The CIA survey portrays Chinese bloggers as alert, engaged and influential in shaping government policy.
“The controversy over the mentally retarded workers set off a passionate discussion in the blogosphere on such topics as the treatment of disabled people in society and the role officials play in allowing workers to be exploited in private enterprises.”
“The public reaction resulting from the story’s popularity in the blogosphere as well as in traditional media almost certainly had an effect on the quick government response,” the CIA report said.
Why did the CIA support them? Because in the propaganda war with the Soviet Union, this new artistic movement could be held up as proof of the creativity, the intellectual freedom, and the cultural power of the US. Russian art, strapped into the communist ideological straitjacket, could not compete.
At this time the new agency, staffed mainly by Yale and Harvard graduates, many of whom collected art and wrote novels in their spare time, was a haven of liberalism when compared with a political world dominated by McCarthy or with J Edgar Hoover’s FBI. If any official institution was in a position to celebrate the collection of Leninists, Trotskyites and heavy drinkers that made up the New York School, it was the CIA.