In August 2001, Secretary of State Colin Powell was pleased to learn that Chinese state television had agreed to broadcast a controversial interview in its entirety. Powell was less pleased, however, when the interview aired; his comments about such touchy subjects as China's relations with Taiwan and its frequent abuse of human rights had obviously been excised. Powell was assured by a Chinese embassy spokesman that the editing had nothing to do with his remarks: "It's one of those typical cases of limited time and a lot of content," he declared. "It's what Chinese television decides. There's just a limit on the amount of time available to newsmakers..."
So what had preempted Powell's remarks? Late-breaking live coverage of the first Chinese swimmer to cross the English Channel.