NY Times columnist Tom Friedman writes an open letter to China’s President Xi Jinping:
The Chinese-language websites of The Wall Street Journal and Reuters were recently blocked, and those of Bloomberg News and The New York Times have both been blocked for months. More important, The Times and Bloomberg together have more than 20 journalists in China whose visas are up for renewal by the end of December and, so far, your government is refusing to act on them — in apparent retaliation for both organizations exposing the enormous wealth amassed by relatives of senior Chinese leaders, including yours. The rumor is that you intend to deny both organizations the right to report from China.
China experts tell me that this unprecedented crackdown is prompted by your feeling that we’ve crossed a red line. You apparently thought the rules of the game were that the foreign press, local media and social media could write anything they wanted about corruption and social protests at the local and provincial level — indeed, it was a way for the central government to track and curb corruption — but that such focus should never be brought to the financial dealings of the top leaders of the Communist Party.
Sir, if a red line has been crossed, it has been by your officials and by technology.
So Tom Friedman is a proponent of ‘Chinese’ transparency. If the American press points out nefarious dealings ‘within the Chinese government’, then the Chinese government should not act like a bunch of goons seeking retaliation.
One must then ask a few questions. How would Tom Friedman feel if the ‘American’ government were exposed of vicious dealings? Would Friedman come to the defense of the person or organization that provided the expose? First of all, the American media would never do such a thing. They’re wrapped very tightly around DC’s finger. However, there is a man named Edward Snowden who did expose the massive and pervasive surveillance that was a secret to the entire world. Everyone now understands that we live in a surveillance state, thanks to Edward Snowden.
Did Tom Friedman come to Snowden’s defense?
Did Tom Friedman mention anything about the U.S. government crossing a “red line”?
Of course not. Just the opposite in fact.
I don’t believe that Edward Snowden, the leaker of all this secret material, is some heroic whistle-blower.
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