Deng Wendi’s rapid reaction to defend her husband Rupert Murdoch against an attacker carrying a pie of shaving foam during a Commons hearing into the News of the World phone hacking scandal has catapulted her to the middle of a global media frenzy, which echoes far back to China. “Tiger mother” and “guardian angel” are just some of the toasts assigned to Deng by China’s online community.
Most importantly, it makes Chinese people believe in real love again. Or at least, this is what prominent Chinese blogger Hecaitou said in his blog post written shortly after Deng’s affectionate defence of her husband, translated in full below.
Hecaitou: Today belongs to Deng Wendi
Today no doubt belongs to Deng Wendi. In the [phone hacking scandal] hearing held during the early hours of Beijing, a man unexpectedly appeared to try to attack Rupert Murdoch with a plate full of shaving cream. After about two seconds in shock, Deng Wendi, former Xuzhou volleyball player and wife of Murdoch, pounced from her seat to deliver a punch to the man, and then fell to the ground together with her opponent.
Unusually, the Chinese Central Television (CCTV) broadcast live the hearing happening at the other end of Eurasia, and demonstrated rare concern about the fate of News Corporation. Chinese audience could not immediately view the above scene, as the TV did not show it at the moment. As they eagerly anticipated, video clips from Sky and CNN started to appear on Youtube, and they were rapidly shared on Twitter and Google Plus. Deng Wendi got all the limelight. Even news of Google and Apple reaching a deal allowing Google Plus to be available for free download in Apple Stores could not match Deng’s news. People replayed her actions again and again, concentrating on how the woman in bright pink jacket jumped from the crowd to deliver her hit.
At first, people were shocked and unable to comment. Someone whispered: oh, Deng is the real bodyguard for Murdoch. Another replied: I hope one day I will have a wife like Deng. Marital relationship is the first focus emerging from the discussion, and public feelings about family, husband and wife were aroused, opening a floodgate of tenderness on the Internet. Many people think that Deng’s love towards Murdoch is real. Her knee-jerk reaction speaks volume. But previous attitude of Chinese people towards Deng is not like that.
In the Chinese dictionary, Deng Wendi means ambitions, opportunism and achieving the goal using whatever means. People don’t like that. Her existence gives a lot of pressure to people nearby. Even thinking about such kind of person is near you will give you a feeling of being threatened. Legends and gossips about Deng Wendi fill all kinds of magazines and newspapers. Too many people know better about the life path of Deng Wendi than Deng herself. People discuss with enthusiasm how Deng began from lowly origins to become an overseas student, and then finally become the wife of a tycoon. People can never forget the story of Deng getting pregnant using Murdoch’s frozen sperms, and they also worry about the fate of the children of Murdoch’s ex-wife. The common understanding is that Murdoch is only the strongest springboard Deng Wendi could ever dream of to achieve her life goals. She loves no one but herself, like a female tarantula.
Now everything has changed. That ambitious and forever climbing woman showed the courage and anger a wife should have. Public opinion begins to soften. Especially when clips of her standing by her husband in his 80s, counter striking the protester, are being endlessly replayed. People start to talk about the duties between husband and wife, and whether true love really exists in the world. They praise Deng generously: “A Chinese woman saves capitalism”. Or mix that with a bit of nationalism: “Deng let the world knows Chinese Kung Fu”. And finally, that overused idiomatic style: “Get a wife like Deng Wendi”. A news event has turned into an entertainment event. People have forgotten about Murdoch. The keyword is: Deng Wendi defends her husband. Because of Deng Wendi, a hearing going on in far-away England has turned into a piece of local entertainment news.
But not everyone is emotional. Rational voice could still be heard amid all these gossips. Hong Kong media worker Luo Qiping commented: “This is the difference between a second wife and the natural children. The latter are natural; the former requires hard work. If she demonstrates the same courage in the bid to save News Corporation, then things may change.” Netizen Calon is even more rational. He has this to say: “A wife’s kung fu is like the personal gun of the leader. If you need to use it, it just reflects the hopelessness of the situation.” Deng’s decisive blow did nothing to save the gradual demise of Murdoch and his News Corporation. The judgment day is approaching, and everything must be paid back. However, because we are human beings, we cannot control our emotions with rationality all the time. After Deng’s strike, the share price of News Corporation reached the highest level of the day, closing at US$15.8, a rise of 5.61%. It seems that even the most rational of investors have shown their emotional side.
Conspiracy theorists say that Deng Wendi hired that man. “To ensure her inheritance, what things will she not do?” Perhaps different versions of the story will soon be written – what the tabloids under Murdoch are doing all day long. However, people will only choose what they want to hear. In the prevailing version, Deng Wendi is affectionate about Murdoch, and all husbands should sign up Taekwondo classes for their wives.
Intentionally or unintentionally, Deng Wendi has defended feelings that people cherish. No matter what happens to Murdoch and the News Corporation, today belongs to Deng Wendi.