Don't Miss: That Pesky Freedom of Speech Thing China's president doesn't mince words... or hear them either.
NPR logo Don't Miss: That Pesky Freedom of Speech Thing

Don't Miss: That Pesky Freedom of Speech Thing

A protester pulls out a banner and shouts slogans during remarks by Chinese President Hu Jintao at the White House, April 20, 2006. Jason Reed/Reuters hide caption

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Jason Reed/Reuters

Should Chinese President Hu Jintao have been surprised that a protestor interrupted his opening ceremonies at the White House today? I mean, this is America after all, and we have this little thing called free speech. On the other hand, it was a tightly controlled White House shindig and the protestor was dressed in wolf's -- I mean reporter's -- clothing.

You can judge for yourself how disrupting the moment was by listening to White House Correspondent Don Gonyea's recording of it. Don says the protestor had the smarts to position herself at the top of the press riser, squeezed between two TV cameras. That meant she could keep up her yelling for the several minutes it took the Secret Service to get to her.

An interesting side note, again from Don (aka "Gonyea Twitty"): Earlier this week, a Bush administration official informed the White House press corps not to expect President Hu to take questions this week, because "the Chinese are not as comfortable with news conferences as we are." The announcement was made by an unnamed official at a sort of off-the-record, double-secret probation briefing. As Don put it, "it was like Bizzaro World."

Also, two of the three bodacious babes I mentioned earlier have their stories ready for your enjoyment: Julie Rovner reports on yet another Medicare glitch and Mary Louise Kelley tells us what the national intelligence director said when he came out of his bat cave.

Oh, and if you didn't hear Frank Langfitt's story about the businessman who, snubbing Emily Post, had a revelation at an important Chinese dinner party, check it out. It's a really heartening story, and in my opinion, appropriately blasts Yahoo! for caving to the human rights standards of China.

Go forth, blog readers, and listen.