With detailed online transcripts carried by China's version of Twitter, Beijing is making an unprecedented effort to show its people that the trial of ousted politician Bo Xilai is fair and above board, but the court case is little more than theater.
Never before has the stability and unity-obsessed ruling Communist Party allowed the gritty and colorful details of such a sensitive trial to be publicized almost real-time to the population at large.
None of this means, however, that China has turned a corner in efforts to push the rule of law and official transparency.
Bo, the 64-year-old former party chief of the southwestern city of Chongqing, has been charged with illegally taking almost 27 million yuan ($4.41 million), corruption and abuse of power and will almost certainly be found guilty in China's most political trial in decades.
(Read more: Trial of the century begins in China)
The party is almost certainly preventing any really embarrassing outbursts from Bo from appearing, has banned the world's media from the courtroom and is certainly not broadcasting it live on national television.
Even the "Gang of Four" trial Mao Zedong's wife Jiang Qing in 1980 for crimes committed during the Cultural Revolution, previously the country's most dramatic case, was only shown in part on state television.
Jiang was removed from the courtroom several times after shouting down judges and insulting witnesses - a scene the party would never want to risk the whole country seeing with Bo.
The party is simply hoodwinking people with its use of the court microblog, Jiang's former defense lawyer, Zhang Sizhi, told Reuters.
"Making a microblog public is just their ruse, it's meaningless," Zhang said.
"Because if you can post microblogs, why can't you broadcast it live?" he added. "It shows that they aren't transparent, they are just pretending to be."
Still, the court's Sina Weibo microblog has proved a huge hit, and an apparent temporary relaxation of censorship has allowed users to post comments about Bo which normally are swiftly removed, many supportive of his fiery defense and ridiculing the prosecution for relying on hearsay.