Magazine | August 29, 2011, Issue

Official Transcript: Larry Ching Live on CCTV

September 9, 2011

Larry Ching: From Harbin, in Heilongjiang Province, ni hao!

Caller: Ni hao, Larry, and ni hao to your guest.

Larry Ching: Ni hao, caller. Do you have a question for the American secretary of the treasury, Mr. Geithner Tim?

Caller: I do, Larry, thank you. I’d like to ask Mr. Tim if he is regretful about the recent downgrading of American sovereign debt?

Larry Ching: Good question! What about it, Mr. Tim? But before answer, can call you Geithner? Is that too familiar?

Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Mr. Geithner Tim: Well, Larry, actually, in English it’s reversed. So my first name is Tim and my second name is Geithner.

Larry Ching: How about that! Weird! Fun stuff! I am enjoying this nutty interview!

Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Mr. Geithner Tim: If I may, to answer your caller’s question, I am of course regretful about Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade the United States’ debt, but I am hopeful that this situation can be resolved. As you know, the American economy is still the most powerful and energetic in the world, and our ability to meet our financial obligations remains strong.

Larry Ching: So when do you have to go to the prison farm?

Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Mr. Geithner Tim: Well, never, I hope.

Larry Ching: Will you or any of your cadre be executed?

Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Mr. Geithner Tim: No, as I’ve said, this is really not a big problem. The United States remains solvent, and while I disagree with the decision by Standard & Poor’s, I agree with their basic assessment of the current political environment in the United States, which is making it very difficult to address these critical issues.

Larry Ching: Who in the Standard & Poor’s economic unit will be imprisoned for this humiliation?

Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Mr. Geithner Tim: Well, um, no one, I think.

Larry Ching: No one? An economic unit of the state is not prohibited from humiliating and demeaning the leaders and the people’s government?

Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Mr. Geithner Tim: Well, no, I mean, I see your point, but . . .

Larry Ching: Will there at least be televised show trials?

Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Mr. Geithner Tim: No.

Larry Ching: Will Miss Bachmann Michele be publicly rebuked?

#page#Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Mr. Geithner Tim: Only by the media.

Larry Ching: Will anyone in the American ruling cadre have their lakeside retreat or Audi confiscated?

Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Mr. Geithner Tim: We operate on a different system . . .

Larry Ching: Surely your children’s careers have been ruined?

Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Mr. Geithner Tim: My children are very young still . . .

Larry Ching: Wonderful! A family man! How many instruments do your children play?

Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Mr. Geithner Tim: I don’t . . . I mean . . . I think one of them is starting piano . . .

Larry Ching: One of them is starting piano? Okay. Moving on. What are their most recent test scores in the math or science arena?

Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Mr. Geithner Tim: I’m really not comfortable discussing my children, Larry.

Larry Ching: Ouch! That bad, huh?

Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Mr. Geithner Tim: If we could get back to the subject at hand?

Larry Ching: Okay, okay. Let me recap. No one will be executed, no one will be humiliated on television, no one will lose their lakeside retreat or their Audi, no one will have their children’s futures destroyed, no one will face imprisonment or public trial? Am I hearing this correctly? This is crazy crazy!

Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Mr. Geithner Tim: We don’t do that in the United States.

Larry Ching: Don’t do that! My viewers, don’t you love this guy? Tomorrow night! The whole hour with Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, and Siu-Wong Fan! The cast of Ip Man! From Chengdu, in Sichuan Province, ni hao!

Caller: Ni hao, Larry, ni hao Mr. Tim!

Larry Ching: It’s just Tim. It’s backwards over there. Am I right, Tim?

Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Mr. Geithner Tim: That’s correct.

Caller: I am wondering if Tim has spoken to Obama Barack about this debt situation and if either one of them is planning on repaying this debt to the glorious Chinese people and culture?

Larry Ching: Good question! Very loosey-goosey operation you have over there. Should we be worried about our money?

Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Mr. Geithner Tim: As I’ve said, Larry, the ability of the United States to meet its obligations has never been questioned.

Larry Ching: Yeah, but you know, you’ve got all this debt here and then you tell me your kids are morons, hard to see how you get out of this mess.

Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Mr. Geithner Tim: I didn’t say my kids were –

Larry Ching: Up next! The Mrs. Hu tells us all how to eat more healthy! Stay with us! Unless you are at work, in which case please report to your supervisor for an additional assignment!

Rob Long — Rob Long, Hollywood writer and producer, started his career as a screenwriter for the TV show Cheers. He is a regular writer for National Review, Newsweek International, and the Los ...

In This Issue


Politics & Policy

Making Believe

With trumpets and drum rolls, the White House has released a new policy paper on methods to prevent terrorism, a study said to have been two years in the making. ...
Politics & Policy

London Aflame

London – Yesterday, August 8, I was watching live looting footage — some of it from districts near mine or where friends were hunkered down behind locked doors — with ...


Politics & Policy

Gagging Us Softly

To be honest, I didn’t really think much about “freedom of speech” until I found myself the subject of three “hate speech” complaints in Canada in 2007. I mean I ...
Politics & Policy

Not a Race Card

A  number of states have recently passed voter-ID legislation — among them, Texas, Alabama, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Rhode Island. Two others, Georgia and Indiana, implemented such laws ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Something to Fear

  Decades ago, the historian Theodore Draper wrote about what he called the “minor academic industry” dedicated to resurrecting the reputation of the American Communist party. The industry’s ranks were composed ...
Politics & Policy

Roads Not Taken

Late summer, like midwinter, is a time of year when it’s best to shun the big studio releases. Any star-studded blockbuster or crowd-pleasing comedy that’s actually worth its budget (i.e., ...


Politics & Policy


Lochner in Rehab Reading Joseph Tartakovsky’s review of David Bernstein’s Rehabilitating Lochner (“Rights Revisited,” July 4), I got the sense that both gentlemen embrace the proposition that the 1905 Lochner decision was ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Who would have guessed that Moammar Qaddafi would outlive America’s AAA rating? ‐ Wisconsin Democrats have gone to extraordinary lengths ever since Republicans introduced legislation to scale back the collective-bargaining ...
The Bent Pin

The Virgin Mother

A new version of an old song is running through my head. “‘M’ is for the million threats against you. ‘O’ is for Orlando’s mounted cops. ‘T’ is for tattoos ...

The Empire Goes Hungry

We could spend our time together here detailing the ideas that separate the Right and the Left, but if Maureen Dowd has taught us anything, it’s that it’s more fun ...
Politics & Policy


  SOUTHERN STORM To the east is subtropical fern Whose shadows imprint the trails to the springs, More ancient than the forests themselves. To the west of these too-deep predawn pools There are rolling fields and ...
Happy Warrior

Old Blighted

I had a new book out the other day. Usual doom and gloom, as the more alert reader may just about be able to discern from the subtle title: After America: ...

Most Popular


The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More

Billy Graham: Neither Prophet nor Theologian

Asked in 1972 if he believed in miracles, Billy Graham answered: Yes, Jesus performed some and there are many "miracles around us today, including television and airplanes." Graham was no theologian. Neither was he a prophet. Jesus said "a prophet hath no honor in his own country." Prophets take adversarial ... Read More
Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More