Around the same time that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officially announced the investigation into former Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang, the anti-corruption campaign inside the party mouthpiece China Central TV (CCTV) expanded.
On July 11, CCTV’s famous news anchor Rui Chenggang, the deputy director of the finance channel Li Yong, and another program producer were detained. Following that, CCTV-9 channel director Liu Wen was detained on July 30.
According to China commentators, these arrests were planned by Party leader Xi Jinping in preparation for striking at Liu Yunshan, the director of the Central Propaganda Department and a Politburo Standing Committee member. Like Zhou Yongkang, Liu is also one of former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin’s faction members.
Chinese online financial media Caixin, reported that CCTV-9 channel director Liu Wen was detained on July 30. Since then his cell phone is no longer answering.
CCTV-9 is the documentary channel of CCTV. It was launched in January 2011, and Liu Wen has been its director since the start.
The report quoted sources who said that during the routine audit conducted by the CCP’s National Audit Office last December, Liu was found to have financial problems. He allegedly mishandled the purchase of foreign documentaries, and in addition “was suspected of benefiting from embedded advertising in most popular documentaries.”
Zhu Xinxin, former editor of Hebei Renmin Radio told NTD: “Although CCTV is called a media, it however serves as a propaganda tool. It is part of the CCP’s dictatorship system. Therefore, it also shares all the problems that are seen with the CCP’s politics. It takes part in the regime’s “melon-cutting” [business].
” It is also part of all conspiracies and scams plotted by the CCP. As a result, many CCTV employees have become members of vested interest groups. They also have problems with corruption and all kinds of scandals.”
In December 2013, CCTV’s former vice president Li Dongsheng was arrested. Since then there have been media reports saying that the Central Discipline Inspection Commission and the National Audit Office both have set up five teams investigating CCTV. Hundreds of CCTV staff have been interrogated and many were dismissed and arrested.
On June 1, Guo Zhenxi, the director of CCTV’s finance channel, was investigated on bribery charges. On June 6, finance channel producer Wang Shijie was detained. On July 11, famous new anchor Rui Chenggong was detained on a bribery charge. Deputy finance channel director Li Yong and another producer were also taken away by investigators.
Central Propaganda Department
Hua Po, Beijing political affairs observer told NTD: “CCTV can be regarded as a monopoly organ. It involves huge interests and thus the exchange of power and money with unwritten rules. Some CCTV employees are able to do anything to benefit themselves. So it is nothing unusual to see all this bad behavior.
“This time another group of CCTV members were placed under investigation. I think the move is about Liu Yunshan, who is the power in the propaganda system, and his opposition to Xi Jinping. Xi is trying to strike at Liu by cleaning out the propaganda organs.
CCTV Evening News used an unusually flat and sloppy tone when broadcasting the news of the investigation into Zhou Yongkang on July 29, Hua Po said. In addition, the online article published by People’s Daily, titled: “Strike against Big Tiger Zhou is Not the End of the Anti-corruption Campaign,” was also deleted by the Central Propaganda Department. These are clear indications of Liu Yunshan using his power in the propaganda system to go against Xi Jinping.
Besides the corruption problems, Chinese are also fond of talking about sex scandals within CCTV.
Zhou Yongkang’s current wife Jia Xiaoye was reportedly part of Li Dongsheng’s “sex bribes package” to Zhou. Jia Xiaoye had worked with Ye Yingchun, Shen Bing and other famous female reporters in CCTV.
On July 30, Chinese online media Hexun released a photo story titled: “Car Sex Photos Suggest CCTV Reporter Ye Yingchun is Zhou Yongkang’s Mistress.” The report had a photo attached of the alleged “car sex.”
On July 31, youth.cn reported online rumors saying the two female CCTV reporters Ye Yingchun and Shen Bing had been detained by the Central Discipline Inspection Commission for investigation.
Sources said that after Ye Yingchun started working fro CCTV she quickly caught the attention of Li Dongsheng, and became a star reporter for CCTV-4. Several years ago, Li Dongsheng introduced Ye Yingchun to Zhou Yongkang.
Shen Bing, another famous female reporter, also became Zhou’s mistress through Li Dongsheng’s introduction. Zhou later promoted Shen to deputy director of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission’s Media Center.
Chinese netizen “Yan Shaoxiong 53” said on Sina weibo that, on any given day, CCTV reporters deceive Chinese people with their upper body, and please party leaders with their lower body.
Zhu Xinxin, the former editor of Hebei Renmin Radio remarked to NTD: “Truth well told. On the one hand, CCTV creates and spreads lies to deceive our people. On the other hand, it shares stolen money with vested interest groups. CCTV acts in collusion with CCP officials. It has no fundamental professional ethnics or independent spirit.”