China Should Inspire More American Media Eye-Rolling
by Bob Schwartz
More media eye-rolling is needed in America. China, another country with cult of personality leadership and canned party-line presentations, shows us the way.
SHANGHAI — It was the eye roll seen across China.
As the annual meeting of the country’s legislature stretched into its second week, the event’s canned political pageantry and obsequious (and often scripted) media questions seemingly proved too much for one journalist on Tuesday.
With a fellow reporter’s fawning question to a Chinese official pushing past the 30-second mark, Liang Xiangyi, of the financial news site Yicai, began scoffing to herself. Then she turned to scrutinize the questioner in disbelief.
Looking her up and down, Ms. Liang rolled her eyes with such concentrated disgust, it seemed only natural that her entire head followed her eyes backward as she looked away in revulsion.
Captured by China’s national news broadcaster, CCTV, the moment spread quickly across Chinese social media….
On Chinese social media, GIFs and other online riffs inspired by Ms. Liang’s epic eye roll quickly proliferated, and by evening they were being deleted by government censors. Ms. Liang’s name became the most-censored term on Weibo, the microblogging platform. On Taobao, the freewheeling online marketplace, vendors began selling T-shirts and cellphone cases bearing her image.