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For The Record  

FTR #1153 Bio-Psy-Op Apocalypse Now, Part 13: The Yellow Journalism Peril, Part 1

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FTR #1153 This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

Intro­duc­tion: The pro­gram begins with detailed analy­sis of an arti­cle from March of 2020. Not­ing anti-Asian and anti-Chi­nese stigma­ti­za­tion in cov­er­age of the ear­ly stages of the Covid-19 out­break, the arti­cle notes pro­pa­gan­dized, inac­cu­rate report­ing by US cor­po­rate media.

In addi­tion to cit­ing the Wuhan coro­n­avirus out­break as demon­strat­ing the weak­ness of Chi­nese governance–the admin­is­tra­tion of pres­i­dent Xi and the com­mu­nist par­ty in particular–the MSM have engaged in out­right mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

Exem­pli­fy­ing that depar­ture from fact is the wall-to-wall cov­er­age of Dr. Li Wen­liang and the scant men­tion of Dr. Zhang Jix­i­an.

” . . . Vir­tu­al­ly all of cor­po­rate media’s false nar­ra­tive of the coro­n­avirus out­break hinge upon the sto­ry of Li [Wen­liang] being a ‘mar­tyr’ and ‘whistle­blow­er’ who alleged­ly ‘dis­cov­ered’ the coro­n­avirus, but was silenced and ‘arrest­ed’ by gov­ern­ment offi­cials before he could alert the pub­lic. . . .”

In fact, Dr. Li:

  • Was an oph­thal­mol­o­gist, not a virol­o­gist nor an epi­demi­ol­o­gist.
  • Did not see him­self as a “whistle­blow­er.”
  • Misiden­ti­fied the virus in ques­tion as the SARS virus–a sim­i­lar but dif­fer­ent coro­n­avirus.
  • Achieved promi­nence after a pri­vate WeChat group that he did not want shared (it sub­se­quent­ly was shared). 
  • Was not arrest­ed. ” . . . . Nei­ther were Li and his col­leagues ‘arrest­ed,’ as sev­er­al sen­sa­tion­al­ist reports false­ly claimed with­out issu­ing retrac­tions . . .”
  • ” . . . . was tak­en in by police and ques­tioned after telling for­mer class­mates about a clus­ter of pneu­mo­nia cas­es. An ear­li­er ver­sion of this arti­cle mis­tak­en­ly said Dr. Li Wen­liang had been arrest­ed. Li  was told by the police on Jan­u­ary 3 not to spread unver­i­fi­able rumors—after a screen­shot was leaked on Decem­ber 31—because false infor­ma­tion could set off unnec­es­sary pan­ic dur­ing the Spring Fes­ti­val (one of the busiest and most impor­tant hol­i­days of the year), as at the time there had been no fatal­i­ties and no clear evi­dence of human-to-human trans­mis­sion. . . .”

Dr. Zhang Jix­i­an was the real “dis­cov­er­er” of what is now called SARS Cov‑2–the virus that caus­es the dis­ease. ” . . . . the Red Scare cov­er­age above com­plete­ly erased the fact that the ‘whis­tle’ had already been blown by Dr. Zhang Jix­i­an, the first doc­tor to report the nov­el coro­n­avirus to health author­i­ties on Decem­ber 27, which result­ed in an announce­ment by the Chi­nese Cen­ter for Dis­ease Con­trol (CDC) and the Wuhan Health Com­mis­sion (WHC) ear­li­er on Decem­ber 30, the same day Li texted his sev­en col­leagues . . . . Zhang wasn’t sup­pressed by the gov­ern­ment, but rather com­mend­ed for her efforts. . . .”

Next, we high­light Wash­ing­ton Post writer Josh Rogin, a high-pro­file expo­nent of the “Chi­nese lab did it” meme about Covid-19. Rogin’s source–misidentified as a “sci­en­tist,” is a long-time anti-Chi­nese gov­ern­ment activist financed by the Nation­al Endow­ment For Democ­ra­cy, a US intel­li­gence cut-out and regime-change vehi­cle co-found­ed by CIA direc­tor William Casey in the ear­ly 1980’s. 

The New Cold War is man­i­fest­ing some fea­tures of McCarthy­ism. Rely­ing on innu­en­do by an “ex” CIA offi­cer, Fox News host Tuck­er Carl­son inti­mat­ed that lead­ing Demo­c­ra­t­ic politi­cians might be agents of the Chi­nese intel­li­gence ser­vice.

New York Times arti­cle that tout­ed calls to boy­cott the Dis­ney film “Mulan” failed to note how the Uyghur “inde­pen­dence” move­ment is inex­tri­ca­bly linked with ele­ments of U.S. intel­li­gence, as well as a pot­pour­ri of fas­cists of var­i­ous stripes.

(We detailed these links in FTR #‘s 11431144, and 1145. These pro­grams fea­tured two arti­cles from The Gray­zone.)

The polit­i­cal her­itage of Adri­an Zenz. Cel­e­bra­tion of the 75th Anniver­sary of the 14th Waf­fen SS Divi­sion in Lviv, Ukraine.

Com­men­tary in the Times arti­cle came from, among oth­ers, Adri­an Zenz, a Nazi fel­low-trav­el­er, Ger­man-born End Times Chris­t­ian, doc­tri­naire anti-fem­i­nist and anti-gay ide­o­logue.

