Ted Koppel, former anchorman for ABC’s Nightline, has a new four-part series on the Discovery Channel entitled “Koppel on Discovery: The People’s Republic of Capitalism.” The show began last night, and according to the New York Times, it offers an in-depth perspective on “an emerging capitalist economy tethered to an authoritarian government” by interviewing millionaires, peasants, drag queens and students. Adam Segal, a senior fellow in China studies at the Council of Foreign Relations, tells NYT that while the series might not add to the scholarly debate, it’s important for the “general public”:
By showing how the vast majority of Chinese have been made better off by economic development, it provides a credible argument for why, even with fairly widespread social unrest, the reign of the current regime is not seriously challenged.
The series runs on four consecutive nights, with the second part, “MAOism to MEism,” airing tonight. Here, Koppel promotes the series in a talk with TV host Charlie Rose on human rights in China.