Reporters were put on notice that, “the two men would not take questions during a photo opportunity, and that reporters were expected to adhere to journalistic standards and codes of ethics, or risk being ejected from the room.” Alluding that free speech was out on hold during the photo opportunity. Two questions that come to mind are why did the Majority Leader call Hu a ‘dictator’. No questions on that. The other, Why does Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobao sit in a Chinese jail while the United States rolled out the red Carpet. No questions on that either. So much for Freedom of the press
Two days after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Chinese President Hu Jintao a “dictator” on a Nevada talk show, the two men met face to face in the Capitol on Thursday morning.
On the heels of Hu’s joint press conference with President Obama yesterday — where the tense subject of human rights dominated the discussion — journalists covering the congressional meeting were told by staff that the two men would not take questions during a photo opportunity, and that reporters were expected to adhere to journalistic standards and codes of ethics, or risk being ejected from the room. (Presumably, this meant no questions about sensitive subjects including Reid’s dictator comment and the fate of jailed Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobao.)
Nonetheless, one reporter did manage to ask what business Reid “expected to get done with a man he had called a dictator.” Neither Hu nor Reid responded.