Zen­z’s promi­nence as an “expert” on the Uyghurs comes by virtue of his posi­tion with the Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism Memo­r­i­al Foun­da­tion, ” . . . . an out­growth of the Nation­al Cap­tive Nations Com­mit­tee, a group found­ed by Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist Lev Dobri­an­sky to lob­by against any effort for detente with the Sovi­et Union. Its co-chair­man, Yaroslav Stet­sko, was a top leader of the fas­cist OUN‑B mili­tia that fought along­side Nazi Ger­many dur­ing its occu­pa­tion of Ukraine in World War Two. . . .”

Now, Adri­an Zenz is not only an expert on Xin­jiang, but on Tibet as well. He is also, an “anthro­pol­o­gist,” hav­ing been so-anoint­ed by The Guardian. Not­ing Zen­z’s affil­i­a­tion with the Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism Memo­r­i­al Foundation–a deriv­a­tive of the OUN/B milieu we have cov­ered for decades–it is worth tak­ing stock of the fact that the Dalai Lama was tutored by an SS offi­cer and fea­tured Bruno Beger as a mem­ber of the Tibetan Gov­ern­ment in Exile.

A par­tic­i­pant of the SS mis­sion to Tibet in 1938, Beger was a war crim­i­nal, hav­ing ordered the exe­cu­tion of more than 100 Sovi­et POWs who had “Asi­at­ic” fea­tures.

The Dalai Lama’s asso­ci­a­tions are unnerv­ing, count­ing numer­ous fas­cists among his friends and col­leagues.

1.  The pro­gram begins with detailed analy­sis of an arti­cle from March of 2020. Not­ing anti-Asian and anti-Chi­nese stigma­ti­za­tion in cov­er­age of the ear­ly stages of the Covid-19 out­break, the arti­cle notes pro­pa­gan­dized, inac­cu­rate report­ing by US cor­po­rate media.

In addi­tion to cit­ing the Wuhan coro­n­avirus out­break as demon­strat­ing the weak­ness of Chi­nese governance–the admin­is­tra­tion of pres­i­dent Xi and the com­mu­nist par­ty in particular–the MSM have engaged in out­right mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

Exem­pli­fy­ing that depar­ture from fact is the wall-to-wall cov­er­age of Dr. Li Wen­liang and the scant men­tion of Dr. Zhang Jix­i­an.

” . . . Vir­tu­al­ly all of cor­po­rate media’s false nar­ra­tive of the coro­n­avirus out­break hinge upon the sto­ry of Li [Wen­liang] being a ‘mar­tyr’ and ‘whistle­blow­er’ who alleged­ly ‘dis­cov­ered’ the coro­n­avirus, but was silenced and ‘arrest­ed’ by gov­ern­ment offi­cials before he could alert the pub­lic. . . .”

In fact, Dr. Li:

  • Was an oph­thal­mol­o­gist, not a virol­o­gist nor an epi­demi­ol­o­gist.
  • Did not see him­self as a “whistle­blow­er.”
  • Misiden­ti­fied the virus in ques­tion as the SARS virus–a sim­i­lar but dif­fer­ent coro­n­avirus.
  • Achieved promi­nence after a pri­vate WeChat group that he did not want shared (it sub­se­quent­ly was shared). 
  • Was not arrest­ed. ” . . . . Nei­ther were Li and his col­leagues ‘arrest­ed,’ as sev­er­al sen­sa­tion­al­ist reports false­ly claimed with­out issu­ing retrac­tions . . .”
  • ” . . . . was tak­en in by police and ques­tioned after telling for­mer class­mates about a clus­ter of pneu­mo­nia cas­es. An ear­li­er ver­sion of this arti­cle mis­tak­en­ly said Dr. Li Wen­liang had been arrest­ed. Li  was told by the police on Jan­u­ary 3 not to spread unver­i­fi­able rumors—after a screen­shot was leaked on Decem­ber 31—because false infor­ma­tion could set off unnec­es­sary pan­ic dur­ing the Spring Fes­ti­val (one of the busiest and most impor­tant hol­i­days of the year), as at the time there had been no fatal­i­ties and no clear evi­dence of human-to-human trans­mis­sion. . . .”

Dr. Zhang Jix­i­an was the real “dis­cov­er­er” of what is now called SARS Cov‑2–the virus that caus­es the dis­ease. ” . . . . the Red Scare cov­er­age above com­plete­ly erased the fact that the ‘whis­tle’ had already been blown by Dr. Zhang Jix­i­an, the first doc­tor to report the nov­el coro­n­avirus to health author­i­ties on Decem­ber 27, which result­ed in an announce­ment by the Chi­nese Cen­ter for Dis­ease Con­trol (CDC) and the Wuhan Health Com­mis­sion (WHC) ear­li­er on Decem­ber 30, the same day Li texted his sev­en col­leagues . . . . Zhang wasn’t sup­pressed by the gov­ern­ment, but rather com­mend­ed for her efforts. . . .”

“Coro­n­avirus Scare Blends Yel­low Per­il and Red Scare” by Joshua Cho; Fair­ness and Accu­ra­cy in Report­ing; 3/6/2020.

As an Asian-Amer­i­can, I’m not sur­prised that there are numer­ous reports sur­fac­ing of racist and xeno­pho­bic respons­es aris­ing in the US (and else­where) as a result of the coro­n­avirus out­break, where “cough­ing while Asian” is being com­pared to “dri­ving while black.” In case there are any doubts that media cov­er­age is being racial­ized, reports about new coro­n­avirus updates in the US, par­tic­u­lar­ly in areas like New York City, are using unre­lat­ed head­er images of East Asian peo­ple wear­ing face masks to dri­ve the impres­sion that Chi­nese peo­ple are unique car­ri­ers of dis­ease, even when they aren’t Chi­nese.

