Earlier this morning reports surfaced that Bloomberg’s Beijing and Shanghai bureaus were surprise-inspected by Chinese authorities, and now news is leaking out that Bloomberg reporter Robert Hutton was intentionally excluded from a press conference in Beijing yesterday.
British PM David Cameron met with Li Keqiang this week to talk about how the Dalai Lama can shove it, and the international press corps was out in force. Notably absent from the meet-up, however, was Bloomberg reporter and member of the British parliamentary lobby Robert Hutton.
Chinese authorities barred Hutton from attending for (predictably) opaque reasons, as The Guardian reports:
Hutton was informed of the decision [to refuse his entry] by an official on a bus ride from Beijing airport after the prime minister’s overnight flight from London. The official said: “We have been told by the Chinese authorities that it would not be appropriate for you to attend.” […]
A [Downing Street] spokesman said: “As soon as this issue became apparent on Sunday, we raised our concerns at senior levels and made clear it would be completely inappropriate to exclude journalists from the press statements. When we heard what had happened today we expressed our deep concern to senior Chinese officials about journalists being blocked.”
This obvious breach of fundamental freedoms of speech may be “completely inappropriate,” but did not stop Mr. Cameron from gleefully declaring that “Britain will act as China’s strongest advocate in the west,” because consistency is for plebs.
Also, because Bloomberg desperately needs to look better in China, they are now hiring a “Government Affairs Rep,” open to anyone who can deal with constant bureaucratic clusterfucks while holding a once-reputable news organization together with scotch-tape and dental floss.
[Image via Global Times]