Monday, July 21, 2008
"On Friday, Chinese authorities announced that four Communist Party, local government and security officials in Guizhou province's Weng'an county were sacked for 'severe malfeasance' over the alleged coverup of a murder, according to the state run Xinhua news agency. ... Exposed to online postings that sprout up and multiply before they can be censored, the public has come to expect more transparency and responsiveness from the government. ... Friday's apparent change of heart is the latest sign authorities tried to get out in front of the story: In Weng'an, local officials held a news conference less than two days after the riot to give their version of events. And Xinhua also covered the riot almost immediately, in contrast to past practices of waiting days before reporting such events. ... For blogger Mr. Zhou, providing on-the-scene information about events like a riot is a means to give voice to people whose stories get 'overlooked' in a media culture that treats news as propaganda", WSJ, 5 July 2008.
Local police said a high school student drowned. Many local people thought "she was raped and murdered, perhaps by children of local officials". 30,000 people protested the local officials handling of the incident. Do we need 30,000 protesters at the intersection of Broad and Wall to "encourage" Mike Garcia and Benton Campbell to catch some whales instead of minnows? Li Shufen, the deceased student may get more justice in China than Mary Jo Kopechne did. What brought Mike Nifong down? Not the normal operation of state authorities.