Phil Cunningham Profile picture
金培力 CCTV FOLLIES at Fulbright, Knight, Nieman Fellow.

Jan 12, 2023, 45 tweets

CCTV FOLLIES 1.12 Getting the propaganda right

-Xi gets no visuals today (!) Just the usual plaudits.
-CCTV does propaganda right
-Soledar battle fierce, Gerasimov new commander
-Jeffrey Sachs explains
-US crippled by grounding of flights.

"Xi" is still the first word uttered in the news but it's a just a dull readout on China-Angolan solidarity:
"Our two countries see the global situation the same way"

Next up, anchor Li Zemeng, eyelashes fluttering, quotes the Chairman:
"As Xi says...'struggle creates miracles'

Today's miracle is not a miracle, but it's nothing to laugh at either.
China is adept at building bridges, and as Gay Talese wrote in "The Bridge" it's dangerous work.

But too often it's the overweight men in ill-fitting suits who get the credit. Today, a focus on the workers.

A massive bridge tunnel project is underway connecting Zhongshan to Shenzhen.

It's backbreaking, risky, unforgiving hard work.

But hey, it's chow time! Come and get it!

"I'm from Hunan...the cook's from Tianjin"

"But we can do Cantonese food, no problem!"

"These fellas are from all over China..."

"I'm from Gansu!"

"I'm from Hebei"

"I'm from Henan"

"I'm from Manchuria"

Going home for the holidays?

"Our work here is far too important..."

"But truth is, I'm really afraid of my daughter-in-law"

"But really, how often in a lifetime can one get involved in a project of such a scale?"

"The sooner we get the job done, the sooner the bridge can open to traffic..."

The camera crew does a great job, though sadly the piece is fit into a narrative frame extolling sacrifice and celebrating the "spirit of the 20th"

The red banner reads: "job applications now accepted"

Tomatoes on a plate in a coffee shop...
Nice composition, but the narrative is all catchphrases...

"I believe things are getting better and better all the time"

The next set-up also starts with a hint of drama:
At first glance, it looks like Li Keqiang is impatiently waiting at a counter for service.

And we get to see it from the teller's point of view, too.

But the punchline sags:
"Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has underlined efforts to implement policies properly in order to help market entities overcome difficulties, as well as deepening reforms to spur market vitality and public creativity."

Rock star optics close the segment.

@threadreaderapp “unroll”

Meetings hardly worth mentioning...
Wang Yang praises Xi and spirit of the 20th
(at which he lost his job)
Wang Huning sings praise of a key meeting in Yanan
(which took place 80 years ago)

The only thing "newsy" about this is that VIPs get really big chairs these days.

Liaoning gets a makeover.
An interview trades in stock phrases:

"We must thoroughly emulate the spirit of the party's 20th and the central economic work conference deployment...."

The good news is that prices in China are stable, especially compared to the soaring prices in Europe and America...

China, a land of abundance....
Corn, coal, pigs and vegetables.

Train are stations packed.
The train to rural Qiqihar in Heilongjiang is festively bedecked...

Mao Buyi is from there, he sings of missing home.

(Qiqihar is also hometown of Peng Lifa, hero of Sitong Bridge. No news on him since he was arrested for putting up banners.)

CCTV is getting really good at drone shots.

This story, about stemming soil erosion, focuses on the Yellow River.
It's a dragon, which, if tamed, cements the emperor's mandate

Russia prides itself on aerials of a different sort. This, from Moscow's MOD, shows Russia in action.
(The meaningless map of Ukraine is supplied by CCTV's graphic geniuses.)

More Russian shots...

Battle for Soledar intensifies... (Ukraine footage)

Sergei Shoigu announces that Valery Gerasimov has replaced Sergei Surovikin.
Gerasimov is the new commander of Russia's integrated group of forces in Ukraine.

Russia and Belarus team up with joint air defense

Western military spends a great deal of money supplying Ukraine.
It's so unfair!
NATO is the root cause of conflict.

Jeffrey Sachs opines: "As long as I can remember, the US has engaged in fighting. It's clear that America's intent is to retain its dominance in the world."

CCTV winds up the news with the usual (bad news from a bad country) refrain. Tonight it's a cheap shot (inexpensive, too) using US footage of FAA's faulty system outage to illustrate a nation badly in decline, all the while smugly hinting that such things don't happen in China.

How CCTV can find more air time for American flight delays than its own millions of Covid sick is another question for another day, but hey, that's the editorial line.

CCTV devotes so much space to this vacuous story it begins to run out of fresh angles of the suffering masses at airport gates and waiting areas.

But it purportedly shows America in decline, and that's the whole point of it.

Also, "climate action failure" will be a thing in the next decade... (but there are only ten seconds left of news time and CCTV has ten years to report on that)

Thank you for watching and good night!

@threadreaderapp “unroll”

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