Topic: 我爸是市长—谁在说？Who said “I am the Mayor’s Son”?
This news program is not a talk show but focuses more on investigatory journalism and usually limits itself to domestic events. The host,白岩松 ,is very popular—particularly with young people—but increasingly controversial. In recent months there have been no shortage of rumors that his news programs have been canceled. His biography on Baidu lists as his key personal traits: 说话, being a good talker, but not in derogatory sense of the phrases English meaning. He is also an author, having published one book ten years ago and one just recently. For a taste of his style and ideas see the speech he gave at Yale that also includes an English translation. Throughout the show there are references to the famous incident from last year when a young Chinese man killed a girl in a hit and run incident and told police that they could do with him what they like because he said “我爸是李刚－My Dad is Li Gang.” Of course, the young man meant that in the end nothing would happen to him because his dad would use his connections to make the matter go away. The phrase, “My Dad is Li Gang,” got very popular on the Chinese internet and even appeared in several television shows. This broadcast looks at a similar incident that just happened in Wenzhou when a 15-year old driving a Mercedes, 马文聪(Ma Wencong), entered small shop to buy cigarettes, supposedly hit the baby of the shop owner, proceeded to drive away but hit a pedestrian with his Mercedes. Those at the scene that night reported that he mockingly told the police “My Dad is the mayor of the city” and it quickly became a catch phrase. The show investigates whether the teenager actually said of those words. You can view video of the program here.
First Five Minutes: The first few minutes tries to establish what exactly happened on the evening of September 18th in Wenzhou when a senior in high school took his family’s Mercedes to go out for a massage. He stopped at a small store to but something but that is where the controversy starts. The owner of the store claimed that Ma Wencong was in a rage for no reason, hit her one-year old baby and afterwards said “My dad is the mayor of the city; I can give you 300 yuan (as compensation for the injury). Upon leaving the store and while attempting to drive away he actually hit a pedestrian. The program establishes that Ma Wencong is actually not the son of the Wenzhou’s mayor but the son of a wealthy businessman. This segment ends by posing the question for the remainder of the broadcast: How did this rumor get started? What does he fact that this rumor began day about Chinese society today.
富二代-second-generation rich. Refers to the children of businessmen who struck it rich in the 1970s and 1980s. Currently one of the most common phrases on Chinese websites. Also good to know is 官二代 (children of officials who have benefited from their parents’ connections.
围观的人-spectators, those standing around and watching an event happen
回头-to look back on (Commonly used in news programs by the host beore a video that will summarize events: 我们回头一下.
面目全非-to change beyond recognition
活该的-to serve someone right
发酵-to ferment, develop
From Five to Fifteen Minutes: This segment is primarily filled with the reflections of journalists who covered the story as it played out on September 18th. In attempting to trace the origin of the rumor that Wen Macong was the son of the Mayor, the program establishes that one person simply lied and that was enough for the opinion to spread. This point, the anchor emphasizes, is important: those gather in Wenzhou that night found the rumor plausible and on a certain level perhaps even wanted it to be true. On the first level, especially with last year’s scandal involving Li Gang, the citizens held the idea that a young guy would use his privileged position as entirely plausible. On a deeper level,
转引-quotation from a secondary source
酝酿-to develop, to ferment (of an idea)
样本-specimen, sample, test case
饲料-fodder (Here the expression is used in the English sense of giving fodder for or two something)
Last Ten Minutes: The last few minutes of the program again looks at various newspaper columns and reaction to the incident. The host, 白岩松，makes the point that in an ear of Chinese-version twitter it is important to get the facts right because rumors can spread so quickly. The program ends with an interview with one of the editor of 三联生活, a well-respected magazine,about the failings of the journalists in the hours and days after the incident occurred. 白岩松 ends the program with a personal comment that wealthy parents cannot equate money and gifts they give their children with responsibility.
袒护-to take someone’s side, to give support that is not deserved
砸-to smash, crash
情何以堪-How can this go on!? Used as a rhetorical question