by Panda La Terriere
Thursday, 8
December 2022
HerdWatch
11:00

Chinese anti-lockdown protestors: heroes, not loons

The establishment media is adopting a very different tone for the latest protests
by Panda La Terriere
Same paper, different takes.

The media response in the West to Chinese protests over Zero Covid policies has been remarkably supportive. ‘Their bravery is a profound affirmation that freedom of expression, dissent and protest are values held by people all over the world,” boomed a New York Times editorial. “These events should remind [China] that relying on repression has its limits,” the Guardian agreed. Meanwhile, the BBC warned that China’s “censorship machine” was “going to great lengths to prevent people seeing scenes of protest”.

It must be observed that these were the very same outlets that strongly criticised protesters in the West for taking a similar stand against their own governments during lockdowns. Instead of brave freedom fighters, protesters in Western countries were branded as far-Right extremists and street fighters.


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Evidently, being anti-lockdown is no longer the taboo position that it once was. Just two years ago, it was difficult to find any reporting on it at all, with the BBC refusing to cover virtually every anti-lockdown protest that took place in 2020 — a ‘media blackout’ as one commentator called it. On the few occasions the Beeb did get around to reporting on them, it ran with disparaging headlines like ‘Covid: Conspiracy and untruths drive Europe’s protests’.

Elsewhere, in its own imitable style, the New York Times attributed lockdown protestors’ “twisted” view of liberty to its “enforcement of racial hierarchy”, while the Guardian went further yet by describing protesters as “street-fighting far-right groups […] religious fundamentalists, anti-vaccination groups and other elements of the radical right.”

This about-turn in coverage of the Covid protesters poses some awkward questions for the media. Why, for example, did the Guardian observe an “extraordinary outpouring of discontent” in China over Xi Jinping’s strict lockdown policies, but not last year’s Canadian Freedom Convoy? This protest was, according to the Guardian, lawless, unlawful, paranoid and violent. ‘The whole world should be worried by the “siege of Ottawa“‘, pronounced one journalist.

Perhaps the most brazen U-turn yet was in the recent issue of German magazine Der Spiegel, whose cover art pictured a young Chinese man protesting Zero Covid under the headline ‘Das Virus der Freiheit’ (The Virus of Freedom). Two years earlier, Der Spiegel had effectively declared Covid protests a movement for loons: “right-wing extremists, anti-vaxxers, anti-Semites, conspiracy theorists, left-wing radicals, old school anarchists and followers of New Age beliefs.”

 

Der Spiegel’s front page

None of this is to suggest that there aren’t differences between the protests in China and the West. For one, China is hardly a democracy and protesting there is a much riskier proposition. But even so, the glaring disparity in tone between the coverage of Western anti-lockdown protestors and their Chinese counterparts, without any apparent realisation of the contrast, says a lot about the disposition of today’s establishment media.

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R Wright
R Wright
1 month ago

“Instead of brave freedom fighters, protesters in Western countries were branded as far-Right extremists and street fighters.”
This happened to me in the summer of 2020. The disgust I feel for western media is only rivalled by the contempt I have for passive bystanders who stood by and did nothing.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 month ago
Reply to  R Wright

Yes – what bothers me here in Canada is not that our Prime Minister is an authoritarian thug – it is that the majority of Canadians showed they are ugly thoughtless authoritarians. The same people who bang on about apologies for Japanese internment camps in WW2 wanted to take unvaccinated peoples children away from them and deny them medical care.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

He is a WEF Young Leader, as is Merkel, Blair, the heads of the world bank, of NZ, and all Tredeau’s cabinet – and Suinac, and naturally Gates, Zuckerberg, and King Charles…. look it up, it is all true.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

‘The whole world should be worried by the “siege of Ottawa
I wonder if the reporter who “reported” this can be interviewed and asked whether the world is now safe?


Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 month ago
Reply to  R Wright

AND…..

The Canadian response was absolutely in line with the worst abuses of China – making it a political crime in fact, and then using the private industry to meet out draconian punishments – Locking Bank Accounts, On line money collection shut down, towing the trucks to a impound at huge cost to the drivers/owners. Lifelong criminal records, imprisonment, loss of free speech and right of movement and assembly… Orwellian stuff in Canada.

Jim R
Jim R
1 month ago

Welcome to the Gaslightenment. The failure here is not government – politicians are doing what they always do. What we are experiencing is the self-immolation of mainstream journalism. At the Munk debates held in Toronto last week Taibbi and Murray won a resounding victory establishing that the msm cannot be trusted and – proving the point – the msm did not even report it. The rot must be cut out – and indeed people are turning away from them in droves. But the fragmented mess of a populace that can no longer even agree on the boundaries of civilized debate may not survive the operation. As Leonard Cohen once said, “you’re not going to like what comes after America”.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim R

Thanks for the word, Gaslightenment. Excellent description of what’s happening today with our media propagandists.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 month ago

American media does what its owners – Democrats in and supporting of government – tell it to do. There are countless hilarious video mash ups of multiple “news” mouthpieces using identical phrasing. You’d think they’d be embarrassed, but that emotion has disappeared from certain segments of society, as the article deftly notes.

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
1 month ago

The double standards and hypocrisy of Western governments are mirrored by their willing propaganda machines, the MSM.
As the writer points out, these so-called journalists seem to be completely tone-deaf to the absurdity of their contrasting portrayals of the lockdown protests. Of course one man’s terrorist may be another man’s freedom fighter……..but surely not the same man?