Watch­ing cor­po­rate media’s sen­sa­tion­al­ist and racist cov­er­age of the COVID-19 coro­n­avirus, it’s clear that every­thing from the nam­ing of the “Wuhan coro­n­avirus,” to the false nar­ra­tive and time­line prop­a­gat­ed by cor­po­rate media to demo­nize China’s han­dling of the coro­n­avirus out­break, does more to stoke mass hys­te­ria and under­mine a US adver­sary than to show sup­port and sol­i­dar­i­ty with the Chi­nese peo­ple. In short, it’s the same old Yel­low Per­il and red­bait­ing non­sense US media have always engaged in.

Cor­po­rate media’s typ­i­cal fram­ing of Chi­nese gov­ern­ment actions to com­bat the virus verged on par­o­dy, por­tray­ing uncon­tro­ver­sial moves in the most insid­i­ous terms pos­si­ble. For exam­ple, instead of report­ing that Hubei gov­ern­ment offi­cials were fired for with­hold­ing infor­ma­tion about the coro­n­avirus out­break from high­er-ups, out­lets like CNN (2/13/20) and Busi­ness Insid­er (2/11/20) claimed they were “purged.” Dis­cussing vol­un­teer efforts to assist China’s effec­tive quar­an­tine efforts, the New York Times’ “To Tame Coro­n­avirus, Mao-Style Social Con­trol Blan­kets Chi­na” (2/15/20) framed it as “one of the biggest social con­trol cam­paigns in his­to­ry,” and described “neigh­bor­hood busy­bod­ies” and “uni­formed vol­un­teers” aid­ing the quar­an­tine efforts as “Mao-style mass cru­sades.”

 Cor­po­rate media bom­bard­ed West­ern audi­ences with loaded head­lines whose point was that Com­mu­nism was evil and the coro­n­avirus out­break the inevitable result of pecu­liar Asian attach­ments to author­i­tar­i­an­ism.

The Wall Street Jour­nal ran op-eds like “A Com­mu­nist Coro­n­avirus” (1/29/20) and “Chi­na Is the Real Sick Man of Asia” (2/3/20), which glee­ful­ly claimed that the “mighty Chi­nese jug­ger­naut has been hum­bled” by a “species-hop­ping bat virus,” and argued that the “Wuhan coro­n­avirus is a metaphor” for “the Com­mu­nist Par­ty of Chi­na” and “Amer­i­can iso­la­tion­ism” being ideas that are “incom­pat­i­ble with the mod­ern world.”

Anoth­er Times report, “Coro­n­avirus Cri­sis Expos­es Cracks in China’s Facade of Uni­ty” (1/28/20), played into the ludi­crous “immi­nent col­lapse” of the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment trope, by claim­ing that the coro­n­avirus out­break has “blown up” the “facade” of a “grad­u­al­ly uni­fy­ing soci­ety,” and that the “cracks” show­ing in “China’s veneer of sta­bil­i­ty” reveal that Chi­na “remains rid­dled with vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties that no amount of cen­sor­ship or strong-arm­ing can hide.”

The Times’s Nicholas Kristof (1/29/20) argued that “we’re see­ing the dan­gers of Xi’s author­i­tar­i­an mod­el, for Chi­na and the world,” because of “Xi’s Chi­na” sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly gut­ting insti­tu­tions like jour­nal­ism, social media and NGOs (avenues typ­i­cal­ly exploit­ed by the US to sub­vert tar­get­ed gov­ern­ments and spread pro-Amer­i­can pro­pa­gan­da).

The Times (1/25/20) report­ed that “offi­cials in Wuhan and around the coun­try with­held crit­i­cal infor­ma­tion, played down the threat and rebuked doc­tors who tried to raise the alarm,” which should raise ques­tions about “weak­ness­es at the very heart of the Chi­nese sys­tem”: China’s “rigid­ly hier­ar­chi­cal bureau­cra­cy” and “qua­si-impe­r­i­al sys­tem” dis­cour­age “local offi­cials from rais­ing bad news with cen­tral boss­es,” as “top par­ty boss­es in Bei­jing” have “lit­tle direct pow­er over what hap­pens in the provinces.”

Because a nov­el virus emerged in a rival state, it doesn’t log­i­cal­ly fol­low that that gov­ern­ment should col­lapse, or that the US should there­fore be more impe­ri­al­ist. But cor­po­rate media use these tor­tured syl­lo­gisms, serv­ing as mouth­pieces for the US gov­ern­ment.

 USA Today ran an op-ed (2/12/20) by Repub­li­can Sen. Ben Sasse claim­ing that the “coro­n­avirus dis­as­ter” is the “dead­ly con­se­quence” of Xi and the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party’s “malfea­sance and mis­rule,” with “Com­mu­nism” being the “per­fect incu­ba­tor for the coro­n­avirus.” Both Sasse and the Times’ Kristof claim that this is so because the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment alleged­ly silenced “whistle­blow­ers” like Dr. Li Wen­liang, which pre­vent­ed him from alert­ing the pub­lic about the nov­el coro­n­avirus. . . .

. . . . Vir­tu­al­ly all of cor­po­rate media’s false nar­ra­tive of the coro­n­avirus out­break hinge upon the sto­ry of Li being a “mar­tyr” and “whistle­blow­er” who alleged­ly “dis­cov­ered” the coro­n­avirus, but was silenced and “arrest­ed” by gov­ern­ment offi­cials before he could alert the pub­lic.

