CNN “Suppressed Senkaku Ramming Video Leak”

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The man who leaked the Senkaku ramming video reports that he first sent the video to CNN, but that they ignored it, forcing him to resort to YouTube.

Sengoku38, the coast guard official who leaked a damning video of a Chinese ship ramming a coast guard vessel to YouTube, reports he first sent the video to the Tokyo branch office of CNN, but that “they didn’t broadcast it, so I decided to upload it myself.”

He apparently sent the video to CNN on an SD card, though without an accompanying explanation. CNN’s Tokyo office only responds “We are making absolutely no comment about this matter.”

Internationally, CNN has generally been criticised for being anti-Chinese rather than pro-Chinese, reflecting concerns about Tibet and human rights strongly in its reporting on China, whereas in Japan it is the usually the left which is pro-Chinese.

Connected to all this is likely the fact that CNN’s Japanese branch “CNNj” is in fact not an independent international news organisation as Sengoku38 probably assumed, but is actually a joint venture with one of Japan’s own unreliable media conglomerates, in this case Asahi.

Asahi themselves are the most left-wing and pro-Chinese of Japan’s major media organisations, and their reporting praised the government’s decision to release the Chinese captain whilst playing down the footage when it finally came to light. It does not seem likely they would have aired the footage themselves.

As a final irony, Asahi actually published an editorial criticising Sengoku38 for uploading the video to YouTube rather than sending it to them or another of Japan’s media companies, saying it they would be better placed to bring it to the people’s attention and suggesting he was simply hungry for glory.

Japanese media reported extensively on the leak after it was posted to YouTube, although after he admitted he was responsible the government demanded he be arrested, a threat it was forced to abandon due to the obvious absurdity of charging him after it had interfered in the courts to get the Chinese captain released.

Should CNN actually have overlooked the video sent by accident rather than intent, as a supposedly modern media organisation it has been suggested they deserve just as much censure for being unable or unwilling to inspect the contents of an SD card as if they had deliberately suppressed the contents.

Whatever the reason, CNN’s presumed decision to ignore what would have been a huge scoop at the expense of China and Japan’s leftist government is being greeted with a great deal of scepticism – many in Japan now regard their traditional media’s censorship abilities as being on par with those of China itself, and it seems this extends to international media organisations with outlets in Japan.

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