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 month ago

The media knows exactly what it’s doing. Orwell described it well in 1984:
A little Rumpelstiltskin figure, contorted with hatred, he gripped the neck of the microphone with one hand while the other, enormous at the end of a bony arm, clawed the air menacingly above his head. His voice, made metallic by the amplifiers, boomed forth an endless catalogue of atrocities, massacres, deportations, lootings, rapings, torture of prisoners, bombing of civilians, lying propaganda, unjust aggressions, broken treaties. It was almost impossible to listen to him without being first convinced and then maddened. At every few moments the fury of the crowd boiled over and the voice of the speaker was drowned by a wild beast-like roaring that rose uncontrollably from thousands of throats. The most savage yells of all came from the schoolchildren. The speech had been proceeding for perhaps twenty minutes when a messenger hurried on to the platform and a scrap of paper was slipped into the speaker’s hand. He unrolled and read it without pausing in his speech. Nothing altered in his voice or manner, or in the content of what he was saying, but suddenly the names were different. Without words said, a wave of understanding rippled through the crowd. Oceania was at war with Eastasia! The next moment there was a tremendous commotion. The banners and posters with which the square was decorated were all wrong! Quite half of them had the wrong faces on them. It was sabotage! The agents of Goldstein had been at work! There was a riotous interlude while posters were ripped from the walls, banners torn to shreds and trampled underfoot. The Spies performed prodigies of activity in clambering over the rooftops and cutting the streamers that fluttered from the chimneys. But within two or three minutes it was all over. The orator, still gripping the neck of the microphone, his shoulders hunched forward, his free hand clawing at the air, had gone straight on with his speech. One minute more, and the feral roars of rage were again bursting from the crowd. The Hate continued exactly as before, except that the target had been changed. 
The thing that impressed Winston in looking back was that the speaker had switched from one line to the other actually in midsentence, not only without a pause, but without even breaking the syntax. 

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 month ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Excellently point – only this microphone holder has switched from hate for Western Covid protestors to love for the Chinese ones – quite different. They also did it without breaking stride – mid sentence, and the mobs changed in their feelings without any pause in reality –

Hate! Canadian Protestors – -NO – – Love! Chinese protestors……mid sentence…..and the crowd roars in agreement to the second as they had to the first

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas Moze

The hypocrisy is nauseating.

Betsy Arehart
Betsy Arehart
1 month ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Barf.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
1 month ago

Thank you for drawing attention to this glaring contradiction in the opinions of the media elites. They have assumed the role of moral arbiters in recent times, calling out those who disagree with their views as political and moral outlaws. They are largely unchallenged in their presumed moral high ground, and this is what enables them to be blind to their own inconsistencies.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 month ago

They have assumed the mantle of the Ministry of Truth in 1984. They all need to be before a court like their previous tratoir ‘Lord Haw-Haw.’

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 month ago

I’m sure all those Mumsnet users who decided not to give their children the MMR vaccine will be delighted to learn that The Guardian now thinks they are elements of the radical right.

Lauren Kake
Lauren Kake
1 month ago

So many Western lockdowners upset about China. Mostly they seem to feel like the state ‘welding people into their homes’ (usually delivered with such dramatic flair) is so much worse than the UK way – just arresting them if they leave – but why?
I suppose these people also think it’s wrong for a man to hit his wife, but perfectly fine if he doesn’t allow her to have her own bank account?
The China situation is just the logical outcome of lockdowns. That was the point. We can’t let them get away with this.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 month ago

And yet I find that many articles I have read add the caveat that perhaps Xi is not that wrong, that hospitals will be overwhelmed, that it doesn’t have much choice etc. We have examples in the Spectator and here too.
One has to go past the headline…

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 month ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Ho hum. We know what Xi is saying. Where have we heard this before and what happened? More deaths and harms. This is so tedious.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 month ago

It sure is, but the sanctimoniousness of some individuals is jaw dropping nevertheless.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 month ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Let’s cut to the chase. The harms and deaths caused by lockdowns and other ‘measures’, caused more deaths than COVID itself. Called it, watched it unfold.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 month ago

And yet no-one recants or repents.

Fran Martinez
Fran Martinez
1 month ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

i may be wrong, but I do think Rishi Sunak said during the first leadership contest that they (the lockdowns) had been a mistake. Am I wrong?

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 month ago
Reply to  Fran Martinez

No, you are not wrong, but didn’t go far enough and now he is keeping silent.

Last edited 1 month ago by Andrea X
Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 month ago
Reply to  Fran Martinez

He was just weaseling – he was neck deep in instituting every facet of covid harms and wrecking the global economy. He is the example of the fox guarding the chickens.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 month ago

The vaccine in useless at helping, but is deadly and debilitating. It is deadly and Orwellian as it is always a lie said often enough it is believed. ‘Mass Formation.’

Safe and Effective?

NO

Unsafe and ineffective.

Andrew Wise
Andrew Wise
1 month ago

Good job the general publish has such a short term memory then
(Sarcastic comment – but that’s how they get away with pandering to the latest new new – never let the truth get in the way of a good story and all that malarky)

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Wise

Very short term indeed.

Betsy Arehart
Betsy Arehart
1 month ago

The MSM should be taken to task for not recognizing that the Chinese protesters are right wing extremists.