China has grown so powerful, its influence and wealth so great, that even news media in the capital of the free world will promote its communist agitprop for a slice of the pie.
I’m not sure if this is a failing of Western journalism or the free market.
“The Chinese Communist Party paid a Washington, D.C., radio station $4.4 million over the past two years to broadcast propaganda,” the Washington Free Beacon reports this week.
The report adds, “The Virginia-based Potomac Media Group detailed its lucrative contract with the Communist Party’s International Communication Planning Bureau in filings last Thursday with the Justice Department. As part of the deal, Potomac Media’s WCRW, an AM station, airs content from China Global Television Network and a series of talk shows that portray China in a positive light.”
This is the part where we pause to point out the figure $4.4 million represents payments for just the past two years. We know about this number only because the Virginia-based media group was required by the Department of Justice in 2019 to register as a foreign agent.
As it turns out, though, Potomac Media Group has been airing CCP propaganda dating back to at least 1992, just a few years after the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Though we don’t have filings for the years 1992 through 2018, it may be safe to assume the organization based in the United States has made a killing (perhaps literally) over the past 29 years promoting propaganda for a genocidal regime. After all, Potomac Media Group pulled in nearly $5 million between July 2019 and August 2021. Imagine how much it has made in total since the days of the Clinton presidency.
“Potomac Media’s filing with the Justice Department provides extensive details about its arrangement with the International Communication Planning Bureau, an arm of the Communist Party’s Propaganda Department,” the Washington Free Beacon reports. “The Planning Bureau can review broadcasts and verify programming, according to the contract. Potomac Media is required to provide the Planning Bureau with reports on audience reach, feedback, and ‘evaluation from international organizations.’”
Sadly, Potomac Media Group isn’t the only U.S. news organization to produce pro-CCP content in return for Chinese blood money. The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times have partaken recently in similar content deals with China.
It’s remarkable Potomac Media Group has been in business with communist China for as long as it has without apparently even the slightest bit of remorse or introspection. Think about it. You’re a U.S.-based newsgroup, and you’re accepting bribes, er, payments from the Chinese Communist Party to air commie propaganda? At what point do you simply drop the journalism charade and come out as a consulting firm?
Also, as Jazz Shaw notes at Hot Air, it’s doubly remarkable Potomac Media Group made zero adjustments to its business model after 2019. You'd think having to file as a foreign agent would force the group (finally!) to reconsider its values and goals.
I mean, come on. If you’re a news organization, and the Department of Justice says you need to register as a foreign agent, it may be time to take stock of whether journalism is right for you.