When in Doubt, Blame China

August 14th, 2007 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

The AP reported yesterday that Zhang Shuhong, head of the Chinese toy manufacturing company Lee Der, committed suicide after Mattel Inc. issued a recall of nearly one million toys made by Zhang’s company. Mattel, the world’s biggest toy company, recalled the toys because paint used to make them was found to carry “excessive amounts of lead.”

Today, every paper in the free world reported on another Mattel recall. I braced myself for some serious Made-In-China hateration when I read these headlines:

“Mattel Issues New Recall of Chinese Toys” (The New York Times)
“Mattel Recalls More Chinese-Made Toys” (Forbes)
“Mattel Expands Toy Recall: Latest Incident From China Involves Cars, Magnet Toys” (The Wall Street Journal)

Reports were conflicting, but Mattel apparently recalled somewhere between 253,000 to 436,000 toy cars made in China due to their lead content. Bad news, right?

I knew it. The Chinese are evil.

HOWEVER, Mattel also recalled 18.2 million Polly Pocket dolls and Batman action figures. Why?

Because they are tainted with lead. Because they are made in China. Because the Chinese secretly want to take over our country, eat our dogs, force us to speak ching-chong, rape our women with their tiny penises and then kill us.

No. Because they contain magnets.

Lead, magnets, what’s the difference? Those shifty Chinese have devised a trillion ways to kill us.

Wrong.

“…Mattel officials said the problems with the magnets were the result of a design flaw, not faulty manufacturing.”

This important fact is only reported on in the third paragraph of The Washington Post story and the fifth in the New York Times, and it is not mentioned at all in the Wall Street Journal or the AP and Reuters releases.

Now let’s just crunch the numbers for a second. According to my abacus, a liberal estimate of the number of Mattel toys tainted with lead because of a manufacturing problem in China is…1.4 million. The estimate of Mattel toys recalled because of a design problem that really has nothing to do with China is…18.2 million.

So the Mattel design problem that has nothing to do with China is almost 13 times greater than the Mattel lead paint problem from China.

What does this mean?

Numbers hurt my head. All I know is China is bad. I don’t really care about the facts.

Xenophobia is alive and kicking. Yellow Peril is back.

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