As CNN reporter Richard Quest was arrested for an alleged drug offence in New York, an online survey conducted by China Central TV shows that 97.61 percent of 3.52 million Chinese voters want CNN and Cafferty to apologize; 90.96 percent of 3.28 million voters said Cafferty was morally corrupt and should be barred from broadcasting for life; 90.82% of 3.27 million voters called on CNN to fire Cafferty.
Yesterday, Hong Kong Education Convergence staged a small protest outside CNN's Hong Kong office. The protestors, holding banners which read "CNN: bad model for students", "Chinese people love peace", "CNN is the true thug" and "CNN means Criticaster Name-calling Network", demanded CNN's boss sincerely apologize and formally retract the racist remarks.
According to newspaper Ming Pao, another huge protest against CNN will be organized in San Francisco on April 26. Organizers expect more than 2,000 Chinese to demonstrate outside CNN's San Francisco division. Siu Yuen Chung, chairman of the Chinese American Association of Commerce (CAAC), said the demonstrations will continue until the company bows its head and sincerely apologizes.
Jack Cafferty is no stranger to racist remarks. On November 17, 2003 while discussing video footage of the killing of an unarmed Iraqi insurgent by a US soldier, Mr. Cafferty said "I wouldn't be too concerned about the sensitivity of the Arab world. They don't seem to have very much. "
During Mr. Cafferty's coverage of Yasser Arafat's funeral he said "Maybe they'll put a sign out front for the Palestinian people, that reads "here lies the body of the thief who robbed you blind."
On September 23, 2004, while discussing Iraqi militants’ demand for the release of two female scientists from prison, Mr. Cafferty stated "Given the way these mutants treat women in their societies, if I was a woman, I think I'd rather be in an American jail cell than living with one of those-whatever they are over there."
Cafferty's personal life is also a mess. Born in 1942 to an alcoholic father, he also became an alcoholic. On May 14, 2003, he was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, assault and harassment, after striking a cyclist. He pleaded guilty and was fined US$250 and ordered to do 70 hours of community service.
CNN may try to put the best face on things by saying its commentator "provides robust opinions that generate debate", or "generates ratings for the network". But CNN has a track record of flirting with racism. CNN founder Ted Turner was himself forced to apologize to the Chinese community after using the derogatory term "Chinaman" during a talk on global warming in March 2007.
If Cafferty wants to see his own future he only has to look to the recent past of some of his colleagues in the US media. Don Imus was fired by CBS for racist remarks made while discussing the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship on April 4, 2007. Jeff Vandergrift and Dan Lay were fired by WFNY and CBS Radio when their “Dog House” show broadcast a six-minute prank call to a Chinese restaurant on April 21, 2007.
Meanwhile, ironically, in a related case, while the Dalai Lama accuses China of "repressing religious freedom" in Tibet, he is being sued in an Indian court for persecuting followers of the Dorje Shugden sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The Dalai Lama deems the sect "non-spiritual", allegedly for political reasons. The first hearing date for this arraignment has been set for May 12.
(China.org.cn April 24, 2008)