09/08/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Reading The Olympic Pictures: Slam Dunk On The Earthquake




Quake Hush Money

It was just a brilliant piece of propaganda in the Olympic opening ceremonies, pairing Chinese NBA basketball star Yao Ming and nine-year-old Lin Hao as flag bearers for the Chinese team. Hao has been hailed for rescuing classmates during the catastrophic earthquake in Sichuan province.

I juxtapose the shots I snapped off the tube -- the little boy paired with Ming, and toting the Chinese and Olympic flags (to the gushing of the network anchors, as you can just imagine) -- with this incredible shot featured recently by the NYT illustrating how the Chinese government has been using money and pressure to buy the silence of parents who suffered the loss of their children in these poorly-constructed collapsed schools. 

China Presses Hush Money on Grieving Parents (NYT)

For more of the visual, visit

(image 1-3 NBC. image 4: Shiho Fukada for The New York Times. caption: Yu Tingyun, left, lost his daughter, Yang, in the May earthquake in southwest China, and Huang Lianfen, right, lost a nephew. Ms. Huang holds an agreement that Chinese officials want parents to sign, saying they will not hold protests about collapsed schools.)