25 January 2012

The credulous Guardian. Again.

It is headlined and captioned, without questioning, as footage of recruits playing with live explosives.

Yet it is so obviously not.  On the second angle shown, the package is not dropped in the hole from where the explosion then emanates. The package also has some sort of Wile E Coyote Acme Bomb fuse, for Mao's sake! And if it was truly a fragmentary grenade going off, hurling yourself a few yards away like a sychronised breakdance crew wouldn't do much to protect you.

There may be some training points for the PLA squaddies around coordination, speed and other drills. And I'm not saying those soldiers are having a picnic - it's probably a smoke bomb and some sort of controlled charge - or that this is how I'd like to spend my spare time. But it is not 
"Footage of soldiers in the People's Liberation Army of China [which] shows how a live grenade is passed around in a training exercise."
While desperately trying to row back from its own credulousness, The Atlantic has the best explanation of what is going on: a slightly Pythonesque attempt at propaganda. Which is, of course, the real story. 

I've covered before The Guardian's black-is-white approach to 'news' videos. Is this gullibility, laziness or just ideological?

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