Thursday, February 12, 2009

Clearing the Air

Today Beijing got its first rainfall... since October 24, some four months ago.

This morning the clouds were dark and ominous, but no precipitation appeared until lunchtime when it was spitting.

But by late afternoon there was light rain and then at dinnertime it was pretty steady. My winter coat was soaked and I wished I had worn boots instead of my suede shoes.

However, it's good whenever it rains, as it clears the air.

And in Beijing's case, it's washing the sky of the ash from the numerous fireworks in the past few days and of course the horrific fire that destroyed the building that was to house the Mandarin Oriental, a television studio and data processing centre.

Apparently the city's air quality the day after was one of the worst in a while.

The government is trying very hard to kill the story about CCTV officials who defied the law to set off their own category "A" fireworks, the same ones used during the Olympics, and are set off by computers.

Today 12 people were detained over the incident, including the CCTV site manager. Heads are going to roll, figuratively and perhaps literally.

Despite government directives for Chinese state media to bury the story, people are still talking about it or checking out the latest comments on blogs.

The disdain for the network is shown in one comment, "Liar, liar, pants on fire", referring to the giant angular loop that looks like dakucha, or big pants.

There was also criticism about how the network didn't even take advantage of the breaking news story on its own newscast and instead focused on the wildfires in Australia.

One blogger named Han Han wrote: “Such self-castration just perfectly fits the image of CCTV being the world's number one eunuch media,” he wrote. “For sure, the present CCTV does not deserve to have one.”

Ouch.

Sounds like CCTV has some major rebranding to do.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

what a bunch of morons who dreamed up this idea of setting the fireworks. they should be punished. what a waste such a building gone to ashes. who is paying for it? the people.