But as sev­er­al peo­ple have already doc­u­ment­ed at length, while Dr. Li’s death is trag­ic, he was not a whistle­blow­er. In fact, the Times’ own “recon­struc­tion of the cru­cial sev­en weeks between the appear­ance of the first symp­toms in ear­ly Decem­ber and the government’s deci­sion to lock down the city” (2/1/20) dis­proves the cor­po­rate media nar­ra­tive of author­i­tar­i­an secre­cy to main­tain “con­trol” over unrest. Li wasn’t a virol­o­gist or epi­demi­ol­o­gist treat­ing affect­ed patients; he was an oph­thal­mol­o­gist who treat­ed eye prob­lems, which might be why he incor­rect­ly claimed that the new virus was SARS, a relat­ed but dif­fer­ent coro­n­avirus.

A whistle­blow­er is some­one who tries to alert the pub­lic about wrong­do­ing on the part of indi­vid­u­als or an orga­ni­za­tion;  Li didn’t con­sid­er him­self to be one, and didn’t want his Decem­ber 30 post­ing in a pri­vate WeChat group to be shared with any­one else. Nei­ther were Li and his col­leagues “arrest­ed,” as sev­er­al sen­sa­tion­al­ist reports false­ly claimed with­out issu­ing retrac­tions, as the Wall Street Jour­nal (2/7/20) did:

Dr. Li Wen­liang was tak­en in by police and ques­tioned after telling for­mer class­mates about a clus­ter of pneu­mo­nia cas­es. An ear­li­er ver­sion of this arti­cle mis­tak­en­ly said Dr. Li Wen­liang had been arrest­ed.

Li  was told by the police on Jan­u­ary 3 not to spread unver­i­fi­able rumors—after a screen­shot was leaked on Decem­ber 31—because false infor­ma­tion could set off unnec­es­sary pan­ic dur­ing the Spring Fes­ti­val (one of the busiest and most impor­tant hol­i­days of the year), as at the time there had been no fatal­i­ties and no clear evi­dence of human-to-human trans­mis­sion. Accord­ing to the pres­ti­gious New Eng­land Jour­nal of Med­i­cine’s time­line (1/29/20), the full genom­ic sequence wasn’t iso­lat­ed and shared until Jan­u­ary 10, and the first fatal­i­ty occurred on Jan­u­ary 9—with most of the fatal­i­ties occur­ring among old­er peo­ple with co-mor­bidi­ties—and the first con­firmed case out­side Chi­na was report­ed on Jan­u­ary 13.

More impor­tant­ly, the Red Scare cov­er­age above com­plete­ly erased the fact that the “whis­tle” had already been blown by Dr. Zhang Jix­i­an, the first doc­tor to report the nov­el coro­n­avirus to health author­i­ties on Decem­ber 27, which result­ed in an announce­ment by the Chi­nese Cen­ter for Dis­ease Con­trol (CDC) and the Wuhan Health Com­mis­sion (WHC) ear­li­er on Decem­ber 30, the same day Li texted his sev­en col­leagues (Glob­al Times2/6/20). Zhang wasn’t sup­pressed by the gov­ern­ment, but rather com­mend­ed for her efforts.

The Los Ange­les Times (2/16/20) seemed to imply that the coro­n­avirus epi­dem­ic was a pos­i­tive devel­op­ment, inso­far as it stripped Xi Jinping’s “aura of invin­ci­bil­i­ty in ways that no polit­i­cal dis­si­dent, oppo­si­tion par­ty or rev­o­lu­tion­ary move­ment ever could,” and because “his inabil­i­ty to con­tain it” could lead to grow­ing dis­sent and skep­ti­cism towards his “form of tech­no-author­i­tar­i­an­ism.”

The LA Times even man­aged to sneak in ref­er­ences to “ancient notions” of a “man­date of heav­en con­struct,” with “Con­fu­cian think­ing and forms of deeply root­ed super­sti­tion” hold­ing “wide­spread sway,” as a poten­tial expla­na­tion for why Chi­nese peo­ple might not real­ize that Xi and the Com­mu­nist Par­ty don’t have the sup­port of “mys­te­ri­ous forces in heav­en.”

A less racist and pro­pa­gan­dis­tic expla­na­tion for why more Chi­nese peo­ple aren’t rebelling against the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment would be the fact that, along­side its repres­sive insti­tu­tions, it has con­tin­u­al­ly raised their stan­dards of liv­ing, an accom­plish­ment reflect­ed in the high lev­els of pub­lic trust expressed in sur­veys.

As Michael Par­en­ti not­ed in Against Empire, cor­po­rate media demo­nize the lead­ers of offi­cial ene­my states as an evil per­son­i­fi­ca­tion of the entire pop­u­la­tion, who is then used to jus­ti­fy US hos­til­i­ty against them. This is read­i­ly appar­ent in cor­po­rate media’s pre­dom­i­nant fram­ing of the coro­n­avirus as a prob­lem for “Xi Jin­ping,” or the “Com­mu­nist Par­ty” (New York Times1/26/20Time2/6/20; Wall Street Jour­nal2/7/20For­eign Pol­i­cy2/10/20For­eign Affairs2/10/20), rather than for the Chi­nese peo­ple and those suf­fer­ing from the virus abroad, or as a prob­lem for the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty to solve coop­er­a­tive­ly with Chi­na.

