are truly stunned and shocked by a recent racist and hateful remark on the Chinese people by your news commentator JackCafferty," said a petition which has gathered 69,355 signatures since being posted online.

Biased coverage of the Lhasa riots and the Olympic torch relay by the U.S.-based Cable News Network (CNN) has also given rise to a whole new usage of the network's name - "Don't be too CNN".

CNN said Wednesday that commentator Jack Cafferty was referring to China's leaders—not the Chinese people—when he described them as a "bunch of goons and thugs," and apologized to anyone who thought otherwise.

However, China Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao rejected the apology and demanded CNN and Cafferty retract the remarks and "sincerely apologize to the entire Chinese people," according to a statement on the ministry's Web site. CNN Beijing bureau chief Jaime FlorCruz said he met with Liu Wednesday night but gave no details.

Jack Cafferty, who was born in 1942, had joined CNN's "The Situation Room" program in the summer of 2005. According to a New York Times report, Cafferty was convicted of reckless driving, assault and harassment in 2003 for hitting a bicyclist in New York with his Cadillac and leaving the scene. He was then fined US$250 and sentenced to 70 hours of community service.

Cafferty's remarks have been uploaded on YouTube and the click rate is approaching 27,000.

Related posts:
Chinese bloggers call for boycott of French goods
Olympic Torch Protests - Actions Politicised the Olympics Games

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