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March 19, 2020

Corporate/ChiCom Media In Full China Propaganda Mode Now

Here are some examples:

Bloomberg:

Coronavirus Is Making China's Model Look Better and Better

The democratic world order survived the crash of 2008. It may not be so fortunate this time.

They mean China's authoritarian communist "model" looks better and better.

Who wrote this? No, I know the name "Hal Brands" is on the article.

But who commissioned it?

Is Hal Brands just a longtime fan of Chinese Communism? I know Tom Friedman is. Maybe this pining for the brutal communist Chinese tyranny is widespread in the media, where men of slight shoulders and ample waistlines perhaps have the same hero worship of Big Bad Chinese Government Bullies that little kids do of baseball players or superheroes.

The coronavirus saga is also certain to set off another round of debate on the merits of democracy and authoritarianism. The irony is abundant. It was actually the authoritarian characteristics of the Chinese system that initially allowed the virus to spread, and some democracies -- notably South Korea and Taiwan -- have done remarkably well in responding to the outbreak. Yet the fact that China subsequently claimed to have gotten a handle on the epidemic by energetically enforcing a draconian lockdown of the affected population, while the world’s leading democracy dithered in its own response, will be used by proponents of authoritarianism to argue that their system is best equipped for crisis.


More recent events are further advancing the narrative. As America struggles to test its citizens and build adequate stockpiles of basic health-care supplies, such as masks, the Chinese government (and prominent Chinese firms) are providing supplies to countries such as Italy and even the U.S. itself. Beijing has promised additional funds to aid World Health Organization programs in poor countries, and the Communist Party propaganda arm has touted these contributions for all they are worth, while also alleging that the virus somehow originated in the U.S.

"Providing" supplies? You mean selling supplies?

This is propaganda on behalf of a hostile communist power -- it's deliberately written to make a simple sale sound like a charitable contribution.

Bloomberg and Hal Brands weren't the only corporate shills pretending that China's routine sale of medical equipment (to countries they infected) was some kind of example of big-hearted international gallantry. The New York Times also decided to portray a sale as some kind of humanitarian aid.

Why?

Why did they both make this same odd choice?

Then they claim that China's disappearing of people who told the world about the disease was just "clumsy" public relations work:


Again, who commissioned this piece?

Who "helped"?

Who were the... well-informed sources in the Chinese government who decided to reach out and tell a tale? Who were the well-paid shadow propagandists for the China Lobby providing "background"?

But the New York Times isn't done acting as the Chinese Communist Party's press agent just yet. Because they also offer a "Ha, ha!" story about how China now has the Chinese flu under control (and I think the New York Times is the only organization in the world who believes that ChiCom spin) and now must keep Westerners out of China, for fear of dirty round-eyes infecting the Heavenly Kingdom.

Note that when Trump ordered the curbing of travel to China the leftist media attacked him as a racist -- but now that China is putting out the propaganda line that they will soon be blocking flights from America, the New York Times deems this a wise and justified public health move.

The tables have turned! Take that, guilao!

With Italy, Spain and the United States surging in contagion, many countries in Asia that suffered through the pandemic first seem to have wrestled it into submission, particularly China -- and are now fighting to protect against a new wave of infection from outside.

The reversal of fortune would have been unimaginable a week ago. At the time, China was the outbreak’s global epicenter, with people dying by the hundreds each day.

But on Thursday, it reported no new local cases for the first time since the outbreak began. Its uncompromising response -- locking down cities, shutting factories, testing thousands -- seems to have brought China’s contagion under control.

Now the pandemic that originated in China is migrating and starting to recirculate. Across Asia, where Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea successfully grappled with the virus early, alongside China, there is a growing sense of fear and dismay. Much of the region looks west and asks: We're getting it right -- why can't you?

We need hearings on who is really writing the stories that appear in the press.

We need to put these people under oath and prosecute them for perjury if they lie.

If the FusionGPS cover story about RUSSIA COLLUSION was worth three years of government investigation, the close financial connections between major US corporations, especially the "news" media, is worth at least a full calendar year of hearings and DOJ investigations.

If you haven't read it yet -- or read it, but forgot about it -- Lee Smith's expose on how the press really works now -- with private interests paying companies like Fusion GPS to manufacture stories that advance their agenda, and their willing shills in the media slapping their names on these stories -- is a must-read.

Smith calls it "News-for-Hire."

Yet at the same time that Fusion GPS was fueling a campaign warning against a vast Russia-Trump conspiracy to destroy the integrity of American elections, the company was also working with Russia to influence American policy--by removing the same sanctions that Trump was supposedly going to remove as his quid pro quo for Putin’s help in defeating Hillary. Many observers, including the press, can't quite figure out how the firm wound up on both sides of the fence. Sen. Chuck Grassley wants to know if Fusion GPS has violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

As the founders of Fusion GPS surely understand, flexibility is a key recipe for success--and the more room you can occupy in the news cycle, the bigger the brand. After all, they’re former journalists--and good ones. Fusion GPS is the story of a few journalists who decided to stop being suckers. They’re not buyers of information, they're sellers.

***

Fusion GPS was founded in 2009--before the social media wave destroyed most of the remaining structures of 20th-century American journalism--by two Wall Street Journal reporters, Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch. They picked up former colleagues from the Journal, Tom Catan, and Neil King, Jr., who were also well-respected by their peers. When the social media wave hit two years later, print media’s last hopes for profitability vanished, and Facebook became the actual publisher of most of the news that Americans consumed. Opposition research and comms shops like Fusion GPS became the news-rooms--with investigative teams and foreign bureaus--that newspapers could no longer afford.

As top reporters themselves, the principals of Fusion GPS knew exactly what their former colleagues needed in order to package and sell stories to their editors and bosses...

And now, says the journalist, "they're guns for hire. They were hired to dig up dirt on donors to Mitt Romney’s campaign, they were hired by Planned Parenthood after a video exposing some of the organization’s controversial practices.”

Besides Russia, Fusion GPS has also worked with other foreign countries, organizing campaigns and creating news that furthers the aims of the people who pay for their services--using the fractured playing field of “news” to extend old-fashioned lobbying efforts in a way that news consumers have been slow to understand.

Fusion GPS, according to the company’s website, offers “a cross-disciplinary approach with expertise in media, politics, regulation, national security, and global markets.” What does that mean, exactly? "They were hired by a sheikh in the UAE after he was toppled in a coup and waged an information war against his brother," one well-respected reporter who has had dealings with the company told me. "I believe they seeded the New Yorker story about the Trump Hotel in Azerbaijan with alleged connections to the IRGC. They may have been hired to look into Carlos Slim. It's amazing how much copy they generate. They're really effective." (About the former example, New Yorker editor David Remnick said this was not true.)

Yet it is rare to read stories about comms shops like Fusion GPS because traditional news organizations are reluctant to bite the hands that feed them. But they are the news behind the news--well known to every D.C. beat reporter as the sources who set the table and provide the sources for their big "scoops." The ongoing transformation of foundering, profitless news organizations into dueling proxies for partisan comms operatives is bad news for American readers, and for our democracy. But it is having a particularly outsized effect on reporting in the area of foreign policy, where expert opinion is prized--and easily bought--and most reporters and readers are only shallowly informed.

digg this
posted by Ace at 07:27 PM

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