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The BU Symphony Orchestra performs works by Shostakovich, and Schumann at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, October 5, at the Tsai Performance Center

Week of 1 October 2004 · Vol. VIII, No. 5

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Baltimore Sun: Chinese cult of power is over

Even as citizens in China enjoy increasing personal freedoms, their government remains shrouded in mystery, with most important decisions made in secret by a small group of people, reports the September 21 Baltimore Sun. “If it’s a broader group, it’s not much broader,” says Joseph Fewsmith, a CAS international relations professor. “It’s still very, very closely held.” And yet, the Chinese largely are indifferent to the selection of their leaders, according to the Sun, because officials today have less power than in the past — a fact exemplified by former president Jiang Zemin’s voluntary transfer of power to Hu Jintao over the past two years. “As you move generation by generation away from the revolution, you always have the question, why should I rule and not you, and that begins to make it more of an institutional process,” Fewsmith says. “I’m at least cautiously optimistic that we’re getting some form of institutionalization, that the pressures from the institution made it impossible for Jiang Zemin to hang on forever, and particularly that his willingness to step aside may further that process.”

Boston Globe: Brudnoy rips Bush on AIDS prevention

The Bush administration’s recent suggestion that condoms are ineffective in preventing HIV transmission is “nothing short of grotesque,” writes David Brudnoy, a COM professor of mass communication, advertising, and public relations, in a September 24 Boston Globe op-ed piece. Brudnoy, who is a WBZ radio talk show host, contracted HIV in the late 1970s, nearly died from related illnesses in 1994, and has been living with AIDS.

“Politics and ideology trumping science is nothing new, in our country and elsewhere,” he writes. “The Bush administration, however, has carried this to its farthest extreme. . . . This is an old but endlessly repetitive story: the government of the richest large nation on earth, with the best medical care, continuing to propound views about preventing AIDS that not only don’t minimize infections but in a perverse way guarantee there’ll be more of them. More torment, more economic and political chaos, more social disruption, more death. . . . The Bush administration should hang its head in shame for this absurdity.”

Boston Globe: Too little, too late

Media analysts are divided about whether CBS News anchor Dan Rather irreversibly damaged his credibility last month by sourcing in a story a document that he now admits may not be authentic. Many observers agree, however, that Rather’s initial reaction to the wave of criticism that followed his September 8 broadcast questioning President Bush’s military record was damaging in its own right. Says Bob Zelnick, a COM professor of journalism and department chairman, in the September 21 Boston Globe: “It’s a devastating event for CBS, not only because they made serious editorial mistakes, but also because they responded in a totally arrogant fashion for the last two weeks, when they turned their guns on their critics, rather than quickly investigating and owning up to the problems with these so-called documents.”


1 October 2004
Boston University
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