Chinese divers won a record seven gold medals during the 2008 Olympics. But even they didn't leap as headlong into the Beijing tank as did NBC. That's how you might describe the collective verdict of the Fox News Watch panel this evening on NBC's regime-friendly coverage. The subject arose as part of the show's Year in Review, and began with a clip of Matt Lauer unctuously questioning a ChiCom official:
MATT LAUER: There's a recent poll that said some very high percentage of the people in China are happy with their lot in life. Something around 80%. You compare that with the polls in the United States that say only about 25% of Americans are. What's the root of their happiness here?
View video here. The panel lit into the network's coverage, with even the liberal-leaning Jane Hall and Kirsten Powers joining the NBC-scorching consensus.
JIM PINKERTON: NBC made a billion-dollar bet on the Olympics, and they weren't going to blow it by antagonizing Communists over little things like persecuting Christians or killing Tibetans, or stuff like that.
JANE HALL: I thought [NBC's coverage] was pretty bad . . . I mean, this is serious, serious outcomes for being in the tank. This is, this is bad.
KIRSTEN POWERS: Well, I have to wonder if they weren't trying to justify what they did in that interview, sort of saying "see, it's not so bad over here, because look how happy they are." I mean, it's just a little bit twisted I think, if you know anything about China, to think that that's the case. I would say it's a highly-suspicious poll, probably.
BILL SAMMON: It reminded me of the occasional mainstream media foray to Cuba, where we're told that "they have such a wonderful health-care system." The difference is that those mainstream media stories are motivated by ideology or bias or call it what you will. This one was motivated by money. They had a billion-dollar bet: they didn't want to lose that money.