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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― Senator Ted Cruz, R-TX, slammed NBC for repeating China’s claims that its coronavirus deaths have ceased.
On April 8, the Texas senator linked on Twitter to an NBC tweet that read, “U.S. reports 1,264 coronavirus deaths in over 24 hours. Meanwhile in China, where the pandemic broke out, not a single new coronavirus death was reported.”
Cruz suggested that NBC was so biased, it should register as a foreign agent.
“Under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, 22 USC 611 et seq, I’m pretty sure NBC is now legally obligated to close every broadcast with—and append to every tweet—‘this message paid for by the Communist Party of China,’” he wrote.
The NBC News article also repeated claims by China’s health officials that there were “32 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in mainland China on Monday [April 6]” and that “all of them” were “imported.”
China, which has a population of over 1.4 billion, is admitting to only 82,883 reported cases of COVID-19. The U.S., which has just over 331 million people, has reported 432,579 cases.
NBC also reported that the claim that the “former epicenter of the epidemic, Wuhan” has confirmed only two new cases in the past two weeks. This story followed much grimmer news about the effects of the Chinese coronavirus in the United States, and concluded with a pleasant pen-portrait of Wuhan life supplied by the Chinese Communist Party-controlled media.
“Photos shared by state media in the past few days showed people venturing out into the streets, walking their dogs, buying food in the street markets and even relaxing on the banks of the Yangtze River — with many still wearing masks,” stated NBC’s “London-based” reporter and producer.
Rep. Justin Amash, I-MI, also took issue with NBC’s tweet, posting, “Nobody should trust the reporting from China’s government.” Amash left the Republican party last year.
Many other Twitter users blasted NBC News for the report. One linked to an essay in the online American Conservative magazine that explains one reason why American media might be so willing to please China.
“The companies that own the major news networks, NBC, ABC, and CBS, all do significant business in China,” wrote American Conservative’s Arthur Bloom.
“On the print side, top U.S. newspapers like the Washington Post and New York Times have been criticized for running paid China Daily inserts. What they were paid for these inserts is still unknown.”
China Daily is owned by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China.
Cruz subsequently took aim at the mainstream media as a whole, tweeting: “The Chinese Communist Party has been lying about the #CoronavirusOutbreak since the beginning and ran out of credibility many months ago. It’s the responsibility of journalists to question the CCP’s lies, not parrot its propaganda.”
In mid-March, the Chinese government announced that it was going to expel American reporters working for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.
According to the New York Post, “China also ordered that those newspapers, as well as the Voice of America and Time magazine, turn over detailed information about their staffing, finances, operations and real estate in China.”
Bloom of American Conservative observed that “no NBC [reporters] had their [Chinese] residency permits pulled” in March. Bloom also suggested that after a speech by a Chinese consul general in New York on March 10 hoping for “fair” American media coverage, NBC ran two puff pieces.
“A few weeks after the meeting, NBC News stories appeared saying the only new coronavirus cases in China had come from foreigners, and another one about China asserting its global leadership,” he wrote.
“These stories would no doubt be considered objective and fair by the Chinese diplomatic corps, but it’s a level of credulity NBC News would never take with, say, the Trump administration.”