Following CNN’s coverage of the Tokyo Olympics, China’s state-run Global Times reportedly mocked Chinese patriotism and insulted the country’s attempts to combat the coronavirus.
A Spat Began Between the Chinese Global Times and CNN
A CNN status report entitled ‘The First Day after 2020 Olympics Starts with Gold for Beijing and Much More COVID-19 Cases’ sparked boiling fury in the Global Times.
Despite the fact the only coronavirus-positive athlete cited by named was Dutch rower Finn Florijn, CNN was chastised by the Global Times for irresponsibly associating China’s first Olympic gold to COVID-19. The Global Times immediately jumped to criticize CNN’s description of the Tokyo Olympics as the newest chance for China to demonstrate its national power.
Margaret MacNeil shot to fame after winning the women's 100-meter butterfly for Canada at #Tokyo2020.
In China, the 21-year-old was drawing wide attention for another reason. MacNeil was born in China and adopted as a baby by a Canadian couple. https://t.co/U1JohLYRDV
— CNN (@CNN) July 28, 2021
It’s Funny Because CNN was Actually Praising The Chinese Athletes
This was taken from the much longer CNN article that did prove the argument the Global Times took issue with, but not in a contemptuous or disparaging fashion. In truth, the commentary was largely devoted to praising Chinese sports accomplishments, particularly since China earned its first gold medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
CNN chastised Chinese patriots for going too far online. It also provided instances and goes to great lengths to emphasize more radical feeling on China’s Weibo social networking site; even the Communist Party associated feels this does not reflect mainstream popular opinions.
it’s his first olympic yet he managed to beat so many players and meet the superior Chen Long from China. Lee zii jia definitely brings the hype and hope to all Malaysians, super proud of him 🔥🇲🇾 pic.twitter.com/wZsV3YL2TZ
— kimbokjoo🆔 (@131dayswithiKON) July 29, 2021
CNN went to great lengths to point out that Chinese Communist Party censors have removed some hyper-nationalist comments and account holders for malicious intent; this includes ridiculing, demeaning, and attempting to attack athletes like competitor gunman Yang Qian.
Qian won the gold medal in the airgun contest and set a new world record, but was shredded on Weibo for flaunting her amazing list of Nike athletic shoes back in 2013.
Nike sneakers subsequently became a source of contention for Chinese nationalists. The company ventured to criticize China’s use of forced labor for cotton production in Xinjiang province while being suspected of using slave labor in other parts of the country. A retaliation boycott was launched against Nike by China.
#体操金メダル I think the referee must use a calculator To control China ‘score and reduce China’s score.where is the Olympic spirit I was convinced by the Japanese’s nausea and poor means of winning the champion. pic.twitter.com/kFEdJ40uvl
— Chchcherry_Ts (@Chchcherry2) July 28, 2021
That detail was omitted from the Global Times’ screaming tirade against CNN, which is depicted as a mouthpiece for a Western ideology that strives to degrade and condemn China wherever it can.
Another piece in the Global Times this weekend slammed Reuters for allegedly using unfavorable photos of Chinese sportsmen; this protest fizzled out when interested Westerners observed Chinese official media using some of the same images.
Most of this hilariously absurd outrage seems to be another flex of the Chinese Communist Party’s muscles, an attempt to try and convince itself that Western media stands completely under its finger.
Perhaps the party is testing its mainstream press abilities in preparation for the new Beijing Winter Olympics, which could include a lot more unattractive coverage of China’s human rights record.