I dont know much about this, and I am certainly not defending the Chinese, but don't Western Governments censor the media too, or at least put pressure and restrictions on what they can say? Elsewhere in the world the BBC might be highly regarded, but here in the UK the BBC news is so left wing and pro government it makes me sick. The Government regularly put injunctions on TV and print media preventing them from saying anything bad 'in the interest of national security'.
I'm sure it's the same in other western countries too, the national broadcasters will always put a spin on the news to say how good it is in the west. Go to other parts of the world and the news we report isn't reported in the same way. Al Jazeera don't report the news the same way as the BBC, SKY or CNN.
Who's right and who's wrong?
I totally disagree with the above as it applies to the United States. The government cannot pressure the media to say one thing or another, unless I am completely naive on this.
Yes, the media can be VERY, and I MEAN VERY biased towards one position or another, but the opinions are coming from the news rooms and editors themselves.
The biggest difference, anyone that doesn't agree with them (media or government) can openly say it in public, at a protest in front of the media's outlet, on the lawn of the government, here on FLife, a blog, a video upload to YouTube. In China, the citizens are silenced and the truth often hidden. I honestly believe that isn't the case here, otherwise I'd be afraid to say these are all the wrong things we've done in the past:
- Trail of tears (basically wiped out the Native American population)
- Human rights violations in the '50s and '60s
- Taking TX and Southern Cal from Mexico in war
The list goes on and on. The difference is the U.S. government isn't trying to hide these things. Turn on CNN or if you want to be shocked, Fox News, and you'll see the media slamming the government left and right for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.