China thought that it could criticize the U.S. political stalemate on Guantanamo Bay by using a clip from the popular U.S. satirical show The Daily Show hosted by Jon Stewart but it was wrong.
China Central Television (CCTV) is controlled by the Chinese communist government, which is known for its restricted and controlled media and the internet. They thought it would be wise to use Stewart’s show to mock U.S. Guantanamo Bay policies as the show is quite popular in the country.
The strategy, however, backfired as the video clip received responses mainly in favor of the U.S. The Chinese people noted that the American media is free to criticize its government and the president while the media in their own country is not allowed to do so. They were also of the opinion that their state-run media was not doing enough to highlight the problems of China and was instead busy in pointing out the problems of other governments.
Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show is known as “Meiri Xiu” (Everyday Show) in china and is often used by the communist government to serve political purposes. Just last month, popular Chinese web portal ‘Sina’ posted a clip from the show which apparently became one of the most-watched Daily Show clips ever. The segment aimed towards China’s disregard for North Korea’s nuclear aspirations. It received around 2.8 million views and thousands of comments as well. The success of the video suggested that the Chinese people also supported their government’s stance on DPRK.
Turns out, the Chinese government was not as successful in molding opinions about the U.S. The people in their country may not have access to complete information of the world but they cannot be stopped from having rational thoughts about their country’s authoritarian policies.