David Pierson, Los Angeles Times, April 20, 2008
Throngs of Chinese Americans protested outside CNN’s offices in Hollywood on Saturday morning, calling for the dismissal of commentator Jack Cafferty, whose recent remarks about Chinese goods and China inflamed a community already angry about international condemnations directed at the host country of the upcoming Olympic Games.
The protesters lined Sunset Boulevard from Cahuenga Boulevard to Wilcox Avenue chanting “Fire Cafferty” and “CNN liar” and singing the Chinese national anthem and other patriotic songs. They waved Chinese, American and Taiwanese flags and directed their anger at the news channel’s dark glass tower.
On the April 9 airing of “The Situation Room,” Cafferty said of America’s relationship with China: “We continue to import their junk with the lead paint on them and the poisoned pet food and export . . . jobs to places where you can pay workers a dollar a month to turn out the stuff that we’re buying from Wal-Mart. So I think our relationship with China has certainly changed. I think they’re basically the same bunch of goons and thugs they’ve been for the last 50 years.”
CNN later said Cafferty’s comments were directed at the Beijing government.
Lake Wang, a 39-year-old engineer from Thousand Oaks, was wearing a T-shirt that read, “Do not be jealous of China Jack.” The last protest Wang attended was 19 years ago in Beijing—the Tiananmen Square crackdown.
Wang said China has become a vastly different society since then and that the country deserved credit for the changes.
Police estimated the crowd at 1,500, but organizers said there were 10,000 attendees. A similar protest took place at CNN headquarters in Atlanta.
“Most of these people are American citizens and legal resident aliens,” said John Chen, a lead organizer. “We love China and we love America too. We should not be regarded as goons and thugs.”