Chinese protest CNN 'bias'<br />
EmptyRELATED: CNN: China comments not meant to offend
The finger-pointing continued in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics on Saturday as hundreds of ethnic Chinese shouted "Liar" in front of CNN's Los Angeles office, demanding a "sincere apology" from political commentator Jack Cafferty for calling Chinese "goons and thugs."
"No Chinese Negative News" and "Certainly Not Neutral" read banners held high along with the flags of the U.S., China and Taiwan. A crowd of about 500 gathered by 10 a.m. on all four corners of a Sunset Boulevard intersection. Police said they were taken by surprise.
The protest came after recent events in Tibet, where anti-Chinese unrest broke out March 14. Since then, Chinese state-run media has called Nobel Peace Laureate the Dalai Lama a terrorist and accused Western media, which has been barred from open reporting in Tibet, of unbalanced coverage.
Lin Chen, who learned about the protest on popular Chinese-language Web portal Sina.com, left his home at 7 a.m. and drove to Los Angeles from San Diego. The native of Tianjin, the port city nearest Beijing, has worked for years as an engineer at Qualcomm.
"I know both worlds, English media and Chinese media. I believe there is an anti-China frenzy in America today," said Chen, 44, who has raised two preteens in the U.S.
"I came not for myself but for my son and daughter. They will live forever in the U.S., and I cannot tolerate this discrimination from a major news organization," Chen said.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry demanded Tuesday that Cafferty apologize for remarks he made last week, in which he called the Chinese "goons and thugs" and said products manufactured in China are "junk."
"Cafferty used the microphone in his hands to slander China and the Chinese people (and) seriously violated professional ethics of journalism and human conscience," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said Tuesday, the state-run Xinhua news agency said.
Jiang said Cafferty's remarks "reflected his arrogance, ignorance and hostility towards the Chinese people, ignited indignation of Chinese (at) home and abroad and will be condemned by those who safeguard justice around the world."
CNN is barred from broadcast in China except into luxury hotels and exclusive residence compounds.
In response CNN issued a statement saying: "We are aware of concerns about Jack Cafferty's comments related to China in the context of the upcoming Olympics. ... CNN would like to clarify that it was not Mr. Cafferty's, nor CNN's, intent to cause offense to the Chinese people, and (CNN) would apologize to anyone who has interpreted the comments in this way.
CNN said in a statement on its Web site that it is a network that reports the news in an objective and balanced fashion but as part of their coverage they also employ commentators who provide robust opinions that generate debate.
On this occasion Cafferty was offering his strongly held opinion of the Chinese government, not the Chinese people -- a point he subsequently clarified on "The Situation Room" on Monday, the statement said.
At the protest Saturday, Ke Ping, a Chinese filmmaker who has lived in the U.S. for 20 years and is a graduate of the UCLA Film School, said that as a naturalized American citizen she certainly took advantage of freedom of speech here.
"I encourage more open speech in China," where she acknowledged such a protest against a news organization would not be allowed to take place.