We've hit American media organizations for being either too credulous of Chinese propaganda, or lazily lapping it up as a means of criticizing the Trump administration -- thus seriously distorting some coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in China. That nation's secretive communist government is largely responsible for the global outbreak, covered up and lied about the virus as it was taking hold, and remains an active source of disinformation, deception and opacity to this day. Others have noticed this media issue, as well. Here's an excerpt a tough Washington Examiner editorial published roughly a week ago:
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, which Chinese lies ensured would become a pandemic, American news media have promoted a number of Beijing-approved talking points, including the one that alleges it is racist to refer to the virus by its country and city of origin. American news media have also accepted at face value a series of dubious claims pushed by Chinese communist apparatchiks, including the absurd boast that China's new case numbers have remained essentially flat since late February. "[The] U.S. has more known cases of coronavirus than any other country," CNN reported on March 26, its declaration coming in unison with nearly every major news outlet in the United States...That is, the U.S. is “No. 1” only if you believe the numbers reported by China, which you should not...
This is not the only example of western news media hailing China’s allegedly successful campaign to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Earlier, even before the U.S. had even supposedly passed the case number milestone, the New York Times published a report on March 18 titled “Its Coronavirus Cases Dwindling, China Turns Focus Outward.” The article, the chief claim of which has been repeated elsewhere by the New York Times, Bloomberg, and NBC News, goes to great lengths to cast China as a thoughtful, meticulous, proactive, and responsible world leader, one whose contributions to fighting the pandemic have made it a more reliable and responsible superpower compared to the U.S. The New York Times article repeats the Chinese Communist Party’s claim that China’s daily coronavirus cases have dwindled “into the single digits.”
"Whether they know it or not," the Examiner's editors conclude, "the journalists who claim it is problematic to refer to the virus by its country and city of origin, and the ones who claim China has the pandemic mostly under control, and who praise China's efforts to help other countries are doing the bidding of the Chinese Communist Party, which is eager both to present itself as the world’s leading superpower and scrub from the record its culpability in the spread of the virus." Since Bloomberg was mentioned in the piece, this explosive NPR report raises serious questions about whether that news organization may be compromised on the issue of covering China (which reminds me of this performance by the man who owns it):
Six years ago, Bloomberg News killed an investigation into the wealth of Communist Party elites in China, fearful of repercussions by the Chinese government.— NPR (@NPR) April 14, 2020
The company silenced the reporters involved. And it tried to keep a reporter's spouse quiet, too.https://t.co/9beJlcUi8g
Despite lowered expectations, I'll confess that I still had to do a double-take on this CNN story (see update):
CNN: China’s military is handling Coronavirus much better than America’s armed forces.— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) April 14, 2020
CNN’s source: The website of the People Liberation Army of Communist China.
If you think my tweet is an exaggeration, these are verbatim portions of the story itself:
(CNN) A Chinese naval flotilla headed into the Pacific over the weekend, evidence that the People's Liberation Army Navy has done a much better job controlling coronavirus than the US Navy, according to a story posted on the PLA's English-language website...The report said that the Chinese carrier was carrying out this operation while four US Navy aircraft carriers -- the USS Theodore Roosevelt, the USS Ronald Reagan, the USS Carl Vinson and the USS Nimitz -- have reported cases of coronavirus, crimping their operations...The Roosevelt, now docked in Guam, has been hit the hardest by the virus, with 585 cases among its crew of more than 4,000 people. Almost all of them have been moved ashore on the island and work is going on to disinfect the ship, delaying its ability to deploy.
The PLA Navy has no such issues, Chinese military experts told the Global Times. "Through the voyage, the Liaoning showed that the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) has done a great job in the epidemic prevention and control work and COVID-19 epidemic has not had an impact on its deployment and operations," the story says, citing Xu Guangyu, a senior adviser to the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association. "It showed that the PLA can dispatch troops stationed anywhere at any time, with the troops always maintaining vigorous combat capabilities. The Chinese people can always count on them," Xu is quoted as saying.
In the very last paragraph of the piece, the American perspective is tacked on, in the form of a quote from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Just so we're entirely clear, this is straight-up propaganda from the Chinese Communist Party. CNN -- an American outlet whose chyron writers gleefully labeled President Trump's views "propaganda" this week -- chose to uncritically regurgitate a communist regime's press release, purporting to demonstrate that China's military preparedness during a pandemic caused by China is superior to that of the United States. The CNN headline is, "China's PLA Navy is controlling coronavirus and aircraft carrier's deployment proves it, report says."
That "report" is quite literally a story written by an outlet controlled by the Communist Chinese government, published on the Communist Chinese military's website. CNN simply reprints grandiose quotes from a Communist Chinese official and does not qualify any of the alleged "information" imparted as unverified or unsubstantiated -- which would be the bare minimum here, given China's industrial-scale lying on this any many other matters. The only qualifier is a fleeting acknowledgment that the Global Times is 'state-run.' Responding to an inquiry from The Daily Caller, CNN waved away concerns about its editorial decisions:
A CNN spokesperson dismissed concern the outlet was simply repeating propaganda from China’s PLA, calling the post on the site a “single update from our international site’s 24-7 Live Story.” “[The story] explicitly states the sourcing as a PLA story and identifies the Global Times as ‘a state-run tabloid.’ That transparency is key as a global news source serving a global audience,” CNN’s Vice President of Communications Matt Dornic told the Daily Caller.
Yes, you just read the self-described "Facts First" network congratulating itself over the ostensible "transparency" of its story. With China's crackdown on coronavirus-related investigations, and this intriguing development, as a backdrop, I'll leave you with another journalist's misplaced anti-Trump 'gotcha' -- which has been repeated by other members of the press corps:
President Trump says U.S. is pulling funding to WHO because the group praised China's "transparency."— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) April 14, 2020
Below is President Trump's tweet from January 24 praising China's transparency. https://t.co/zVew3c212c
In mid-January, the WHO was outrageously endorsing Chinese misinformation about the nature of the virus. As the extent of Beijing's treachery (and the WHO's toadery) has become increasingly clear, some people have shifted their views. Others, like Ms. Alcindor, are using January tweets -- published under different circumstances, with different available facts -- as a cheap opportunity to dunk on America's president. China and the WHO must be grateful, if not proud.
UPDATE - Under pressure, CNN has totally overhauled the story, including the headline.
Editor's Note: Want to support Townhall so we can keep telling the truth about China and the virus they unleashed on the world? Join Townhall VIP and use the promo code WUHAN to get 25% off VIP membership!