“Under the Dome” Explosion
People’s Daily’s interview with Chai Jing, English version translated by China Digital Times.
It seems the Chinese version is deleted from People’s Daily website.
And there is central guideline to not “hype the documentary”.
It says this is a documentary produced by Chai Jing herself. She said she used the money she got from her book that was published two years ago. There is quick criticism and rebuttal to her criticism including one from a previous CCTV journalist Cui Yongyuan, who is famous for being blunt and also made a documentary, about GMO.
1, Cui Yongyuan: The first day after Chai Jing’s documentary was online, accusation like using the cue of her “sick daughter” is just a start. I think people think too much. After they watched the documentary and have no bone to pick on, this is easy. This will disappear in a couple of days. But there will always be new things coming out. You will see there will be doubts and curses more and more. Intentional or not, her documentary touches a lot of vested interest groups. You shame these people and stop them from getting promoted or getting richer. Of course you will be targeted. Some scientists and scholars will also join this group. Some people will say that some data is not correct or not trusted. There will be lots of people like that. It will be similar to when my documentary first came out. In the end they had nothing else to criticize, so they say I didn’t interview mainstream scientists. Some people even spread the rumor saying that the I paid for my interviewees.
2, Cui Yongyuan: I have said at that time I suggested her to broadcast it for free. I didn’t encourage her to sell it to anyone. Once you sell it they will make you sick. I therefore suggested her to produce it herself and broadcast it free of charge.
3, The Paper: Are you going to continue afterwards?
4, Cui Yongyuan: Of course I will. I have filmed GMO for another year. People like us have chosen this path and others can’t stop us. No matter how much attack or criticism we face, it will just encourage us to continue fighting. People like us are naive like kids. We know it is impossible but we will still invite troubles.
There is also critique saying this is another form of propaganda. Releasing this documentary on the People’s Daily website just two days before the new Minister of Environmental Protection came to office; also just a couple of days before the NPC and CPPCC. It is not a coincidence.
A comment from a blogger called Three Water
In an authoritarian country, of course morality is a form of political resource. The top leader’s loving marriage, corruption-free history and being kind to the people, being effective, and his political enemies extravagant and obscene, dissidents’ unjustified rumor, or even private life of celebrities clashing with traditional values, all depend on the top-down propaganda. It is not shocking to see all those questionable connections and dimensions in Chai Jing’s documentary. State media’s promotion and the change of Minister of Environmental Protection, including another campaign of creating a “goddess” -- the brave journalist and responsible public intellectual. It is not surprising for those who are familiar with the political system and struggles within the Party. I think Chai Jing knows it very well. A more correct interpretation is probably that she accurately manipulates people’s emotions, and smartly takes advantage of the fights among different vested interest groups, as well as all the political gaps and emotional vulnerabilities. She therefore produced a high-stand documentary that seems impossible to be broadcast in China with such popularity. It is difficult for us to predict the future of this documentary. Is it going to be a legitimate reason to explain the economic slowdown because the political legitimacy will be based on focusing on environmental protection? Or is it going to invoke another wave of citizen awareness and citizen campaigns?
Some comments on Weibo collected by Common Data Storage:
Some netizen even calls this “The Communist Party’s New Propaganda Model”. Netizen “as50as” says: The Communist Party’s New Propaganda Model: Artist female intellectual + independently produced + public topic + resources in the system + strong support from the government + expected strong public reaction + the Party’s motives behind the artistic female intellectual. It is just that few people could see the last point.
Another comment collected by Common Data Storage
It is impossible that there is no connection between the broadcast of Chai Jing’s documentary and the change of Minister of Environmental Protection. The night that the documentary was released there was online and offline promotion from everywhere. This was a kind of text-book Public Relation campaign.
And of course, the new Minister of Environmental Protection appreciated Chai Jing’s work.