Posted by Joel Martinsen on Saturday, August 23, 2008 at 5:37 PM
Lin Miaoke in her breakout performance
The Global Language Monitor, a Texas-based organization whose biggest claim to fame is its dubious pursuit of the millionth word in the English language (they're up to 996,341 right now), recently released its latest analysis of the media buzz surrounding various Olympic personalities.
Michael Phelps topped the list, and Yao Ming was #3, but second place belonged not to an athlete but to Lin Miaoke, the girl in the red dress who lip-synched "Ode to the Motherland" at the opening ceremonies.
The top headline of this evening's Mirror announces these results, but something seems to be missing:
Headline in the Mirror for 23 August
No mention whatsoever of why the world's English-language media has lavished so much attention on Lin. And while the article makes a point of noting gymnast that Cheng Fei (17) and hurdler Liu Xiang (18) made the list, it neglects to report that Yang Peiyi, who actually sang the song Lin performed, ranks #15.
A sidebar to the article cites four foreign newspaper reports about Lin and her breathtaking performance:
¤ From Singapore's Lianhe Zaobao:
The editorial by Zhang Xiang, which analyzes the opening ceremony as part of China's soft power strategy, has been taken down from the Zaobao site. It can be found on DW News.
¤ From the Sing Tao Daily (US):
The paper was quoting Wu Guobao, head of the San Francisco chapter of the National Association for China's Peaceful Unification, who attended the event at the Bird's Nest.
¤ From the Times (UK):
What the Times actually said, in the infamous "crooked teeth" article:
¤ From the New York Times:
Oh, wait. That's not from the New York Times at all. It's actually a line from a Netease report that just happens to mention that the newspaper put a photo of Lin on the cover.
One thing's for sure: some things we're just not meant to talk about.
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