This doesn't precisely address a "Viscount Yi" but, as noted in my comment above, I think Mr Menosky (a) is clearly talking about chengyu, the fixed allusive idioms of the Chinese language and (b) mangled it a bit on the understandable assumption that no one in the near future was going to do much follow-up on the details of his point. There are no famous (or even not-so-famous) chengyu about a "Viscount Yi" but there is a very famous chengyu nearly every educated Chinese will know about arbitrary tyranny.
Call(ing) a Deer a Horse (指鹿為馬, zhǐlùwéimǎ)
According to Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian, when the First Emperor finally died, a clique of officials around Prince Huhai (the inept youngest son) conspired against the more capable crown prince Fusu. They faked orders for Fusu to commit suicide & accept his brother's succession, which he (being a filial son) obeyed.
Later, needing to see who was loyal and who not, the conspirator Zhao Gao brought a deer to court and presented it to the emperor as a horse. The Second Emperor considered this a prank and laughingly asked the other advisors what they thought it was. Zhao watched while some stayed silent, some replied 'deer', and others replied 'horse'. Those who were silent or who opposed him, he later found excuses for demoting or executing, while the others who had cravenly agreed with him were rewarded.
"Thereafter the officials were all terrified of Zhao Gao[, and he] gained military power as a result" (Watson, 1993, p. 70).
There was a Meng Yi killed by Zhao around the same time, but he had previously disciplined Zhao on behalf of the First Emperor and he and his family were famously done in by Zhao's clique as part of the initial coup. That may have been where Mr Menosky picked up the name, although Meng doesn't really appear in any chengyu on his own.
In any case, this effect—where a seemingly opaque phrase like "pointing at a deer as if it were a horse" calls to mind the entire situation of saying black is white to avoid offending a tyrant—is exactly the kind of linguistic trick being discussed. It is, of course, not remotely limited to Chinese: English behaves exactly the same way towards its own historical figures, the Bible, and Shakespeare.