CNN (2/11/20) crit­i­cized Xi’s vis­it to treat­ment cen­ters as a  “stage-man­aged out­ing,” scorn­ing the pres­i­dent for nev­er “being at any risk of infec­tion,” and refus­ing to place him­self in a sit­u­a­tion “where his health was under threat,” based sole­ly on the kind of face mask he was using! Appar­ent­ly, the prop­er way for a for­eign head of state to seri­ous­ly deal with an epi­dem­ic is to con­tract and over­come the dis­ease them­selves at the risk of their own life.

The New York Times’ “Coro­n­avirus Out­break Risks Reviv­ing Stig­ma for Chi­na” (2/10/20) offered plau­si­ble deni­a­bil­i­ty by claim­ing that “old stereo­types” of Chi­na being a “source of con­ta­gion” are “unfound­ed” and “out­dat­ed,” before sub­tly play­ing into the racist trope of dirty Asians by retain­ing claims that “China’s recent his­to­ry of what are known as zoonot­ic infec­tions” raise “ques­tions about pub­lic-health prac­tices in the world’s most pop­u­lous coun­try,” because, “Chi­na remains some­what of a lab­o­ra­to­ry itself,” accord­ing to the RAND Corporation’s Dr. Jen­nifer Huang Bouey:

“There is quite a fair amount of epi­demics orig­i­nat­ing in Chi­na or pass­ing through Chi­na,” she said…. Two of the dev­as­tat­ing flu pan­demics of the 20th cen­tu­ry — the Asian flu of 1957 and the Hong Kong flu of 1968 — both orig­i­nat­ed in Chi­na and left a trail of about 3 mil­lion deaths world­wide.

Inter­na­tion­al author­i­ties and lead­ing med­ical pro­fes­sion­als don’t share US cor­po­rate media’s neg­a­tive assess­ment. UN Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al Anto­nio Guter­res praised China’s efforts to con­tain the epi­dem­ic as “remark­able,” and warned against stig­ma­tiz­ing the coun­try. The World Health Orga­ni­za­tion (WHO) has repeat­ed­ly laud­ed China’s remark­able trans­paren­cy and mobi­liza­tion of resources, despite cor­po­rate media flak, and declared Chi­na to be set­ting “a new stan­dard” for its “unprece­dent­ed” response, and has crit­i­cized what it called an “info­dem­ic” of over­abun­dant and false infor­ma­tion.

The Lancet (1/24/20), a lead­ing British med­ical jour­nal, shared this pos­i­tive assess­ment of China’s efforts, prais­ing WHO for not bow­ing to the “pres­sure” of “mas­sive atten­tion and con­jec­ture” to declare a Pub­lic Health Emer­gency of Inter­na­tion­al Con­cern (PHEIC) “until nec­es­sary.” It pub­lished an open let­ter express­ing sol­i­dar­i­ty with Chi­nese offi­cials and health pro­fes­sion­als com­bat­ing the dis­ease.

Jour­nal­ist Patrick Cock­burn (Inde­pen­dent1/24/20) observed that the need to blame some­body, the spread of mis­in­for­ma­tion and sus­pi­cion of assur­ances pro­vid­ed by author­i­ties, are com­mon fea­tures of epi­demics, because it’s dif­fi­cult for gov­ern­ments to con­vey a sense of calm and emer­gency at the same time.

Cor­po­rate media pro­vide relent­less reports on new out­break and mor­tal­i­ty fig­ures with­out pro­vid­ing com­par­isons to oth­er com­mon dis­eases and pre­vi­ous epi­demics, with head­lines like the Wash­ing­ton Post’s “South Korea Coro­n­avirus Cas­es Surge as Italy Con­firms First Death From the Virus” (2/21/20), the New York Times’ “Deaths in Chi­na Sur­pass Toll From SARS” (2/9/20) and USA Today’s “Death Toll From Coro­n­avirus Sur­pass­es 1,100; US Con­firms 13th Case” (2/19/20). Vir­tu­al­ly all of these kinds of reports include com­par­isons with pre­vi­ous epi­demics sur­fac­ing in Chi­na, like SARS, but scrupu­lous­ly avoid mak­ing com­par­isons with more familiar—and devastating—diseases like influen­za, and epi­demics orig­i­nat­ing in the US like the H1N1 swine flu. . . .

. . . . Nor do out­lets like the New York Times (2/27/20) raise alarms about US “author­i­tar­i­an­ism” when it report­ed on the Trump administration’s cen­sor­ship of lead­ing sci­en­tists warn­ing about coro­n­avirus, like it pre­vi­ous­ly has on cli­mate change, in order to “tight­en con­trol of coro­n­avirus mes­sag­ing by gov­ern­ment health offi­cials and sci­en­tists,” and hav­ing them “coor­di­nate all state­ments and pub­lic appear­ance with the office of Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence.”

US media hys­te­ria is espe­cial­ly hyp­o­crit­i­cal, as vir­tu­al­ly all of these reports con­demn­ing China’s response omit crit­i­cisms of US pre­pared­ness for epi­demics (which is far worse), and the Trump admin­is­tra­tion pre­vi­ous­ly fir­ing the US government’s pan­dem­ic response chain of com­mand, while cut­ting fund­ing for dis­ease pre­ven­tion pro­grams.

