Wire Service Slow To Describe Chinese "Parliament" As "Rubber Stamp"

March 5th, 2006 7:11 AM

Trolling through the wire-service news on Yahoo! can be a bit of an adventure. This Agence France Presse dispatch on China's "parliament" is a good example. To the less educated among us, they might think China's a Western-style democracy. The unbylined article began with the usual liberal focus on the maldistribution of wealth:

China's parliament opens its annual session amid high security with Premier Wen Jiabao listing the plight of the nation's rural poor and the fast-rising wealth gap as top national priorities.

You have to read all the waaaay down to paragraph 20 (!)  to get the obvious point: "Although the congress is the world's largest parliament, it is regarded as a rubber-stamp body for the country's Communist Party rulers who have led China since 1949." That is the first time in the article the word "communist" appears.