(Related CIV discussion here.)
The title of the story is: Western media shows its ugly face
Here's an excerpt (full article here):
Chen's comments strongly imply an unnamed leader considered that Yang's replacement, nine year-old Lin Miaoke, had a "flawless" image. But the bit about Yang's alleged ugliness, chubby face or uneven teeth was a Western media description repeated a thousand times across the world - as if it was the verified judgment of the Chinese Government.
Hundreds of foreign journalists, most of whom cannot speak Chinese and had been in China for only a week or so, replicated each other's stories without bothering or having the time or ability to check the evidence themselves.
The Western media tended to portray Yang as the victim because the communist state deemed her too ugly for a place in the global spotlight. But perhaps if we had the facts straight we might have focused more on her nine-year-old replacement, Lin Miaoke.
Lin may still not know that her voice was not the one heard by billions of television viewers.
"At her house no one has spoken about this," a relative of Lin Miaoke told the Herald yesterday.
"We have prevented her from looking at the comments that have been posted on her website. There are many people who have attacked her and the family for being 'fake' and having no sense of shame.
"I'm worried that she does understand a little of this. My greatest worry is that when she starts school [after the summer holidays] all her school friends will ask about it. And it will break Miaoke's young heart.
"She is a beautiful singer but her voice is soft. I don't know exactly what happened."
The fact that Chen Qigan and the movie director Zhang Yimou helped shape the opening ceremony shows that the Chinese state is making some room for art over politics. The fact both men have given extensive and revealing interviews to the Chinese media hints at the epic, evolving struggle between art and politics in China.
At these Olympics there has been ample evidence of government obfuscation, fabrication and authoritarianism. But the complexity of China's epic struggle with itself is often lost.