Chinese ‘Wiping Sweat’ Media Stunt Thwarted by Blogger
A Chinese state news report that a chief official, after seeing a hard-working traffic cop standing in the hot Wuhan sun, was so moved as to wipe the sweat from the man’s brow, has been revealed as fake by a whistle blower and widely publicized as such by a blogger.
Well-known Chinese blogger Zhang Hongfeng on Aug. 9 published an article titled, “Wiping away sweat: traffic police stood under scorching sun for half an hour for their chief official to 'wipe away' their sweat,” which ridiculed the set-up news item.
Zhang said that he received a call from a policeman in Wuhan who reported that ten police were called at 2 p.m. and made to wait in the hot sun, in nearly 122 F temperatures, for half an hour, so a high-level official in the police force could come and wipe away their sweat.
The official arrived with an entourage of reporters and photographers. After photos were taken of the official wiping sweat from the police officers, the official departed.
The whistle-blower told Zhang that the officers were infuriated by being used as props in the publicity stunt.
Zhang's blog showed three published photographs and related articles from government-run media including Jinchu News Net, Chutian Metropolis Daily, and Changjiang Times. The articles state that the official, Wang Bin from the Wuhan Municipal Public Security Bureau's Traffic Division, led police officers from the office to the streets to inspect the traffic police on duty; when Wang saw the heavy perspiration on the traffic police's faces, he became moved with compassion and wiped away their sweat.
Zhang said that he believed the whistle-blower's story after carefully examining the photos. He posed questions such as: if the official truly cared about those working on the front lines, why would he make them wait in line under such unbearable heat? Why did he have to take such a large entourage if he really just came to wipe away their sweat?
The blog item by Zhang was referred to thousands of times on Sina.com’s (a popular web portal) microblog service, and readers left scores of comments largely critical of the failed propaganda stunt.
Read the original Chinese article.