I’m writing to dispel the myth that there is an all-pervasive level of state censorship in China.
Case-in-point: this week’s viral China video was the unfortunate example of Cui Jianbin, a TV host in Hubei, who was apparently ‘pulled’ off air, mid-rant, by a colleague.
The video is in Chinese, but makes for compelling viewing as a (very) serious news story gives way to a (very) angry young man!
But NewChinaHand appreciates your busy schedules, so here’s a run-down of the best bits:
30 seconds in: the rant starts! The report at the beginning is about a luxury government office building or city hall erected in a poor county in Hubei. It’s got him fired up! He questions the integrity of the officials responsible: “Do you believe that the county leader and his staff are honest, clean and not corrupt?” (at least he’s sensible enough not to mention him by name…)
1 minute and 50 seconds: The money shot! Cui pulls a contender for the most disappointed face ever, and in NCH’s admittedly terrible Chinese listening and translation skills, asks ‘ni rang wo shuo wan, hao bu hao?’ or ‘are you gonna let me finish?’ to someone off-camera, possibly a producer (or perhaps his mum? I have no proof of this, but wouldn’t that be cute?). We never hear the answer as Cui exits stage, er, front.
And then it gets hilarious! You just have to watch that bit: I don’t want to spoil the surprise.
2 minutes and 38 seconds: an *entirely* prepared co-presenter steps up to the plate. Rumours are that all TV channels in China must legally have a reasonably attractive female presenter in reserve for an occasion such as this. The only problem with that is that the rumours were started by me. Just now. After watching this video.
Some have criticised Cui for losing his cool and his professionalism (which can happen to the best of us, I suppose…). Others have started a trend on Chinese social media demanding ‘let Cui finish’!
Which goes back to my original point: Cui is not dragged kicking and screaming from the set. He meekly asks if he is allowed to finish and then heads off. Self-censorship? I wouldn’t like to say.
According to reports, the story has a reasonably rose-tinted ending: Cui is still working, hard as ever, at the station and the official line is that Cui was removed because he ran out of time.
So, in answer to the question posed in the title of this article, Cui wasn’t fired on air. You may feel slightly misled.
He stepped out of shot, to fight another day, and rise like a mighty phoenix from the ashes! This story gives me hope for a brighter future for everyone! Besides, I’ve always feared being fired in the midd
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyPaVJBPAZQ#t=89 (Image is a screen-grab from this video)