Setting Out The Best China.Posted: August 12, 2008
OK, I get it, NBC. China is fab. Now there’s a government that knows how to run a country!
I realize the better NBC makes the People’s Republic of China look, the more excited the American audience will be to watch the Olympics—so there is a clear self-interest involved—but really, it’s getting a little much.
No question that these Olympics are a game-changer for China, with the nearest historical precedent being the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 that put Chicago at the center of the world stage. But there’s a flavor to NBC’s coverage that seems intended to prepare us for China’s takeover of the world; it says, “Don’t worry—the world will be a better place when China rules it, and even we Americans will be better off! You’ll see!” The inevitable is coming, the subtext of NBC’s news-and-features Beijing 2008 coverage conveys, and we can either fight it (fruitlessly), or relax and enjoy it. Don’t fear the Chinese; they’re just like us only better and smarter. Why, they’ve even got that American can-do spirit that to Americans is only a memory!
Case in point, watch a Today Show report from Dr. Nancy Snyderman bowing down before the benefits of thousands-year old traditional Chinese medicine and how China has learned to integrate this with modern Western medicine. It’s the best of both worlds! If only we could learn from their example! If only we could have such balanced wisdom! Mere lip service is given at the end of the story to the fact that many Chinese herbs are not “approved” by the FDA, which may just mean in fact—the story, remarkably, and irresponsibly, gives no clue—that they are not safe.
Maybe GE wants to make business inroads in China and is not beyond using its Universal NBC subsidiary to kiss a little ass to make it happen. In which case, nice propaganda job, NBC! When China attains unquestioned dominance over Planet Earth with the aid of your soft-soap sell-job, you can be proud as a peacock!
8/14 P.S. Just came across this. I guess my idle speculation about a GE business connection being behind NBC’s puff-piece coverage isn’t so idle after all.