Thursday, April 20, 2006

Hu heckler a White House embed?

I'm sure you've heard that Chinese President Hu was heckled today during a White House press conference. Call me cynical, but when I read the cameraman's account of the incident, it screamed of a set up. I mean we keep hearing about how everything changed after 9/11 and certainly the security is so tight that no one that the White House doesn't want there, gets on to the grounds. So how is it this Chinese woman manages to slip past security, hangs around for a long time and then launches into a full scale tirade in Chinese? Very Jeff Gannon-esque in my mind.

The Secret Service shows up eventually to remove her, but not until she's had time to berate Hu. How very convenient for the Leaker in Chief. If she was a sniper they'd be dead, but instead she embarrasses a guy he's pissed at and provides the perfect foil for Mr. Leaker to launch into a speech about how free we are in America to dissent. Ironic in that if she was wearing an anti-Bush t-shirt, she wouldn't have lasted ten seconds and dissenters at his scheduled stops are herded in cages far out of hearing range.
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Blogger Bostonian Exile said...

CNN reported this morning that she was a reporter for the Epoch Times, a politically conservative Chinese-language newspaper associated with Falun Gong. She was on a one day press pass, so that explains how she got past security.

Was she a "plant"? Debateable, but I doubt she needed the West Wing's prodding to call out the Chinese president, especially in light of the persecution of Falun Gong practicioners in the People's Republic of China.

10:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Libby said...

Don't get me wrong, Hu deserves to be berated and I'm glad to find out it wasn't a security breach but it sure makes the Jeff Gannon analogy work.

Wasn't he also allowed in on day passes and he coincidentally worked for conservative publication.

10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Bostonian Exile said...

Wasn't he also allowed in on day passes and he coincidentally worked for conservative publication.

You're right, and I agree -- if to a limited degree. The difference here, if there is one, is that the Epoch Times is an actual print news publication (it actually has boxes on the streets of Boston).

I'm not really sure that Gannon's outlet, Talon News Service, qualified as "news" at the end of the day.

(Of course, I've never actually read the Epoch Times. Even with the above distinction, it may still be a close call.)

But that's probably just a matter of taste.

11:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Libby said...

I don't know Exile. I've become very cynical in the last five years. Epoch may be a legit publication but the whole incident just felt contrived to me.

Like I said Hu deserved it but I still get uncomfortable thinking about manufactured news.

11:19:00 AM  

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