The lady doth **bleep** too much!
Well, here’s the gift that keeps on giving.
On Saturday, the NYT quietly issued the following editor’s note, clarifying what it meant in its Shakespeare censorship anecdote — yeah, the one that sparked off an epidemic of China expats quoting the Bard on phone calls (h/t Adam Minter):
An article on Tuesday about Chinese censorship of digital communications began with a description of two interrupted cellphone calls, which were cited as possible examples of “a host of evidence over the past several weeks” that the authorities were increasing their efforts out of concern that antigovernment sentiment might spread from Arab countries. In one call, a Beijing entrepreneur lost his cellphone connection after he used the English word “protest” twice. In the second, a call was lost after the speaker twice used the Chinese term for protest.
The article did not point out that in both cases, the recipients of the calls were in the Beijing bureau of The New York Times. Because scrutiny of press communications could easily be higher than for those of the public at large, the calls could not be assumed to represent a broader trend; therefore, those examples should not have been given such prominence in the article.
Shanghaiist’s editors would like you to note that this is an editor’s note, not a correction — ie., the NYT continues to stand by its Shakespeare censorship myth.
Readers in Beijing, now’s the time for you to invite yourselves to the NYT office (or the doorstep thereof) and repeat this test. Together, we’ll get to the bottom of this!
Now even Shakespeare’s getting censored in China?
Breaking News: NYT report unleashes epidemic of China expats calling each other and quoting the Bard
Shanghai Scrap: Fact-checking the New York Times’ China Coverage