Attempting to kidnap US media to serve his own anti-China agenda, Rubio further jeopardizes US media’s crumbling credibility
Published: Feb 12, 2022 04:40 PM
Marco Rubio arrives for a Senate Intelligence Committee nomination hearing. Photo: AFP

Marco Rubio arrives for a Senate Intelligence Committee nomination hearing. Photo: AFP

Infamous US anti-China senator Macro Rubio is spouting his trademark nonsense again. In an op-ed for Fox News Friday, Rubio hit out at the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) for what he believes favorable coverage of China during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games. 

He accused NBC of "reciting Chinese Communist Party talking points in its broadcasts of the Winter Olympics from Beijing," saying NBC "could just as easily be named the 'National Beijing Corporation.'" His simple and groundless evidence is that when covering the February 4 opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics, NBC analysts described so-called "first-hand accounts and verified reports of Beijing's human rights abuses" as "allegations," and the network cited the Chinese government as saying "accusations of genocide are the lie of the century." 

The Chinese side has refuted the Western slander of "Uygur genocide" with solid evidences and data, which was not mentioned in NBC's Olympics coverage. The US broadcaster was simply quoting one sentence of Chinese government's response to the accusations of "genocide," but even this was unacceptable to Rubio, seen by him as an act of "peddling a hostile regime's propaganda" and "a capitulation to the Party, motivated by corporate greed."

"NBC has opted for a 'both sides' approach that makes the CCP out to be as trustworthy as our own government," the Florida Senator wrote. Excuse me? Is the frantic politician serious? Isn't the duty of a free and fair press to cover both sides of a story? 

Journalists and media outlets are supposed to provide balanced, unbiased accounts of a news story, this is included in the Journalism 101 course. Anyone with some knowledge about media ethics and standards knows that balance is a key party of journalism ethics, which means media should attempt to present all sides in objective journalism. The Western media have trumpeted all day long that they value objectivity. Ridiculously, media's balance and objectivity have become the very thing that politicians like Rubio cannot tolerate. Rubio had shown no respect to the media and their work.

In order to grab public attention and fool voters, Rubio has become hysterical in demonizing China and the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games. His latest target was NBC. For politicians like Rubio, they don't care about media objectivity or ethics. In their eyes, any US media outlet is supposed to smear and scold China across all its coverage. Any reports that contain a little bit objectivity or voices reflecting China's stand will be regarded as serving the Chinese side's ends. Rubio and his likes are in fact kidnapping US media to serve their own anti-China agenda.  

Given this toxic atmosphere, many US media outlets have degraded to US government's tools in a state-led propaganda campaign to smear and demonize China. They have constantly reached new lows in attacking Beijing, putting the crumbling US media credibility in further jeopardy.  

According to a survey by Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford in June 2021, the US ranks last in media trust, at 29 percent, among 92,000 news consumers surveyed in 46 countries and regions. If this is not a wake-up call to the US government, US media and US politicians, then what will be? Unfortunately, we didn't see any US politicians pay attention to this serious problem, but they simply place heightened pressure on US media to attack China.  

Rubio and his like are busy in introducing bills and acts attacking China's governance in its Xinjiang region and calling for a "diplomatic boycott" of the Winter Olympics. He, along with fellow Republican senator James Lankford, introduced a resolution asking the International Olympic Committee to relocate the Beijing Winter Games several days before the Games kicked off. Shouldn't they give some attention to the precarious US media credibility first? 

Apparently, they won't, and they never will. They are one of the reasons why US media is witnessing a credibility crisis. Under this pressure campaign, most US media outlets have gone further on the road of twisting facts to slander and demonize China. Politicians like Rubio have no shame. They don't care about truth or they have no interest in understanding China. In their minds, anything related to China or the Communist Party of China is devil and all media must serve their political ends to demonize China. Having those uneducated, vulgar and rude politicians, no wonder the US has been in political decay.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn