16 February 09 | Chad W. Post

Also in today’s N.Y. Times is a story about the newspaper reporter Xu Lai, who was stabbed at a recent reading:

Mr. Xu was accosted in a restroom by two men who stabbed him in the stomach and then threatened to cut off his hand before fleeing, according to the friends and fellow bloggers who posted the news on the Internet.

Xiao Sanlang, who edits Mr. Xu’s articles at The Beijing News, said the men had announced that they were “here to take revenge.” He said Mr. Xu remained in the hospital on Sunday, but his wounds were not life-threatening. “We still don’t know why it happened,” he said.

Xu Lai has written critically of the Chinese government for his online columns, and this attack has some people worried about a “growing intolerance of dissent.”

A side-observation about this attack is just how twenty-first century the coverage is:

After Mr. Xu’s stabbing, several audience members chased his attackers into the street, snapping pictures with their cellphones as they ran, but the two men escaped. [. . .]

Word of the attack quickly spread by text message and the Twitter messaging service, and several newspapers and Web sites carried the news on Sunday.

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