Monday, December 02, 2013

Wang Qinglei Fired

A star journalist was terminated by the China Central Television (CCTV). Wang qinglei revealed in his Weibo that he had been fired by the CCTV after he questioned the practice of the national TV to have an American Chinese political activist confess in front of the camera for his alleged crimes before a court trial.

Wang was briefly suspended in 2011 for raising inappropriate questions while reporting the bullet train accident in Wenzhou. In his ten years tenure at CCTV, Wang worked as a reporter with the Weekly News, News 1+1, and as the producer with the 24 Hours and lately Face to Face.

Charles Biqun 'Manzi' Xue was caught by police for inviting two prostitutes to his rental apartment in Beijing. While being detained by the police, a tearing and running noses Xue appeared on the Xinwen Lianbo, the one and only official national daily half hour news broadcasting, and confessed his adultery for 3 minutes. Appearance at the Xinwen Lianbo with air time of this length is usually reserved for major historic domestic event. Xue's wife was also publicly humiliated by exposing crime committed by her ex-mother-in-law. In addition, Xue confessed a scheme to use the Internet social networking sites to criticize the government and induce pain to Chinese people.

Berkeley educated Xue is a venture capitalist working with startups in China. An avid poster on Weibo, Xue saw opportunities to gain reputation from his potential clients among the newly emerging middle class by commenting on social issues. Xue had been cautious to steer clear from sensitive political topics, but obviously he misjudged the tolerance threshold of the Beijing authority.

In a long resignation letter, Wang revealed that there was no legal basis to charge Xue even after he was made confess on CCTV. Five days later, the National Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate jointly published an ordinance, in which it made an 'inaccurate' post on the Internet a criminal offense after being viewing 5,000 times or being forwarded 500 times.

The reaction on the Chinese online community is overwhelmingly supportive. However, there are also people who point out that Wang wouldn't be able to stay inside for ten years long and elevate to a new producer at the CCTV had he been as honest as he claimed in the letter.

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