Can You Point Out The Flaws In This Recent Article On Tiananmen Square?

NY Book review - Tiananmen 2014 This is an exercise for the public to learn how to distinguish between honest journalism and agenda based writing. To the right is an embedded screenshot of an article on The New York Review of books (20 May, 2014) title ‘Tiananmen: How Wrong We Were’ by Jonathan Mirsky.

There are a number of common sense flaws (lack of logic) in the following report that allow people to tell that the author was making up the story. Can you detect those flaws. I left a short comment to point out one of the most prominent flaws, and was deleted minutes later. Before you check for the answer at the bottom of this article, please read the content in this embedded screenshot from the article, and try to identify the flaws yourself to see how good a detective you are.

NY Book review - Tiananmen 2014 - flaws

Write your answers on a piece of paper and compare with the answer below:


Flaws 1: The following is an embedded screenshot of my comment deleted within minutes by the New York Review of Books:

2014 W Media lie against Tiananmen censor comment

Flaws 2: This statement “knocked out five of my teeth, and fractured my left arm. Their officer was shooting people they had beaten to the ground and would have shot me if the Financial Times’s Robert Thompson had not bravely walked over and led me away,” places the author and the Financial Times’s Robert Thompson as firsthand witnesses of killing right in front of them. However, not only the article fails to produce a single image of a death person, or at least a photo evidence of the author own 5 broken teeth, the photo that displays on the article is an image of unarmed soldiers peacefully facing protesters.

Flaws 3: From the article, we learn that the author “managed to fly back to London later that day (4 June, 1989), however, the author continues to describe with detail the shooting and killing over the next “several days” in his absence.

Welcome to the real world. This is very typical of the mainstream western media. Read this recent article as well to learn about how the BBC journalist describes a massacre and an indiscriminate shooting of “unarmed” and “peaceful” protesters right in front of her without the needs to show her viewers a single clip of a death person.



By Wei Ling Chua

Author of this 270 page Amazon book: Tiananmen Square “Massacre”? The Power of words vs. Silent Evidence

Accredited International News Syndicate and Australia News and Feature Services freelance journalist.


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A note from the editor: This article is a contribution from a reader. Unless specifically indicated, article submitted by our readership should not be construed as being necessarily representative of the opinions or beliefs of the Disinformation Company, its parent companies, owners or employees.

Wei Ling Chua

Accredited INS and ANFS Freelance Journalist
Independent Researcher of Media Disinformation
Author of a series of books relating to the issue of media disinformation and how it is affecting the world and humanity
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12 Comments on "Can You Point Out The Flaws In This Recent Article On Tiananmen Square?"

  1. I forgotten to add the following to the above article:
    In 1998, Washington Post journalist Jay Mathews confessed in the Columbia Journalism Review that “no one died at Tiananmen Square” and that “it is hard to find a journalist who has not contributed to the misimpression” (including himself). In 2004 the Christian Science Monitor revealed that the Human Rights Watch decided not to publish their own 52-page report that confirmed the Chinese side of the story. In 2009, BBC journalist James Miles admitted that he had “conveyed the wrong impression.” CBS journalist Richard Roth also confessed in 2009 that after a “debriefed on-air by Dan Rather (London office)”, he made “an effort to avoid using the word “massacre”, and acknowledges that he did not “make a point trying to contradict a colleague on the air”.
    Are you aware of the circumstances under which these journalists suddenly decided to admit their years of contribution to the “misimpression”? Are you aware that they then tried to change the story to a “Beijing Massacre” with the exception of Graham Earnshaw – a Reuters journalist?
    Do you know about how the power of language can overshadow the silent evidence (images produced by the media) that tells otherwise?

    • Adam's Shadow | Jun 3, 2014 at 8:27 pm |

      So then no civilians died in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests? And the Chinese govt. acted entirely appropriately?

      • Anarchy Pony | Jun 3, 2014 at 10:15 pm |

        Again, official Chinese sources put the dead at just over 200 civilians and roughly a dozen soldiers and police.

      • They died somewhere else, not at Tiananmen Square:

        “The Chinese government estimates more than 300 fatalities. Western
        estimates are somewhat higher. Many victims were shot by soldiers on
        stretches of Changan Jie, the Avenue of Eternal Peace, about a mile west of the square, and in scattered confrontations in other parts of the city, where, it should be added, a few soldiers were beaten or burned to death by angry workers.”
        See “The Myth of Tiananmen: And the price of a passive press” by Jay

        • Anarchy Pony | Jun 3, 2014 at 11:01 pm |

          Seems like semantics to me.

          • More like a Ptomkin Park to me.

          • I thought much the same.

            I don’t quite understand what the point is of W Chua’s pieces on Tiananmen Square: on the surface at least it seems to be some kind of bait-and-switch apologism for the PRC dictatorship and their jolly friendly and peaceful soldiers, under the guise of “Isn’t the western mainstream press terrible?*”

            *Which we already know, of course, so no surprises there. Yes, mainstream media sucks and has agendas. Tres surprise…

            … but I get a nasty feeling when I read about “unarmed soldiers peacefully facing protestors”, knowing full well that whether anyone actually died in that Square or not, a minimum of 200 protestors (probably significantly more, if that’s the official state figures – we all know how this works all round the world, East and West) died a few streets away, at the hands of presumably less peaceful, more trigger-happy soldiers.

            Saying there was no Tiananman Massacre because apparently no-one died in Tiananmen Square itself seems much like saying that the Waco Massacre didn’t really happen because it actually took place at Mount Carmel Centre, not Waco itself…

          • That is exactly it. The anniversary of the event is bringing the ‘independent voices’ out of the woodwork…but most of the chatter is being generated by people who probably sit in a room working for China as actual disinfo agents. Certainly explains why they all seem to embrace the same logical fallacies and all seem to toe the party line in lockstep…which would be an astonishing coincidence among a large group of supposed independent voices calling for ‘truth’.

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          • It does seem like semantics and I suspect that it morphed into Tiananmen Square simple by proximity and ease of reporting. But even as semantics, it becomes important when people start saying, “Uh-uh! That never happened,” to deflect that something did happen but just somewhere else and attempting to get people to believe that nothing happened. Semantics is all about doublespeak, weasel words, and other devices used to mislead us.

      • Adam's Shadow | Jun 4, 2014 at 12:32 pm |

        I appreciate all the responses and information; thank you.

  2. WTH?! You just wrote an article insinuating that no one died.

    You were correct in stating, “This is an exercise for the public to learn how to distinguish between honest journalism and agenda based writing.” Clearly, you have an agenda.

    Here’s some writing tips:
    Don’t ask questions, make statements. Statements are stronger than asking questions.
    Don’t write down to your audience as though they are a bunch of eight-year-olds watching Blue’s Clues. Assume your audience is well-informed and educated and they will rise to the task.

Comments are closed.