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Journalists group urges CNN to apologize for 'insulting' remarks
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The All-China Journalists Association (ACJA) on Saturday asked U.S.-based news network CNN and its commentator Jack Cafferty to apologize for his remarks regarding China.

In an interview with Chinese media including Xinhua News Agency, a senior official with the ACJA strongly condemned Cafferty for his "insulting" words in a TV show on April 9 and asked him and CNN to make a formal apology to all Chinese as soon as possible.

Cafferty said in the TV show that Chinese products were "junk" and China was "basically the same bunch of goons and thugs they've been for the last 50 years" when the Olympic torch relay was going on in San Francisco.

Since the Lhasa violence on March 14, some foreign media including CNN had made a number of biased reports about the incident, the official said.

CNN had violated the principle of objective reporting, and "this is not what responsible media should do," he said.

"And Cafferty also disregarded a journalist's professional ethics to attack a country with insulting words," the official said.

Despite having an effective mechanism to deal with false reporting, CNN issued a statement on its website six days after Cafferty's remarks, which not only pleaded for him, but also spearheaded its attack on the Chinese government, he said.

CNN issued a statement on Tuesday saying, "It was not Mr. Cafferty's nor CNN's intent to cause offence to the Chinese people, and CNN would apologise to anyone who has interpreted the comments in this way."

But, the statement said that Cafferty was offering his "strongly held" opinion of the Chinese government, not China's people.

"We hope CNN and Cafferty to realize that they have harmed the feelings of Chinese and apologize with a rational and responsible attitude," the official said.

With the Olympic Games drawing near, the ACJA welcomed all foreign media to cover the event in an objective and balanced way, he said.

(Xinhua News Agency April 20, 2008)

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