I’m watching the NBA 2010 All-Star Weekend festivities right now on BTV 6, Beijing’s sports channel. (CCTV 5 would probably have this in other years, but today it’s showing the Winter Olympics.) After Steve Nash won the skills competition, Dwyane Wade stepped to center court and gave a short speech asking people to contribute to relief efforts for the Haiti earthquake. At the end he said, “And now please listen to this special message from former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.”
The broadcast immediately switched back to the BTV studio, where the three hosts babbled for about five minutes straight. I can’t imagine that the NBA didn’t allow this message to be shown in China, so I can only assume it was BTV’s decision. I haven’t found any video clips posted online yet, but I did find the website for the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, which somehow hasn’t been blocked in China. Here are some excerpts from the homepage:
On January 12, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti just outside the capital city of Port-au-Prince. The devastation – in lives lost, property destroyed, and families displaced – is immense. . .
Our immediate priority is to save lives. The critical needs in Haiti are great, but they are also simple: food, water, shelter, and first-aid supplies. The best way concerned citizens can help is to donate funds that will go directly to supplying these material needs. . .
We ask each of you to give what you can to help ensure the people of Haiti can build back stronger and better than ever.
It’s too bad the ex-Presidents haven taken such an extreme position and chosen to use such inflammatory language. I can only hope that broadcasters around the world, American ones included, followed BTV’s lead and did not let this message go out.
UPDATE: NBA China uses oblique means and stealthy feints to implant another controversial message from Dwyane “Time Delay Capsule” Wade. This time he smiles and wishes the Chinese people a happy new year — in Chinese! Disgusting.