Editor’s note: This article translated from wenxuecity.com discusses the removal of a presenter from a show after he lashed out on live TV about corruption and the huge level of support he subsequently gained from Netizens. This has been a hot topic since Xi Jinping’s administration made fighting corruption one of their driving policies and in recent months anti-corruption news and crack downs have been openly discussed. However, the fact that Cui Jianbin was cut off air forces us to question to what extent is it all for show and how much real change can be affected.
Hubei television show Long Shangxing host Cui Jianbin went too far in voicing his beliefs, lashing out at officials who spend money on grand government buildings in otherwise impoverished counties. He was unexpectedly cut off in the middle of his broadcast despite his request to, “Please let me finish speaking, okay?” The program was cut to commercial while he was still speaking.
Cui Jianbin speaks out. Photo: news.e23.com
When the program returned, a female host had taken over his spot. Yesterday evening, Cui Jianbin wrote on his microblog that his job had not been affected by the ordeal.
Reporters contacted Long Shangxing yesterday and learned from a female staff member that there in fact had been a change of hosts in last night’s program. The staff member said that she was “not sure” why the hosts had been changed. Long Shangxing’s main audience is the farming community and the show runs from about 7:30 pm to 8:00 pm.
Luxury buildings in poor counties
Last night around 8:00 pm, the show covered a story on poverty levels in Hubei’s Fangxian country and reported on local government plans to spend 400 million Yuan to build a 21,000 square meter luxurious government administrative center on a 58,000 square meter plot of land. Villagers reported that in reality 80,000 square meters of land had been marked off for construction.
The building houses 912 civil servants and includes up to 23 square meters of office square per worker (the legal standard is no more than 5 square meters per capita). Fangxian Office of Complaints bureau chief Fu Qiang, stated on the television program that the former government building had been on the verge of collapse for nearly ten years. He added that the government building should not be compared with the housing of regular citizens as, “the government is the face of the people.”
26 year old Cui Jianbin became emotional on the program when the segment ended. He said that he was “furious” and that an extremely impoverished county built a grand building to “be a model for modernization.” “Is it even possible that these kinds of government cadres are not corrupt?” He angrily rebuked the officials’ thinking as corrupt and extravagant.
“If your ideology is far away, than go away” he said, citing a popular phrase in mainland China. He then suddenly looked off the screen, paused for two seconds and said, “Please let me finish speaking, ok?” Moments later, the screen switched to an image of an empty broadcasting studio.
Is it even possible that these kinds of government cadres are not corrupt?
After the commercial break, the program put hostess Lu Yan on the show. It was clear that she had been very hastily prepared to take Cui’s place; her hair was still being touched up in front of the camera. She announced, “Next up, is the news.”
The incident caused an uproar online yesterday. Many Netizens sent messages to Cui Jianbin in support and nearly 3,000 Netizens commented on Cui’s microblog site. Netizen “snake-ying” wrote: “Praise! Speaking the views of the ordinary people!” Netizen “Zheng Tongyao Tomyo” wrote “You will not be fired. We need people like you to tell the truth.”
Cui Jianbin replied in a message on his microblog site at around 21:00. He wrote, “I did not expect things to become so big. Thanks to all my friends who care. My work has not been affected, I have just been criticized. Looking back, I feel that my emotions were a little out of control, but everyone has been tolerant. I feel very thankful.
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Keywords: Cui Jianbin anti corruption Television Host Taken Off Air
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'the government building should not be compared with the housing of regular citizens'... I liked that. I even agree. It only has to be compared to the legal standard that was mentioned a few lines earlier to know something is terribly wrong here. Isn't a 'legal standard' something from the government too?
Apr 25, 2014 21:28 Report Abuse
Today, I read this and on Chinasmack I read about 1000s of people attacking 5 policemen. Yesterday, I saw a small protest in front of a government building. Taking him off the air was the dumbest thing you could do, now you inspired 1000s more with his now sacrifice.
Apr 22, 2014 08:23 Report Abuse
Socially speaking there is a civil war developing. With advanced media technology everywhere, soon the ignorance of the people will fade away. Change will have to come sooner than "when it is available". Before each province could not coordinate and discuss differences between each other thus limiting the stereotypes about north vs. south, and east vs. west China. Now another revolution might come if the local and national governments do not change quickly. The overall governmental structure is respectable but too many people are using "the party" as a shield for more questionable activities.
Apr 22, 2014 03:35 Report Abuse
You can tell by his comment at the end that he is saying what he has been told. Emotions out of control.... I can't see change happening as you say. China has the biggest military in the world and it has proved and is proving that is fine with using it against its own people. Who else would the use it on? They constantly say that they are peaceful and don't believe in conflict with the world so it must be for crushing rebellion.
Apr 22, 2014 11:01 Report Abuse
You forgot one factor--the Chinese will do anything for money. ANYTHING. And if they feel the political winds shifting or see an opportunity for a bigger slice of the pie, they will quite literally throw anyone and everyone under the bus. They are loyal only to their immediate friends and family, everyone else can go to hell. And that's why the history of China tells us the same story over and over--a minority group conquers the nation because the common person has no dog in the fight and just doesn't care who they are a slave under, unless they can get five cents more under someone else. It is how the Mongols, the Song, the Ming, and the Qing Dynasties rose and fell. And it's how even though the KMT outnumbered the CCP 10 to 1, they still lost because all the soldiers and officers went AWOL and directly refused orders. When the next armed revolt happens in China, the factory workers will fight because they have nothing to live for, and the soldiers will resign because they have nothing to die for.
Apr 25, 2014 02:53 Report Abuse
That might be true... Have you seen those good little communist comics and the one in which the little girl dobs her father or grandfather in to the thought police because he was a greedy fat cat or some such retarded reason about wanting to have free thought.
Apr 25, 2014 10:13 Report Abuse