Saturday | September 18th, 2021

It’s Saturday, September 18th, and this is your Morning Wire. Listen to the full podcast here.

1) Disappearances In Communist China

The Topline: Four years ago, the wife of Chinese businessman Desmond Shun disappeared in what’s suspected to be another case of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) targeting influential citizens. Then, on the eve of the release of his book exposing Chinese political corruption last week, his wife suddenly reappeared.

Quote Of The Day:

“I decided to publish the book because, in my view, this is bringing international attention to her case. It’s probably the last resort.”

– Desmund Shun

STR/Contributor/AFP/China OUT/Getty Images


Shun joined Morning Wire to discuss corruption in communist controlled China and his wife’s sudden reappearance.

Shun said his wife disappeared for four years with virtually no warning, adding that the Chinese government takes people for certain amounts of time and when people return, they usually don’t say anything about their experience for fear of repercussions from the Chinese Communist Party.

Last week, after media outlets reported on Shun’s situation, his wife contacted him by phone and warned him not to publish the book, claiming she was back in her apartment in Beijing. Shun said she could be taken by the government again at any time.

University student sitting in an empty lecture hall reading a text book - stock photoHolger Hill/Getty Images

Holger Hill/Getty Images

2) Decline In U.S. Men Attending College

The Topline: A generation of American men, especially working class white men, are opting not to go to college, while women continue to earn degrees and graduate at a considerably higher rate than their male peers.

The Decline

Over the last year, colleges saw a steep drop in enrollment among men — many of whom seem to have decided the expense and trouble of getting a degree is no longer worth it.

Men now make up only two out of every five college students in the U.S.

Over the past five years, U.S. colleges and universities have lost about 1.5 million total students, and male students made up 71% of the decline.

By the end of this past school year, 59.5% of college students were women, an all-time high. Only 40.5% were men.

The Gap

The disparity exists at both two-year and four-year colleges, but it’s the most stark at private four-year schools, where during this past year female students comprised 61% of the student body.

Some universities are even quietly trying to recruit more men, while others are now accepting a higher percentage of men than women to balance out the student body.

The decline in college enrollment is also most dramatic among poor and working-class white men. Minority men from the same economic background are now enrolling more frequently than their white counterparts.

VALERIE MACON/Contributor/AFP/Getty Images

3) The 2021 Emmys

The Topline: The 2021 Emmy awards will air tomorrow night and this year’s nominations provide a window into how the television industry is changing – and how it’s staying the same.


The biggest trend is the near-total domination of streaming over traditional broadcast networks.

For Example: In the award category for Outstanding Comedy Series, all but one of the eight nominees originated on streaming platforms. For Outstanding Drama Series, only two of the eight nominees air on broadcast.


This trend doesn’t dovetail with ratings. Going by the sheer number of viewers, traditional broadcast and cable networks vastly outperform streaming.

The most recent Nielsen ratings report showed that streaming accounts for around 26% of the audience share. Together, cable and broadcast draw 64% of the audience.

Nielsen ratings have adapted their metrics to capture streaming views, as well, revealing how a popular streaming show is much different from a popular TV show of the past.

Emmy ratings have been on a downward trajectory for a while, with every year essentially a new record low since 2015 — around when streaming platforms started to become popular.

School bus stop sign for children to pass - stock photo A STOP sign is out by the school bus and children can be seeing crossing the road in front of the school bus. FatCamera via Getty Images

FatCamera via Getty Images

Other Stories We’re Tracking

Essential Worker Shortage

Schools around the country are experiencing serious employee shortages and are now making efforts to fill roles, including cafeteria personnel and substitute teachers. Massachusetts is even enlisting the National Guard to assist with bus driver shortages.

Ocasio-Cortez Ethics Complaint

The Conservative group American Accountability Foundation filed an ethics complaint against Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for “accepting an impermissible gift to attend” the New York Met Gala without having a “permissible exemption.” Ocasio-Cortez’s office told NBC News they are “confident [they] complied with all ethics rules.”

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