...the fireworks displays seen on television all over the city were not real, but were generated by computers. The illusion was necessary because on the evening of August 8, the Beijing sky was cloudy and hazy - because of the pollution and heat - and visibility was poor.The Washington Post also reports that ethnic children were not really members of Chinese ethnic groups, but were actors. [Well, if your historical practice is to deceive, it takes a while to learn to stop the deceptions.]
I often turn into China English TV to see what is going on and if China may be changing for the better (it is, but it takes someone smarter than I am to see how much of the change is both real and good). Invariably their TV ads are directed to showing China as a tourist's paradise with peaceful blue lakes, green forests, scenic mountains, and clean air. Obviously, these are very selective pictures--as is the news that is reported.
A couple of days ago I was surprised that CCTV.COM presented a TV feature on the Catholic Church in Beijing that showed the South Cathedral, including Mass offered by a "patriotic priest." The program was unusual in that it displayed the addresses and telephone numbers of at least five Christian churches in the capitol city.