[xtypo_dropcap]B[/xtypo_dropcap]y now the theater of contention is well established: China Central Television (CCTV), the primary mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, releases a glowing survey on public sentiment, and bloggers and commentators tear it apart with alacrity.
Results of the “CCTV 2010 Economy Survey” were released on Jan. 12. They indicated that from 80,000 people polled, 44.7 percent of the Chinese public feels life to be good or very good, and only 11.1 percent considers life to be bad or very bad. Like every year, the methodology and conclusion of the survey was immediately bombarded by media commentators, scholars, and Internet citizens (netizens).
Mr. Jin, a lawyer from Beijing, said CCTV is the mouthpiece of the regime and is used primarily to manipulate public opinion and sing praise for the Communist Party. On this basis, he says, CCTV’s news and in particular its surveys are not trustworthy. They should be understood as in fact opposite of how they appear on the surface, he said.
Scholar and dissident Jiang Qisheng from Beijing said one should always put a question mark on all things official. He never watches CCTV news and doesn’t consider the survey result reliable anyway.
Freelance Writer Jing Chu said: “If one believes 1 sentence out of every 100 sentences from the People’s Daily and CCTV, one is a fool. Why? Here is the truth about the CCP controlled media: ‘I am the Party’s dog, I guard the Party’s gate, I bite whoever the Party tells me to bite, not a bite more and not a bite less.’ That is to say they only tell you what the Party wants you to know and hide the rest.”
In Jing’s opinion, people who think for themselves don’t believe anything from CCTV. However, it still discharges its mission as a mechanism of mass persuasion, and is still capable of deceiving that portion of the public who spends most of its spare time in front of the television.
Further, young children receive a “black-is-white” and “white-is-black” education, Jing argues, which means that when they grow up they will have a hard time believing anyone who tries to tell them what black and white really are anyway.
Jing said that there are many factors which define a good life, such as a prosperity, freedom, and dignity. “In China, freedom and dignity are impossible. Most people feel suffocated and depressed. People do not dare to speak the truth. If they do, they will be thrown in jail. How can one consider life similar to that of pigs and dogs good?”