Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Good for the Goose, good for propaganda: China steals Top Gun clip [Guardian]

Regardless of the authenticity of the said dogfight scene, the fact that the clip was quickly removed from the CCTV website means that the propaganda machine is now quite aware that very little escapes the piercing eyes of netizen and technology.

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Good for the Goose, good for propaganda: China steals Top Gun clip
Proud bulletin on state TV news about air force training contains dogfight scene lifted from Tom Cruise movie
Tania Branigan in Beijing
Source – Guardian, published Friday 28 January 2011

China‘s air force is again under close scrutiny as internet users pore over images of its fighter pilots in action. For the second time in a month pictures of military manoeuvres – this time aired by the state broadcaster – have spread rapidly across websites and blogs.

This time the craft is not the country’s new stealth fighter; and the reaction is not excitement but amusement. Sharp-eyed viewers have spotted that a key clip came straight from the film Top Gun.

China Central Television News last week broadcast a training exercise by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force with one plane firing a missile at another. But an observant viewer spotted that the resulting explosion matches a blast from the final fight scene in the Tom Cruise movie.

The frame-by-frame comparison of the images, by someone posting under the name Liu Yi,demonstrates the likeness, and the Wall Street journal has produced a video comparing the news clip with the movie scene.

The news broadcast was posted on the CCTV website but vanished after news of the gaffe began to spread.

A spokeswoman in the foreign affairs department at CCTV said she was not aware of the claims and would need to look into them. She was not available when the Guardian rang back.

While the clip is no doubt the work of a maverick employee, many internet users have enjoyed the broadcaster’s embarrassment. The authorities censor television more strictly than publications and CCTV’s news bulletins, in particular, are notorious for their unflinching dullness.

When fire consumed a building in the glossy new CCTV headquarters in 2009, many attacked the broadcaster for censoring the images in its own reports. The celebrity blogger Han Han described the blaze as an act of self-castration by “the world’s number one eunuch media”.


Filed under: Beijing Consensus, CCTV, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Guardian, Influence, J-20, Media, military, Nationalism, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Strategy

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