The campaign against a public school's "Confucius Classroom" by the Chinese-American activist who last September organized demonstrations over the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum's Mao Tse-Tung statue is about to get national media exposure--from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
In an email exchange with supporters, Kai Chen mentions that he and other foes of the Confucius Classroom at Cedarlane Middle School in Hacienda Heights will be interviewed by a crew from Comedy Central's satirical news program during Thursday night's Hacienda La Puente Unified School District Board of Education meeting.
The board in January approved launching a Confucius Classroom next fall at Cedarlane, with the Chinese government's Chinese Language Council International, also known as HanBan, picking up the tab.
HanBan has established 272 Confucius Classrooms worldwide since 2005. The collegiate version, Confucius Institutes, have been implemented in 282 universities over that same period.
But critics like Chen--an author and former Red Army and Chinese national basketball team member who vehemently opposes what he views as an oppressive Chinese regime--charge the Ministry of Education-affiliated HanBan is really a front for the communist government.
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Someone named Terri agrees with Chen, indicating hope in the recent email exchange that The Daily Show will put the opponents "in a good light" and advises, "Let's pack the house."
"I am surprised that Jon Stewart will interview us before any conservative talk show hosts or media," Chen writes back. "I think he will be a kind of hostile interviewer. But I may be wrong."
Actually, this being a remote story, it's unlikely The Daily Show host will be the one doing the interviewing. But longtime viewers know Chen should be suspicious of the motives of whichever reporter shows up, given the show's track record of delicious skewering.
The fun begins at 7 p.m.