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

Feb 2, 2023, 25 tweets

CCTV FOLLIES 2.2 Birds and Dinosaurs

-Nice news rules the day
-Big story is about birds in wetlands
-Xi conspicuous by absence
-Dinosaurs prove spirit of the 20th
-Dual circulation, fine-tuning economy
-Russia still firing away
-US is a terrible racist country

The only really big story today features nicely-composed nature shots, mostly of birds, ostensibly demonstrating China's commitment to wetlands.

It's David Attenborough level wildlife photography, but one wonders why so much of it, and why now?

(In the past hearing baleful anthems on the news meant something happened; in the future it might be something like this)

Just another day in a tranquil natural wonderland

Cute, but worried-looking

The voice-over narration drones away saying nothing much in particular, but the pictures are soothing.

And in a related story, fish have returned to the Yangtze

The economic news segment gushes with confidence which suggests there may be some underlying worries.

CCTV resorts to a time-tested template (perfected in the "fanning the flames" segment of US weapons deliveries) by showing its own jets unloading cargo and moved by pallet mover

It's a Li Keqiang kind of news day, mostly focused on getting the economy back on track, though littered with Xi-speak about strong and speedy development.

Transportation and automation are key themes

And cutting edge science, exemplified by dinosaur research...

This could be a scene out of Jurassic Park...

And dinosaurs offer the pitch-perfect opportunity to twist the story and hail the spirit of the 20th party congress which served as Xi's coronation.

CCTV does some modest self-promotion

As does the Olympic committee...

It's been a year since Xi and Putin shook hands at the Olympics to announce a friendship with no limits.

And the friendship has blossomed nicely. Russian Defense Ministry footage, curated by spokesman Igor Konashenkov, is now a regular feature on CCTV news.

Fire away, Igor!

What is the viewer of the domestic news program in China supposed to get out of these pictures?

Here's a shot of Ukraine fighting back

(That's CCTV being "fair and balanced")

There's a conflict near Bakhmut...
(For more detail, don't watch CCTV)

Putin spokesman Dmitri Peskov blames the usual suspects: US doesn't want peace and "NATO's entire military, intelligence infrastructure is working against Russia."

Below, a rare glimpse of the battlefield, described as "in the vicinity of Bakhmut" (image unsourced)

Today's "adding fuel to the fire" segment blasting US help to Ukraine does not feature the usual basement blogger but...Turkey's strongman Erdogan.

"The West is supplying weapons to Ukraine..."

So says a crafty politician whose country is in NATO and supplies weapons, too.

The news then shifts to its regular US segment. After airing some of the worst footage the US has to offer, China's news behemoth inserts itself into the Tyre Nichols story with protest footage, a rare CCTV standup and on-the-site interviews.

The news closes with a brisk "Israel bombs Gaza, Palestine fires rockets" report and a final slam dunk on sanctions and US economic policy which are causing untold pain at the US gas pump. (Note the Japanese writing in the "US" gas-pump footage)

Zai jian!

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