I’m a rather cynical person and rather paranoid. I really do believe that there are people with political agendas trying to manipulate the media.
For example, there are these stories that the Chinese government is planning meetings with envoys of the Dalai Lama. So if the Chinese government is planning meetings with the Dalai Lama then how come you have these newspaper articles about him having horns and being demons. Well….. If you look closely, you’ll see that the people trying to make the Dalai Lama look like the spawn of Satan are people from the Tibetan regional government, and I think they are trying to make the Dalai Lama look as bad as possible in order to make it impossible for the Central Government to talk with him. There’s actually a battle for public opinion going on, and fortunately the people who are opposed to conversations with the Dalai Lama seem to have lost. There is a lot of passionate emotion in China, but you sometimes have to look very carefully about where this emotion is directed. All of the demonstrations in the past few weeks have been against France for the situation with the olympic torch and CNN, and there really isn’t that public emotion I can see about the Dalai Lama or about Tibet, that I can see.
But this tactic is not just confined to the Chinese press. What thing that I found interesting was that a few days ago, the Prime Minister of Israel mentioned that he might consider negotiating with Syria on returning the Golan Heights. You probably missed it because it was overshadowed by these stories on these videos of North Koreans helping Syria build a nuclear power plant. The interesting thing is that all of these videos are two years ago and they involve a plant that Israel blew up. But by putting it in the news, you stir up public opinion in such a way that it is impossible to discuss the Golan, at least for a few weeks.
It’s nothing to get mad or indignant about. It’s all part of the political game. The problem with the media is that in order to tell a story briefly, you need to simplify things, but in order to to political things, you have to realize the complexity of what is going on.