It certainly blew to shreds my last bit of belief that there was credible news to be had from our local TV stations. It was amusing how sincerely devoted to the 60th Anniversary Extravaganza they tried to appear.
Of course there were the superlatives, the 100,000 people taking part, the intercontinental nuclear missiles and unmanned observation drones being trucked past by the ton, the synchronised sloganeering of 80,000 youths turning and signing in unison.
Except that you notice that there are no people involved. There are no cheering crowds at the side. There is no sign of particular popular involvement at all. There are a couple of obvious insiders who are looking on (our Chief Executive with his camera poised looking like a tourist). The interested public are kept miles away, penned in behind fences and not able to see a single aspect of the parade (except the flybys, which TVB tried to spin into a positive).
It stuck me for a moment, and then you start to think why it should be so exclusionary. Then you remember its China and the Communist Party, and they wouldn’t dare let reality mar their utopian fantasy of the Motherland, which still holds true to the vision that Mao forged for it.
If you do listen between the lines of the obvious PR script that TVB’s news anchor is reading that just highlights the dark comedy. Thing’s like how the Chinese government has included all the nationalities of China for the first time (which, of course, has nothing to do at all with race riots in Xinjiang and Tibet).
I suppose you can count on some people to be swept away by nationalist fervour and celebrate away. You could at least try and not make your coverage seem like a perverse farce.