Contrast that with today, and the explosion of opinion in China about the trial of someone who could have risen to the heights of party Chair, Bo Xilai.
The second day of the trial of former Communist Party leader Bo Xilai wrapped today.
Foreign journalists are still barred from the courtroom but the government continued to post transcripts of the proceedings in real time.
And the account has taken on a life of its own online.
Rachel Lu is co-editor of the online news site, Tea Leaf Nation that analyzes Chinese social media.