Chinese TV Uses Jon Stewart To Criticise The US, Misses The Point

Chinese TV Uses Jon Stewart To Criticise The US, Misses The Point

In many countries, there’s freedom of speech. You can criticise your country’s government and leaders on, for example, television. On China’s state-run TV, you cannot. Enter Jon Stewart.

The Chinese Government controls China Central Television, or CCTV. “The role of the media as defined by the (Communist) Party is to serve the party’s interests,” David Bandurski, editor of the China Media Project website at the University of Hong Kong, explained to Asahi. And what about the lack of free speech? According to the Council on Foreign Relations, media censorship comes in the form of fear, punishment, and “self-censorship”.

Against this backdrop, CCTV recently used a Jon Stewart clip to lay into the U.S. over the Guantanamo Bay political stalemate, reports South China Morning Post (via ShangahiIst). You can watch the CCTV news clip, which is from the April 30 episode of The Daily Show, below.

As SCMP points out, state television’s attempt to poke fun at the US with Stewart backfired online in China, with people saying that CCTV was being hypocritical and missing the irony.

“There are so many problems happening domestically that you choose not to broadcast every day, but instead choose to smell the farts of other countries,” one Chinese commenter wrote in video’s comment section.

“This is our country’s mainstream media… They just want to divert our attention to problems [of other countries] away from poisonous ginger, tainted milk, gutter oil and undrinkable tap water,” quipped another.

According to SCMP, others said CCTV was dishing out a “low blow”, especially in a country where political satire shows are few and far between. “At least they are free [in the US] to criticise their president openly on television,” added another individual on the country’s micro-blogging service.

One reason perhaps why CCTV’s effort to use Stewart failed could be that he, as The New Yorker pointed out, already has a sizeable following online in China, where his clips are fan translated and rack up millions of views. People know who Stewart is and what he does. But as popular as Stewart is becoming online in China, The Daily Show, or “Meiri Xiu” (“Everyday Show”) as it’s called in Chinese, is not offered via official broadcast channels.

As one Chinese micro-blogger asked earlier this spring, “When will China have its own Jon Stewart?” Probably when state-run TV realises it should serve the viewers’ interests instead of the Communist Party’s.

CCTV ‘misses irony’ in using Jon Stewart satire to mock US on Guantanamo Bay [SCMP via ShanghaiIst]


  • so, I see you sneaky dastards have discovered a way to not only construe the purpose of this website to include asian news in general, but also to use that stretched definition to include standard western media via asian proxy…

    for a second their I thought you might be topical geniuses tricking a niche minority into reading your otherwise normal news… but then that thought vanished in a puff of logic.

    • Pretty ballsy statement there.. You’re always capable of leaving your own country one way or another.

    • Really if you say that you must really have some frist world problems going on in your life tell us about them maybe we can help

    • You’d choose to live as an average person in China as opposed to the average person in the USA? Really? Enjoy your gutter oil street food, zero environmental protection and industrial regulation. Good luck having zero prospects in life and no possibility of upward mobility for your children.

  • I don’t know why Kotaku contains political articles as in most of them the author has no idea about politic and just regurgitates the US propaganda from it’s partner sites. Get some balls and do some real reporting.

    • Yeah, exactly, the US propaganda in this article is what made me write about preferring to live in China ( i wasnt serious btw)

  • Have you even visited the country before?

    You sound like that idiot who said our leader was a president and he was a real christian

    Edit: that was for chestbrah (reply fail)

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!