Chinese journalists tire of Thomas Friedman


It’s this flat!
Photo by Keso, see his photos, or his blog — Playin’ With IT (Chinese)

New York Times rock star columnist Thomas Friedman has just concluded a speaking tour of China to promote the Chinese language edition of his book.

It seems that Chinese journalists and media people are getting a little tired of the Flat Earth Mantra. This is by Michael Anti, as translated by ESWN

In my mind, there are two Thomas Friedmans. The former is a veteran expert in Middle East issues, a three-time Pulitzer prize winner, my former model to emulate and my reason for entering journalism; the other one is the tireless evangelist for globalization, whom I admire greatly for his passion and speaking skills but I read him less and less often now…

…When he interviews people, he opens us his big Dell notebook computer and type in the other party’s response, nodding occasionally. No other big-name reporter in the world will conduct interviews this way, because it clearly does not leave time to listen to others and think about the answers. But Friedman does not need to record the entire interview accurately. What he needs is an interesting quotation from the government official or CEO in front of him, so that he can suitably cite it in the column that he has already thought out…

The below is from a post by Undersound, who looks at two Friedmans — Thomas and Milton — and summarizes and translates into English various reactions from Chinese writers and bloggers to Thomas Friedman’s recent tour, including this from Flypig (Chinese):

Is Mr Friedman a really good thinker? Maybe yes. Maybe not. This is something that can not be showed sufficiently within one day. How do you think if after one year you can still hear that he repeatedly and invariably cites his representative phrase:”Oh My God! The world is flattened! The world is flat!”? …

… Whether from his book “The World is Flat” or his speech during the two days, it is not an easy job for negligent people like me to find some hints. What I learned at that day is the numerous way to express “Oh My God!”.

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