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Is the CCP Influencing NBC's Olympics Coverage? GOP Reps Demand Answers.

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

With just days until the 2022 Winter Olympics kick off in Beijing, Republican Members of the House of Representatives are again questioning the role American companies have in legitimizing the Chinese Communist Party and what complicity they have in covering up the CCP's atrocities. 

A new letter to NBCUniversal executives from Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) — Republican Leader of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce — and Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) — Republican Leader of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology — seeks answers on how the U.S. broadcaster will handle covering the Beijing Olympics in light of the evil CCP empire's freedom-depriving actions.

Sent to NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell and President of Olympics and Business Gary Zenkel, the letter seeks answers about how NBC will use its "investment in the Games to shed light on China’s history of human rights abuses" and expresses concern about "the extent of influence the CCP may have over NBCUniversal's coverage of the games... Given China’s history of censorship and government control, and the fact that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) stands to benefit financially from NBCUniversal’s coverage."

The letter continues seeking specific written answers to a series of questions regarding NBC's relationship with the IOC organizers and CCP host government:

As NBCUniversal begins its coverage of the 2022 Winter Olympics, we believe viewers and listeners deserve to understand whether your programming has been influenced by the IOC or the Chinese Communist Party. Please provide written responses and any related documentation to the following questions by February 7:

1. Please summarize your investment in the PRC.

2. It has been reported that the IOC included human rights requirements several years ago in the host city contract for the 2024 Paris Olympics, but it did not include those guidelines for the 2022 Winter Olympics held in Beijing, China.

a. Has the IOC or the CCP taken any steps to influence your coverage of the games relating to reported human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang province? If so, please explain.

3. Has the IOC or CCP asked you to make changes in how they are covered or advertised on NBCUniversal programming?

a. If yes, please list every instance in which the IOC or CCP requested a change, when the request was made, why the change was requested, if failure to accede to the CCP requests and suggestions would have resulted in negative consequences for your company, and if you subsequently abided by their demands and why.

4. Has the CCP suggested changes to public content displayed on NBCUniversal programming in either the United States or China?

a. If yes, please list every instance in which the IOC or CCP requested a change, when the request was made, why the change was requested, if failure to accede to the CCP requests and suggestions would have resulted in negative consequences for your company, and if you subsequently abided by their demands and why.

5. As part of your rights to broadcast the games, are you in any way precluded by the IOC or CCP from coverage that would be critical of the government of the PRC?

6. Does the government of the PRC or the CCP have the ability to block your broadcast feed to the United States as they deem fit?

7. Please list any connections your company has with the CCP, including the name of the official within the CCP and the capacity of their role in your organization.

8. What kind of safeguards do you have in place to ensure that there is no forced labor, specifically in Xinjiang province, used by NBCUniversal or any of your partner suppliers or support services?

9. Do you believe the CCP privately influenced or pressured the IOC in any way to hold the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing?

As Landon reported on Monday, even Bob Costas — a staple of NBC's Olympics coverage — slammed the International Olympic Committee for giving Beijing the 2022 Winter Games. "The IOC deserves all of the disdain and disgust for going back to China yet again," Costas remarked before citing "the restrictions on press freedom and the sense that everyone there is being monitored in some way."

For NBC, their broadcast rights for the Beijing Olympics make up a significant portion of the IOC's income for the Winter Games. The fact is that the IOC, NBC, and CCP are inexorably linked for the upcoming competition. And given China's dictatorial government that has led to extreme censorship of their own citizens and American companies who do business in China, it's reasonable to assume that NBC has agreed to censor certain topics from its coverage. For example, a package on China's violent crackdown in Tiananmen Square is unlikely to appear during NBC's coverage. Nor are stories about the Uyghurs being forced into slave labor, China's destruction of freedom in Hong Kong, or mentions of Tibet and Taiwan. 

Previously, Rep. McMorris Rodgers slammed woke companies sponsoring the Beijing Olympics for their hypocrisy after criticizing states such as Georgia for election integrity laws — another example of American businesses staying silent on CCP evils while claiming to stand for human rights. For NBC and these other corporations, legitimizing China's communist government and being complicit in its coverup of human rights violations is worth it to turn a profit.

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