This is a horribly misleading article, and it’s ironic that in talking about leaving out facts, the NYT article leaves out one very important one.
Now this is a story about how brainwashed Chinese people that the leave out important facts in their encyclopedia article and have it more biased than objective Westerners. Except for one thing….
Let’s print out the entire paragraph of the English wikipedia article
Mao pursued the ideal of a strong, prosperous and socially egalitarian China, endeavoring to build a modern socialist nation. However, the failings of Mao’s most significant socio-political programs — including the Anti-Rightist Campaign, the Great Leap Forward, and the Cultural Revolution — have been widely criticized. Mao is a controversial figure today. While officially held in high regard in China, he is today rarely mentioned by the government, whose policies have diverged greatly from those of Mao. Maoists around the world look to Mao as a great revolutionary leader whose thought is the highest expression of Marxism. Many of his detractors however accuse him of having been a mass-murderer, holding his leadership accountable for the deaths of tens of millions of innocent Chinese.
This is the version of Revision as of 22:41, 15 November 2006
And it is also the current version as of 11/29/2006
Now the Chinese leaves out the millions of deaths, but it also leaves out the positive statements about Mao, which is important fact that the New York Times article didn’t emphasize. What this basically means is that the Chinese summary is no more pro-Mao or slanted than the English one. The English one mentions both positive and negative aspects of Mao in the summary of the man, the Chinese wikipedia article mentions neither. I was involved in the editing of the English Mao article, and the issue was that there is someone that insisted on putting the millions of deaths line in the header, which prompted others who were more favorable to Mao to insist that the positive contributions were added. In the Chinese wikipedia case, this edit war didn’t happen so neither the positive or the negative contributions were added. The result is that the Chinese wikipedia article (which by the way does include death tolls) in the Great Leap Forward article is no more biased toward Mao than the English article.
Now one has to ask about the bias of the NYT article that mentioned prominently the deletion of the millions of deaths line, but did not mention that the Chinese wikipedia article also doesn’t mention the “positive contributions to China”.