A Sunday commentary in state-controlled Global Times newspaper has dismissed the story that sacked Communist leader Bo Xilai had wiretapped a phone call President Hu Jintao received during his visit to Chongqing last year.
The comment piece was not so much in defence of Bo as it was an attempt to convey that there was no breach of President Hu security when he visited Chongqing during Bo’s tenure as party chief of the sprawling city. But it’s the closest, if indirectly, that the official media has come in defence of Bo after his fall from political grace.
Calling the New York Times report – widely picked up the international media after it was published last week – sensational and fabricated, the editorial said: “The whole story, if not published in the New York Times, could be mistaken for a tabloid tidbit fabricated from dinner table gossip.”
It said the story was initially done by a radio station Voice of Hope, which is reportedly affiliated to the banned Falungong movement.
“It is a shame that the New York Times, which claims to be an objective voice, now draws inspiration from Falungong rumour mills and conducts its China reports based on deeply rooted political prejudices,’’ the commentary said.
It questioned that while the NYT report quoted several “insiders” in the story, “none of the sources could be confirmed.”
“It is incredible that the New York Times, which remains a leading daily in the US despite its declining profits, decided to run a report that barely meets professional news standards. Perhaps the story was intended to cause a new stir among its yawning readership and win applause from those who dislike the Chinese government,” the government-controlled Global Times said.
The report, it said, was a “new bombshell targeted at an audience increasingly bored with the (Bo Xilai) story.”
Perhaps the story was intended to cause a new stir among its yawning readership and win applause from those who dislike the Chinese government, the commentary said.