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Maverick, Goose...and CCTV



One of my favorite China-related stories the past week has been the revelation that state broadcaster CCTV allegedly used footage from the 1984 Tom Cruise flick 'Top Gun' and tried to pass it off as a Chinese air force training exercise. According to the blog Ministry of Tofu, eagle-eyed netizen 'Liu Yi' posted the accusation after the January 23rd broadcast of the story. CCTV promptly pulled the story from the web and isn't commenting. The Wall Street Journal put together video of the original report side-by-side with the Top Gun scene to compare. Check it out after the jump.





Netizen Liu Yi pointed out that the aircraft the Chinese J-10 fighter allegedly shot down in the report was an F-5, a US fighter jet--the same aircraft Tom Cruise's character Maverick shoots down in Top Gun. As you'll see in the video, even the explosion and the way the debris scatters look the same. Movie studio Paramount can add yet another potential IPR case against China on top of its stack for its lawyers. This comes a couple of weeks after the appearance of a video of China's J-20 Stealth fighter prototype (leaked during the visit of Defense Secretary Robert Gates), and it coincides with leaked footage of China's first aircraft carrier. It might make some wonder about the authenticity of those videos, too. As one commenter pointed out, at least CCTV didn't play Top Gun's beach volleyball scene. They could have spiced up the report a little, though, with a little 'Danger Zone' by 80s rocker Kenny Loggins.

About the author

Rob Schmitz is Marketplace’s China correspondent in Shanghai.

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