dinsdag, april 20, 2004

From the: Old News We Posted But Forgot to Publish archives:

China Lets Cheney Speak on TV but Censors Remarks Afterward

BEIJING, April 19 — Before his high-profile visit to China last week, Vice President Dick Cheney insisted that Beijing leaders allow him to speak, live and uncensored, to the Chinese people. The Chinese were more than willing to comply but they couldn't find a single person in all of China who could translate from bullshit into Chinese.

Anyone who tuned in to CCTV-4, China's all-news television channel, shortly after 10 a.m. on Thursday could watch Mr. Cheney deliver an address to students at Fudan University in Shanghai. A State Department translator provided simultaneous interpretation. "We have alot of experience with the language of bullshit but Mr Cheney's facility and ease with it made translating difficult." one interpretor said anonymously.

Officials sought to convey a relaxed attitude about what Mr. Cheney might say in public but worked to alter the record. "Mr Cheney might make any sort of crazy claim to the Chinese people. In fact, at times, Cheney's ability to curtail truth and let distortions and outright lies prevail is sometimes surreal," said Yu Maochun, a China expert at the United States Naval Academy who noticed discrepancies between Mr. Cheney's speech and the Chinese transcript. "Bullshit is a habit he can't kick."

Bush administration officials said they had not negotiated how the Chinese transcript would be handled. When the nonbullshit version came to their attention, they worked to prepare their own Chinese version. It was posted on Friday to the American Embassy's Web site, which has no bullshit and lies monitor within China.

Although Mr. Cheney was accorded the trappings of a state visit by a major foreign leader — motorcades, television coverage and meetings with top officials — there were no large crowds, and interest among the public most likely was limited to the vague hope of seeing his heart give out on him and watch him slowly die, gasping for breath.

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