Ben Johnson

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Washington Post caught fronting Chinese propaganda as news articles, says watchdog group

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson
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WASHINGTON, D.C., March 28, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Washington Post is one of the most respected names in all of journalism, but critics say it has put its credibility on the auction block by partnering with the Chinese and Russian governments to reprint foreign propaganda under its masthead.

The controversy swirls around the publication of China Watch, a news supplement inserted into the newspaper. The Washington Post logo appears alongside its own, and China Watch‘s website is hosted on WaPo‘s server. However, most of its stories are produced by China Daily, an English-language “newspaper” with offices in Beijing. It is heavily censored by the Communist Chinese regime, with stories carefully chosen to advance the party line and the nation’s geostrategic interests.

Both the real and virtual editions of the publication contain the words, “A Paid Supplement to The Washington Post” – in much smaller print. Online, the words are just above a story on a program to teach LGBT activists to make documentary films and an ad for China Daily, inviting readers to “Click to open a window to the world.”

The owners and editors of The Washington Post “are lending their logo to this foreign propaganda,” Cliff Kincaid, director of Accuracy In Media‘s Center for Investigative Journalism, told LifeSiteNews.com. “If you didn’t know where this comes from, it looks like a regular newspaper.”

The Post runs a similar service for Russia called Russia Now.

The Chinese government, Kincaid said, is “using the logo of The Washington Post to create the impression this is like any other section of The Washington Post.”

“If you do your digging you can find out this is paid propaganda, and they’re use using the Post,” he added.

That is readily apparent from the way China Watch covers the brutal one-child policy, which often results in compulsory abortion. A 2009 story entitled “Nation stems population tide” by Li Xing contends, “The country’s one-child policy has ensured that the fruits of fast growth benefit all the people.”

The “news” supplement credited the anti-natalist policy with “reducing the tremendous pressure on natural resources and the environment, for stimulating economic development and social growth, and for enabling most people to move out of poverty.” Its source: Li Bin, minister of the National Population and Family Planning Commission.

Wen Zhanshan, now 66, reminisced with Xing about how he used to create population control posters in the city of Harbin adorned with phrases like, “It is better to breed more pigs than children.” Today, the posters say, “Our mother earth is too tired to support too many children.”

The story notes at the bottom that Sun Hongfen of the a regional Population and Family Planning Bureau – a branch of the Chinese government – “contributed” to the story.

Another China Watch article discusses a panel on women’s issues, which raised the possibility that surviving children, spoiled by their grandparents, had developed a “Little Emperor” complex. “These kids might be spoiled, but they are also the repository of all their parents’ dreams,” said Amy Chua, a contributor to The Daily Beast and author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother .“These ‘spoiled brats’ work extremely hard.”

A web search located zero articles about Chen Guangcheng, the Chinese dissident under house arrest for exposing the nation’s population policies.

Experts have questioned the ethics of the Post‘s relationship with Beijing. “They need to address the proverbial elephant in the living room – why are you carrying a Communist government-sponsored publication?” Lois Boynton, a journalism professor at the University of North Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, told The Washington Free Beacon.

Fred Hiatt, the Post’s editorial page editor, told the Free Beacon “the material is clearly labeled” and the newspaper had run negative “editorials on China, human rights, [and] the importance of democratic development in China both for Chinese people and for the world.”

However, in February the Post‘s ombudsman took it to task for reprinting “propaganda” in its own pages. In February, Patrick Pexton accused his paper of ”Caving to China’s Demands” for posting an “interview” with Chinese vice president Xi Jinping. Instead of answering journalists’ questions, the Post revealed, “the Chinese government modified, deleted, and added questions to those The Post submitted.” Pexton called it “more press release or propaganda than news.”

Kincaid told LifeSiteNews.com there is a simple reason the paper is partnering with governments that curtail freedom of the press: “The Washington Post wants the money. It’s simply a matter of bucks.”

“We’ve been covering for quite some time that The Washington Post the newspaper is losing a lot of money,” he said,  leading to what he describes as a murky relationship with the for-profit school Kaplan University.

Kincaid said the fact that the Post is “taking this money directly from a foreign government” is “significant,” but the greater outrage is that an American newspaper would give cover to foreign governments, which he said are stepping up their operations in the United States.

He cited the operations of Al-Jazeera English (which is heavily funded by the government of Qatar), Iranian Press TV, and Russia Today as companies with high production values that are less than free news outlets.

“These foreign propaganda organs are increasing their influence and operations in the U.S., and that’s what we see in these advertising supplements. It’s just another aspect of their propaganda wars within the United States.”

