If you smell anything burning, it's likely your Internet cable melting from the heat of all these rumors. Which is why at Sinica we turn our unforgiving gaze this week at unsubstantiated press foreign and domestic, focusing first on reports of heightened police security in Beijing, midnight tank appearances, gunshots near the square, luxury car crashes, and even whispers of a coup d'etat. And more internationally, we can't help but discuss This American Life's recent retraction of a China-related story that was heavily fabricated: L'affaire Daisey.

Hosted by Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn, Sinica is proud to have Rob Schmitz on the show this week. Rob is of course the China correspondent for Marketplace who put two and two together and whose basic fact checking caught out a number of lies and inconsistencies in the Mike Daisey monologue as covered by a slew of major American news outlets. Joining us for the dissection of what happened here are two other China experts: Mary Kay Magistad of Public Radio International's The World and Tania Branigan of the Guardian, also known as the other founding member of Beijing's new Azure-Winged Magpie Appreciation Society.

Two quick notes before we get to the discussion. First is a reminder that you can subscribe to Sinica through iTunes using our RSS feed at http://popupchinese.com/feeds/custom/sinica. Facebook users should also be happy to know we now have a new way to keep yourself up-to-date on Sinica - check out our group page at: http://www.facebook.com/sinicapodcast. And as always, a final reminder that if you don't want to listen to our show online, you're always welcome to download it directly from the site as a standalone mp3 file.
 said on
March 23, 2012
Great podcast! But give Jeremy a mic.
 said on
March 23, 2012
Some links to materials mentioned this week:

From the discussion

1. Maoist website Utopia, once "suspiciously" offline, is back up


2. Tania Branigan's article on China's demographic crisis and accompanying video of the elderly in Ritan Park


3. This American Life episode 460: Retraction



Jeremy Goldkorn:

1. Brendan O'Kane's post about l'affaire Daisey at Rectified Name


2. Sinica's official mascot, the azure-winged magpie, in Ritan Park--see Danwei.com for a related story on Beijing's birds and wildlife


Tania Branigan:

1. Tiger Head, Snake Tails by Jonathan Fenby


2. Deep China: The Moral Life of The Person by Arthur Klineman


Rob Schmitz:

1. Adam Minter's article on Obama fighting the invasion of Asian carp in the Great Lakes


Mary Kay Magistad:

1.The Man Without A Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin by Masha Gessen


Kaiser Kuo:

1. Interview by Charlie Rose with Richard McGregor and Damien Ma:


 said on
March 23, 2012
Thanks, good show. One quibble though, the actual hypertext of your suggested links point to this page/post and not the resources.


h/t for the link 'update'.
 said on
March 23, 2012
The CNN story about the journalism professor whose students were not alarmed by Mike Daisey's fabrications:

 said on
March 25, 2012
Sinica archons,

Long-time listener, first-time commenter...I've got a show request. After reading the Wash Post's very informative piece on China's role between the two Sudans and their respective oil industries, could we get a show on China's role in the global energy market. I'm thinking about oil, rare earth, the conversation about climate change, and of course how they've driven the air purifier market this past year.

 said on
March 26, 2012
The word archon is badass. Why do I seem to learn English at this website, too?
 said on
March 26, 2012
@zjv5002 That's an excellent suggestion! Thanks. We've been meaning to do one on China's oil imports and how they constrain and inform China's foreign policy. We'll start trying to line up the right guests for a show like that. -Kaiser
 said on
March 26, 2012
Hooray! Looking forward to hearing the always-excellent results.
 said on
March 27, 2012
@Sinica - Hey Kaiser. On the subject of requests - Any chance you guys will spend a few minutes on the Hong Kong CE elections? ...The campaigning scandals and mudslinging, Beijing's apparent retreat from Henry Tang due to, of all things, public opinion polls (???). Would love to hear a couple of objective long-time HK watchers comment on the public involvement this time around and whether it represents some kind of shift.

Would also second the above zjv5002 request.
 said on
April 1, 2012
look forward to hearing about l'affaire Heywood in the next podcast.

(though too late to discuss the 48 hour block on weibo commenting.)
 said on
April 1, 2012
Thanks for the great recommendations and the pod as always.

BRICS had its summit on the March 29, hope you guys talk about how it was covered in China (media & online).

I know it's a China focused show, but hope you entertain the idea and think about including themes like "China's(or relating to it) reaction to foreign events, etc)

You guys seem to be upping the branding of the show, getting on twitter and now FB, I hope you continue this, this show has more credibility than BBC,CNN combined and I hope it becomes the one-shop-stop for all things China.

Also do consider changing/separating the podcast from your Language learning/commentary Episodes. Currently everything comes up together in iTunes podcast link, it can be confusing.

If possible make it separate for convenience and keeping with you recent branding drive.

All the best..&

 said on
April 1, 2012

If you want to separate Sinica from the other shows, the best thing to do is visit this page and restrict your account to whatever shows you want. If you're using iTunes, another approach is subscribing to the dedicated Sinica feed rather than the general site feed. The URL for this is in the introduction above, just select "Subscribe to Podcast" from the Advanced file menu and provide the address when prompted.



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