Saturday, April 5, 2008 fever sparks copycats

AP- In the wake of recent news reports by Western media outlets covering the Tibetan riots and subsequent Chinese military crackdown, many Chinese citizens are expressing outrage over what they feel is "Western media bias" against China. Many citizens with online access, or "netizens," have started online petitions and even created websites aimed at exposing errors or manipulations in Western news reports.

One such site that gained quick notoriety is On this site, Chinese netizens can vent frustration on forums, but can also give their own perspective on the turmoil in Tibet and offer evidence to counter Western news reports, complete with unaltered photographs and first-hand accounts.

One historical element of Chinese culture is the immediate and wanton duplication of a successful formula. Following the hype and popularity of, Chinese netizens have created dozens of other sites targeting specific Western media outlets, even going so far as to condemn satirical news programs, such as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, The Late Edition, and FOX News. Subsequent to the airing of an offensive but entirely light-hearted segment about the Chinese crackdown on the riots, received 40,00 angry posts in two hours and more than 2,000 photos were posted online to counter Jon Stewart's assertion that the Chinese military were suspected of disguising themselves as marijuana-smoking European backpackers so that they could blend in more easily with the rioters.

Most Chinese netizens fail to realize that the anti-Chinese rhetoric of commentators such as Stephen Colbert and Bill O'Reilly is entirely farcical and should never be taken at face value. However, this simple fact has escaped even many Western netizens, with an petition receiving 25,000 signatures from angry conservative housewives complaining that a respected anchor like Stephen Colbert should not use offensive language when reporting on the news.

Among the numerous anchors attacked by China's online community, only Jon Stewart was available for comment: "They get Comedy Central in China?"

-The Associated Prezz

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