How­ev­er, this threat infla­tion and oppor­tunis­tic fear­mon­ger­ing toward offi­cial ene­mies is par for the course for cor­po­rate media. Oxford’s Our World in Data project found huge dis­crep­an­cies between what Amer­i­cans actu­al­ly die from (can­cer and heart dis­ease), and what media reports empha­size as the cause  of US deaths (homi­cide and ter­ror­ism). Per­haps this sen­sa­tion­al­ist Yel­low Per­il and Red Scare cov­er­age over the coro­n­avirus are the result of the US gov­ern­ment see­ing Chi­na itself and its chal­leng­ing social­ist sys­tem as virus­es that need to be “con­tained.”

2. Next, we high­light Wash­ing­ton Post writer Josh Rogin, a high-pro­file expo­nent of the “Chi­nese lab did it” meme about Covid-19. Rogin’s source–misidentified as a “sci­en­tist,” is a long-time anti-Chi­nese gov­ern­ment activist financed by the Nation­al Endow­ment For Democ­ra­cy, a US intel­li­gence cut-out and regime-change vehi­cle co-found­ed by CIA direc­tor William Casey in the ear­ly 1980’s. 

“How a Trump Media Dump Main­streamed Chi­nese Lab Coro­n­avirus Con­spir­a­cy The­o­ry” by Max Blu­men­thal and Ajit Singh; The Gray Zone; 4/20/2020.

Rogin’s faux ‘sci­en­tist’ is a US gov­ern­ment-backed regime change activist

. . . . Instead of dis­cussing issues sur­round­ing WIV with sci­en­tif­ic experts, Rogin attempt­ed to bol­ster his claims by rely­ing on the spec­u­la­tion of anony­mous Trump admin­is­tra­tion offi­cials and Xiao Qiang, an anti-Chi­nese gov­ern­ment activist with a long his­to­ry of US gov­ern­ment fund­ing.

Rogin referred to Xiao mere­ly as a “research sci­en­tist,” dis­hon­est­ly attempt­ing to fur­nish aca­d­e­m­ic cred­i­bil­i­ty for the pro­fes­sion­al polit­i­cal dis­si­dent. In fact, Xiao has no exper­tise in any sci­ence and teach­es class­es on “dig­i­tal activism,” “inter­net free­dom,” and “blog­ging Chi­na.” Reveal­ing­ly, Rogin com­plete­ly omit­ted the real record of Xiao Qiang as an anti-Chi­nese gov­ern­ment activist.

For over 20 years, Xiao has worked with and been fund­ed by the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy (NED), the main arm of US gov­ern­ment regime-change efforts in coun­tries tar­get­ed by Wash­ing­ton. The NED has fund­ed and trained right-wing oppo­si­tion move­ments from Venezuela to Nicaragua to Hong Kong, where vio­lent sep­a­ratist ele­ments spent much of 2019 agi­tat­ing for an end to Chi­nese rule.

Xiao served as the exec­u­tive direc­tor of the New York-based NGO Human Rights in Chi­na from 1991 to 2002. As a long-time grantee of the NED, he served as vice-chair­man of the steer­ing com­mit­tee of the World Move­ment for Democ­ra­cy, an inter­na­tion­al “net­work of net­works” found­ed by the NED and “for which the NED serves as the sec­re­tari­at.” Xiao is also the edi­tor-in-chief of Chi­na Dig­i­tal Times, a pub­li­ca­tion that he found­ed in 2003 and that is also fund­ed by the NED. . . .

3. Rely­ing on innu­en­do by an “ex” CIA offi­cer, Fox News host Tuck­er Carl­son inti­mat­ed that lead­ing Demo­c­ra­t­ic politi­cians might be agents of the Chi­nese intel­li­gence ser­vice.

“Covid-19: MSM Anti-Chi­na Hys­te­ria Gets Way Cra­zier and Dumb­er” by Caitlin John­stone; Con­sor­tium News; 4/21/2020.

. . . . Fox News’ Jea­nine Pir­ro has aired a fire-and-brim­stone mono­logue on Chi­na that looks like a fic­tion­al news clip from some kind of film noir-style movie adap­ta­tion of a real­ly ham-fist­ed dystopi­an graph­ic nov­el. It real­ly needs to be seen to be believed, so give it a view here when you get a chance: . . .

. . . . “Chi­na is the one that’s out of con­trol,” Pir­ro spat, punch­ing the word ‘Chi­na’ like she was speak­ing a pro­fan­i­ty at some­one she despis­es. “We’re not going to let you destroy this coun­try or our way of life. We’ve fought too hard and we’ve fought too long to lose it to a Wuhan – that’s what I said, a WOO-HAN virus!”

“You want to con­trol peo­ple? You politi­cians want to flex your mus­cles?” Pir­ro asked, refer­ring to gov­ern­ment lock­downs. “Well start work­ing on how you’re gonna pun­ish, ostra­cize, alien­ate, and finan­cial­ly sanc­tion, and make Chi­na account­able for what they did to us and the rest of the world!”

It’s a legit­i­mate­ly scary seg­ment with an unbe­liev­able amount of vit­ri­ol, and Pir­ro isn’t the only Fox News pun­dit ramp­ing up the anti-Chi­na hys­te­ria.

Tuck­er Carl­son recent­ly had on “for­mer” CIA offi­cer Bryan Dean Wright to tell his mas­sive audi­ence about the dan­ger posed by the Chi­nese men­ace, and pitched him a ques­tion clear­ly geared to set up Wright to claim with­out evi­dence that lead­ers of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty may in fact be mem­bers of the Chi­nese intel­li­gence agency MSS.