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A protester rallies against Hobby Lobby, protesting against the Supreme Court decision Dan Holm/Shutterstock
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

DNC chairwoman exhorts constituents to boycott local Hobby Lobby store

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

The Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision was nearly two months ago, but the issue as hot as ever, as was demonstrated yesterday when Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schulz, D-FL, urged constituents to boycott a Hobby Lobby store in her district.

In a press conference one lot away from the Hobby Lobby location in Davie, which opened in April, Wasserman-Schultz said that she wanted "people to know that this Hobby Lobby is here and they should vote with their purses and their pocketbooks, and women should not shop here."

"If you didn’t know this Hobby Lobby was here before, know it now and don’t shop here. They don’t deserve women’s business because they are the ones that all across the country have made it harder for women to get access to birth control,” she said.

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Wasserman-Schultz said that Hobby Lobby's corporate ownership "doesn’t support its employees" and "wants to be able to get in the personal business of their employees and make health care decisions and replace their own values, replace their employees’ health care decisions, with their values…."

She also criticized the Supreme Court's late June decision in favor of Hobby Lobby, which had sued the federal government over the Obama administration's HHS Mandate.

The Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby, say it violates their conscience to pay for coverage for the four abortifacients and potential abortifacients that the mandate required them to cover.

"The Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case was not only disappointing, it was dangerous," said the Democrat. "No boss should have the right to dictate and employee’s health decisions because [they] don’t belong in the bedrooms, doctor’s offices or pharmacies of their employees.

"A woman and her doctor know what’s best for their body. Not an insurance company. Not a politician. And certainly not a manager at a Hobby Lobby."

The Supreme Court's decision allowed closely held corporations to not fund coverage of contraception or abortion drugs and devices.

Wasserman-Schultz's office did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Through a spokesperson, the Green family declined to comment about the Congresswoman's statements. 

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Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten

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America is rejecting abortion because pro-lifers are having more children: study

Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten
By Kirsten Anderson

According to a new Northwestern University study, American attitudes about abortion are trending more conservatively than other contentious social issues, a phenomenon the authors credit to the simple fact that pro-lifers have more kids.

“We find evidence that the abortion attitudes have lagged behind a liberalizing trend of other correlated attitudes,” the authors wrote. Using GSS data collected between 1977 and 2010, “We test[ed] the hypothesis that the comparatively high fertility of pro-life individuals has led to a more pro-life population.”

The authors wrote: “Support for abortion rights has turned flat after a period of increase following Roe v. Wade, and in recent years there are even indications of a reversal toward more restrictive attitudes. This U-turn is evinced particularly among younger cohorts, and is happening despite liberalizing trends in several ostensibly related issue domains.”

The authors speculated that the reason for the increase in pro-life attitudes among young people is that their parents had more children than their pro-abortion counterparts. When they examined the data, they found that pro-life individuals had, on average, 27 percent more children than those who considered themselves “pro-choice.”

Not only that, but pro-life parents appear to be much more likely to pass their views on to their children. The researchers found that the younger generation’s pro-life shift was too strong to be blamed solely on differences in fertility – meaning children of pro-abortion parents are rejecting their parents’ views.

“[E]ither pro-life beliefs are always more faithfully transmitted than pro-choice ones; or, there has been a cultural shift towards more pro-life beliefs that is being reflected in the parent-child correlations,” the authors wrote.

The study concluded that if it wasn’t for the higher fertility rate among pro-life people, the nation as a whole would favor abortion by about five percentage points more than it does currently – and researchers predict the pro-life trend will continue.

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“Taken together, these findings suggest that fertility has had at least some part in leading the population in a more pro-life direction over time,” the authors wrote. “Further investigation into this pattern indicates that not only are abortion attitudes associated with fertility, but in proportional terms—which is what matters for cultural change—the gap is widening.”

“Fertility has declined for both pro-choice and pro-life groups over the past 30 years, but fertility has declined far less markedly for pro-life individuals,” they added. “Whereas pro-[life] individuals born before 1940 were only having about 1.2 children per one child born to a pro-choice parent, this ratio has grown to over 1.5 for those born in the mid to late 1970s. This pattern suggests that future cohorts may place an even stronger demographic drag on the liberalization of abortion attitudes.”

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A declaration that PP is an 'enemy of the Church' would mean that Catholics who work with, advocate for, or support Planned Parenthood, incur automatic excommunication. American Life League
Lisa Bourne

New campaign asks Pope Francis to declare Planned Parenthood an ‘enemy of the Church’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

The Catholic pro-life organization American Life League (ALL) is launching a campaign calling for the Catholic Church to declare Planned Parenthood an “enemy of the Church.”

