In what comes as a rather embarrassing development for a large section of US media, documents now in the hold of the country’s Justice Department reveal that major US media outlets have been receiving large sums of money from the Chinese Community Party, via the regime’s lapdog and official propaganda newspaper, China Daily.
A report in the Daily Caller confirmed that the Justice Department had access to these documents, which were made available to them by no other than China Daily itself. FARA regulations in the US require China Daily to furnish its activity records and receipts semi-annually.
In China Daily’s disclosure submitted to the Justice Department for the time period between November 2016 and April 2020, it has been revealed that CCP pushed in USD 19 million into the pockets of some major media houses of the US like the New York Times and the Washington Post.
Whether the said payments have been received by media outlets in the US prior to November 2016 too is not clear as yet, however, prima facie, it is evident that as per the documents now available, the first payments coincided with Trump’s election victory.
Among the major outlets which have been named in the documents are, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times and The Seattle Times. NYT is said to have received USD 50,000, while The Washington Post was paid close to USD 4.6 million. The lion’s share of the payments went to The Wall Street Journal, amounting to nearly USD 6 million.
Other media outlets that received payments via China Daily, on the pretext of advertisements and printing, were Foreign Policy ($240,000), The Des Moines Register ($34,600) and CQ-Roll Call ($76,000). The China Daily is reported to have spent a total of $11,002,628 on advertising in US newspapers, besides spending $265,822 on advertising with Twitter. Besides, documents in possession of the Justice Department also reveal that China Daily expended close to $7.6 million on newspapers and printing companies to cater to US readers.
The payments, which are for some strange reason clubbed under “advertisement and printing” expenditure, were actually a part of a trade-off between major US media houses and the CCP’s mouthpiece, China Daily. While China Daily made extravagant payments to their counterparts in the US, the newspapers in the states were required to publish paid supplements called “China Watch“, which China Daily produces. These ‘inserts’ were designed to look like real news articles, while they often contained a pro-Beijing spin on contemporary news events.
Why the need for such payments, you would ask? The answer can be manifold, ranging from attempts at silencing major US media outlets from taking a rather hard stance on China, to even carrying out a steady brainwashing of America’s citizens via the pro-CCP inserts which the media houses are made to publish. Essentially, these payments would be serving as a tool to curb anti-China sentiments in the US media, and subsequently, among the readers and public. What explanations the beneficiaries of such flamboyant payments have to offer in their defence is yet to be seen. However, it is amply evident that the CCP is working overtime to shut down press freedom in the USA as well, after having obliterated the media scene in their own country.