“We reached out to Sen­a­tor Fein­stein and a num­ber of oth­er elect­ed offi­cials today and asked ‘Have you had con­tact recent­ly since the out­break with Chi­nese offi­cials?’, and not a sin­gle one respond­ed. What do you think we should infer from that?” asked Carl­son, who is known to have him­self tried to join the CIA in the past.

“I think that they’re ner­vous,” Wright replied. “I think there are a bunch of peo­ple who, because they’re either use­ful idiots, or they have some degree of knowl­edge and and rela­tion­ships behind the scenes with the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment. Some of them in fact could be Chi­nese agents of the MSS, their intel­li­gence ser­vice, God for­bid. They’re ner­vous.”

“We’ve got a lot of very ner­vous folks in the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty,” Wright added.

This is eas­i­ly as unhinged as even the most car­toon­ish­ly ridicu­lous Rus­sia hys­te­ria we’ve seen uncorked by Rachel Mad­dow or any­one on MSNBC, and is not at all dif­fer­ent in tone or con­tent; even the use of the term “use­ful idiots” is right in line with the same rep­re­hen­si­ble Rus­si­a­gate rhetoric we’ve been hear­ing for the last four years.

The claim that rival par­ties have been infil­trat­ed by com­mu­nists has a very long and ugly his­to­ry in US pol­i­tics, and now that it’s being weaponized by the Amer­i­can right wing in such a shame­less way we can expect it to get a whole lot ugli­er. . . .

4a. New York Times arti­cle that tout­ed calls to boy­cott the Dis­ney film “Mulan” failed to note how the Uyghur “inde­pen­dence” move­ment is inex­tri­ca­bly linked with ele­ments of U.S. intel­li­gence, as well as a pot­pour­ri of fas­cists of var­i­ous stripes.

(We detailed these links in FTR #‘s 11431144, and 1145. These pro­grams fea­tured two arti­cles from The Gray­zone.)

Key Points of Dis­cus­sion In Those Pro­grams:

  1. The Uyghur move­ment is inex­tri­ca­bly linked with U.S. regime change intel­li­gence fronts.
  2. The Uyghur move­ment is inex­tri­ca­bly linked with the Pan-Turk­ist move­ment.
  3. The Uyghur move­ment is inex­tri­ca­bly linked with a con­stel­la­tion of fas­cist orga­ni­za­tions, past and present, includ­ing the nar­co-fas­cist regime of Chi­ang Kai-Shek, the Grey Wolves (ter­ror­ist wing of the Alparslan Turkes’s Nation­al Action Par­ty), Islam­ic ter­ror­ist off­shoots of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood (Al-Qae­da and ISIS) and the milieu of the Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations (a branch of the for­mer World Anti-Com­mu­nist League, orig­i­nal­ly formed by Adolf Hitler in 1943.)
  4. The Net­work of Chi­nese Human Rights Defend­ers receives financ­ing from the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy. The Jamestown Foundation–another ele­ment in “Team Uighur” also has its gen­e­sis with William Casey and the Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion. The wide­ly repeat­ed “study” gen­er­at­ed by the NCHRD is based on inter­views of eight individuals–this in an are with a pop­u­la­tion of 20 mil­lion. ” . . . . In a 2018 report sub­mit­ted to the UN Com­mit­tee on the Elim­i­na­tion of Racial Dis­crim­i­na­tion – often mis­rep­re­sent­ed in West­ern media as a UN-authored report – CHRD ‘estimate[d] that rough­ly one mil­lion mem­bers of eth­nic Uyghurs have been sent to ‘re-edu­ca­tion’ deten­tion camps and rough­ly two mil­lion have been forced to attend ‘re-edu­ca­tion’ pro­grams in Xin­jiang.’ Accord­ing to CHRD, this fig­ure was ‘[b]ased on inter­views and lim­it­ed data.’ While CHRD states that it inter­viewed dozens of eth­nic Uyghurs in the course of its study, their enor­mous esti­mate was ulti­mate­ly based on inter­views with exact­ly eight Uyghur indi­vid­u­als. . . .”

Com­men­tary in the Times arti­cle came from, among oth­ers, Adri­an Zenz, a Ger­man-born End Times Chris­t­ian and doc­tri­naire anti-fem­i­nist, anti-gay ide­o­logue.

Zen­z’s promi­nence as an “expert” on the Uyghurs comes by virtue of his posi­tion with the Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism Memo­r­i­al Foun­da­tion, ” . . . . an out­growth of the Nation­al Cap­tive Nations Com­mit­tee, a group found­ed by Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist Lev Dobri­an­sky to lob­by against any effort for detente with the Sovi­et Union. Its co-chair­man, Yaroslav Stet­sko, was a top leader of the fas­cist OUN‑B mili­tia that fought along­side Nazi Ger­many dur­ing its occu­pa­tion of Ukraine in World War Two. . . .”