Using prayer and education, ALL’s Defend the Family campaign seeks to expose the nation’s largest abortion provider for contribution to the destruction of human lives, as well as the family. 

The campaign, said Jim Sedlack, vice-president of ALL, is quite simply “a way of calling attention to the fact that this is a very bad organization.”

“Planned Parenthood is attacking the family, either by killing preborn children or by robbing the souls of the older children,” he said. 

A declaration that PP is an “enemy of the Church” would mean that Catholics who work with, advocate for, or support Planned Parenthood, incur automatic excommunication.

Such a declaration would not be unprecedented. Popes in the past have identified and condemned organizations that posed a grave threat to the Church, most recently Pope Pius XII in 1949 with Communism and Pope Clement XII in 1738 with Freemasonry.

While specifics would depend on the wording of the Papal pronouncement, Sedlak told LifeSiteNews if the Holy Father makes the declaration there would be no mistaking its intent.

“When the pope makes the declaration it becomes crystal clear,” Sedlak said. “There’ll be no shades of gray, it’ll be black and white, it’ll be clear to the world.”

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'Now is the time'

There are still people who are not fully aware of the extent of the societal damage inflicted by Planned Parenthood, said Sedlak, including members of the Church hierarchy. He said it’s important to emphasize the truth of what the abortion giant does.

“That’s why we’re focusing on the enemy,” said Sedlak. “When people really stop and focus on Planned Parenthood, they realize it’s the enemy.”

ALL cites Planned Parenthood’s targeting of children to sexualize them as a major cause of the destruction of the family and a fundamental reason for the Defend the Family campaign.

“They really push for getting young people into lives of sexual sin,” Sedlak said. “Young people who aren’t pulled into sexual activity do not provide a cent of income to Planned Parenthood, but young people who are pulled in provide millions of dollars to the Planned Parenthood empire.”

ALL compiled a comprehensive report on Planned Parenthood titled, “The Vatican can help save souls from Planned Parenthood,” as part of the Defend the Family campaign.

“The document builds the case,” said Sedlak. “Why Planned Parenthood, why now is the time.”

Sedlak told LifeSiteNews that for its part Planned Parenthood has always recognized that its greatest enemy is the Catholic Church, even working to have the Church lose its status at the UN.

“They fight anybody who wants to take sex away from the kids in any way possible,” Sedlak said. “That’s one reason why Planned Parenthood is the sex mafia.”

And when Sedlak uses the term “mafia,” he means it literally, pointing out that the Holy Father condemned the mafia in his June 21, 2014, homily in Calabria, Italy, denouncing its, “Adoration of evil and contempt for the common good.”

“Planned Parenthood kills far more people than the mafia,” Sedlak said.

Also underscoring the need for the Vatican to act on declaring Planned Parenthood an enemy of the Church, is the convening of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family this October in Rome, which will lead into the general synod in 2015.

Sedlak told LifeSiteNews that these, along with the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, are events that ALL will rally around to raise awareness of the Defend the Family campaign.

Preliminary response to the campaign has been very positive, he said.

Sedlak told LifeSiteNews that the “Vatican can help save souls from Planned Parenthood” report was so well received upon initial presentation to Vatican officials, that ALL was asked to translate it into three more languages.

“The support we’ve gotten from talking to bishops has been overwhelming,” Sedlak said.

Prayer is priority #1

The Defend the Family campaign consists first and foremost of prayer, Sedlak told LifeSiteNews.

“Our approach is that we need prayer support,” he said. “The only way that we’re going to succeed is through prayer to the Blessed Mother; the only way it will succeed is if God wants it to succeed.”

Participants are asked to say regular prayers after Mass, to offer prayers for the pope and to initiate communication with local bishops about the dangers that Planned Parenthood poses to the faithful.

Sedlak also added that The Defend the Family campaign is for everyone, not just Catholics.

He said pro-life supporters of all faith traditions are invited to contact ALL for assistance in encouraging their religious denomination or church leader to declare Planned Parenthood an enemy.

In addition to prayers for the campaign, ALL is asking people to sign and submit ALL’s Declaration of Encouragement to the Holy Father, enroll in the Spiritual Bouquet for the Holy Father and to share ALL resources on Planned Parenthood.

Information, links and resources are available on the campaign website, defendthefamily.org.

Sedlak told LifeSiteNews that ALL is giving the success of the Defend the Family campaign up to God.

“This is all happening in God’s time, and so far he’s been blessing us mightily,” Sedlak said. “And we’re going to go wherever God takes us.”

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