Chinese Government Excited to Obfuscate Latest Tragedy

Li Keqiang in Sichuan

BEIJING – Following the earthquake in Sichuan which has left at least 188 dead, high-level sources within the Chinese government confirmed that they were excited to begin the campaign of dissembling and obfuscation in response to the latest tragedy.

“We’ve learned a lot since 2008,” one official said. “This time, we aim to more efficiently withhold information from the Chinese public.”

Top leaders held a series of meetings over the weekend to review the mistakes they had made following the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake like allowing journalists to enter the affected area, allowing journalists to interview survivors, releasing un-massaged death toll numbers and “bumming people out” with reports about dead children.

“You can bet we won’t make those mistakes again,” the official said.

With all government departments working together, there’s no end to the facts we can bury.

The government is also dedicating more resources to their public image, hiring an acting coach to accompany Premier Li Keqiang as he sped off to Sichuan.

“In China, one of the premier’s most important jobs is to appear at national tragedies and pretend to care,” said the coach, who wished to remain anonymous. “And Li is great. Though he lacks the natural acting talent of Wen Jiabao, he’s practiced feigning empathy for hours in front of a mirror the last few days.”

Propaganda officials are hard at work looking for human interest stories which emphasize random acts of kindness and charity while downplaying that thousands are displaced and need emergency care.

“This latest earthquake feels like a test,” said the source. “It gives us a chance to see how much our game has improved since ’08. This time, with all governmental departments working together, there’s no end to the facts we can bury.”

But even the best-laid plans can go astray. Some local governments, too lazy to draft new speeches, have been caught reading press releases from 2008 verbatim, failing to even change the names and dates.

“This just goes to show that we need more practice,” said the official. “We promise to do better next time.”

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