Zenz has also gen­er­at­ed his fig­ures from high­ly ques­tion­able sources. Just as the Net­work of Chi­nese Human Rights Defend­ers based their report on inter­views with eight indi­vid­u­als out of a pop­u­la­tion of 20 mil­lion, Zenz based his esti­mate on a sin­gle report by a TV sta­tion that broad­casts mate­r­i­al from Al-Qae­da and ISIS-linked ele­ments and indi­vid­u­als: ” . . . . Zenz arrived at his esti­mate ‘over 1 mil­lion’ in a dubi­ous man­ner. He based it on a sin­gle report by Istiqlal TV, a Uyghur exile media orga­ni­za­tion based in Turkey . . . . Far from an impar­tial jour­nal­is­tic orga­ni­za­tion, Istiqlal TV advances the sep­a­ratist cause while play­ing host to an assort­ment of extrem­ist fig­ures. One such char­ac­ter who often appears on Istiqlal TV is Abdulka­dir Yapuquan, a report­ed leader of the East Turkestan Islam­ic Move­ment (ETIM), a sep­a­ratist group that aims to estab­lish an inde­pen­dent home­land in Xin­jiang called East Turkestan. . . . ETIM has been des­ig­nat­ed as a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion with ties to al-Qae­da by the USEuro­pean Union, and UN Secu­ri­ty Council’s Al-Qai­da Sanc­tions Com­mit­teeThe Asso­ci­at­ed Press has report­ed that since ‘2013, thou­sands of Uighurs… have trav­eled to Syr­ia to train with the Uighur mil­i­tant group Turk­istan Islam­ic Par­ty and fight along­side al-Qai­da,’ with ‘sev­er­al hun­dred join[ing] the Islam­ic State.’ . . .”

The Times arti­cle also quotes Joshua Wong. Financed by the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy, a U.S. intel­li­gence cut-out. Wong has helped to boost the pro­file of the OUN/B‑connected ele­ments that have decamped from Ukraine to Hong Kong, influ­enc­ing the course of the so-called pro-democ­ra­cy move­ment.

Hong Kong activists have adopt­ed the OUN/B slo­gan, now the offi­cial salute of the Ukrain­ian police and mil­i­tary. ” . . . . The inter­est has been mutu­al, with Hong Kong’s ‘democ­rats’ draw­ing inspi­ra­tion from Ukraine’s pro-West­ern Euro­maid­an ‘rev­o­lu­tion’ that has empow­ered far-right, fascis­tic forces. Hong Kong pro­test­ers have embraced the slo­gan ‘Glo­ry to Hong Kong’, adapt­ed from ‘Sla­va Ukrayi­ni’ or ‘Glo­ry to Ukraine’, a slo­gan invent­ed by Ukrain­ian fas­cists and used by Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors dur­ing WWII that was re-pop­u­lar­ized by the Euro­maid­an move­ment. . . . ”

Joshua Wong–“boy won­der” and dar­ling of the Amer­i­can MSM–has dou­bled down on affin­i­ty with Ukraine: ” . . . . ‘No mat­ter the dif­fer­ences between Ukraine and Hong Kong, our fights for free­dom and democ­ra­cy are the same,’ Joshua Wong told The Kyiv Post in 2019. ‘[W]e have to learn from Ukraini­ans… and show sol­i­dar­i­ty. Ukraine con­front­ed the force of Rus­sia — we are fac­ing the force of Bei­jing.’ . . . .”

“Calls Grow to Boy­cott ‘Mulan’ Over Chi­na’s Treat­ment of Uighur Mus­lims” by Amy Qin and Edward Wong; The New York Times; 9/9/2020; p. A10 [West­ern Edi­tion].

. . . . The area sur­round­ing Tur­pan, known for its rugged land­scapes, is the site of a num­ber of deten­tion camps. That includes the ear­li­est doc­u­ment­ed case of what Chi­na has called “trans­for­ma­tion through edu­ca­tion” tar­get­ing Mus­lims from August 2013, said Adri­an Zenz a researcher at the Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism Memo­r­i­al Foun­da­tion in Wash­ing­ton, who has stud­ied Chi­nese poli­cies toward the Uighurs. . . .

. . . . On Mon­day, calls to boy­cott “Mulan” began grow­ing on social media. Among the crit­ics was Joshua Wong, a promi­nent Hong Kong pro-democ­ra­cy activist, who accused Dis­ney of bow­ing to pres­sure from Bei­jing. . . .

4b. Now, Adri­an Zenz is not only an expert on Xin­jiang, but on Tibet as well. He is also, an “anthro­pol­o­gist!” Not­ing Zen­z’s affil­i­a­tion with the Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism Memo­r­i­al Foundation–a deriv­a­tive of the OUN/B milieu we have cov­ered for decades–it is worth tak­ing stock of the fact that the Dalai Lama was tutored by an SS offi­cer and fea­tured Bruno Beger as a mem­ber of the Tibetan Gov­ern­ment in Exile.

A par­tic­i­pant of the SS mis­sion to Tibet in 1938, Beger was a war crim­i­nal, hav­ing ordered the exe­cu­tion of more than 100 Sovi­et POWs who had “Asi­at­ic” fea­tures.

The Dalai Lama’s asso­ci­a­tions are unnerv­ing, count­ing numer­ous fas­cists among his friends and col­leagues.

“Report Charts China’s Mass Expan­sion of Labour Pro­gramme in Tibet” by Helen David­son and Agen­cies; The Guardian [UK]; 9/22/2020.

Chi­nese author­i­ties are dra­mat­i­cal­ly expand­ing a mass labour pro­gramme in Tibet, which ana­lysts have com­pared to alleged forced labour oper­a­tions in Xin­jiang, accord­ing to evi­dence com­piled by a Ger­man anthro­pol­o­gist and cor­rob­o­rat­ed by Reuters.

Chi­na has set quo­tas to move hun­dreds of thou­sands of Tibetan rur­al labour­ers off their land and into “mil­i­tary-style” facil­i­ties to train them as fac­to­ry work­ers, accord­ing to doc­u­ments analysed by researcher Adri­an Zenz for the Jamestown Foun­da­tion, a US research insti­tute. . . .

 

 

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