In an effort to try and absolve itself of any accountability for the coronavirus pandemic, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has ramped up its propaganda machine and, with the help of both American and foreign journalists, has been strongly pushing talking points that paint China as being helpful to others suffering from the pandemic, while the U.S. is focused solely on itself.
Those talking points were shared loud and clear at a White House coronavirus press briefing on Monday by a reporter from Hong Kong, spurring a minor confrontation with President Donald Trump. Now, questions are being raised about how a pro-China foreign propagandist gained access to the White House — questions the Daily Caller tried to answer in a Tuesday report.
Trump clashes with reporter
The reporter in question hails from a Hong Kong-based media outlet known as Phoenix TV. During Monday’s White House presser, she listed off a number of things that China is allegedly doing to help other countries before asking President Trump if he’d be willing to “cooperate” with China and join in those efforts.
Trump called her out over her “statement,” and asked bluntly, “Do you work for China?”
Thus ensued the back-and-forth that established her employer as Phoenix TV, which she insisted was privately-owned and not state-run.
President Trump asks a reporter “who are you working for, China?”
She says that her company is private and based in Hong Kong. pic.twitter.com/jDNcAlO4Y4
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 6, 2020
The truth uncovered
The Daily Caller noted Tuesday that her answer wasn’t entirely correct, however; Phoenix TV — like most businesses in China — is only nominally “private,” and is, in fact, at least partially controlled by the communist regime.
According to Phoenix TV’s own records, a minority stake in the company is held by China Wise International Limited, a subsidiary of a regime-owned bank. The actual owner of the company, according to a pro-democracy think tank known as Freedom House, is a former Chinese military official who has maintained close ties with the ruling regime in Beijing.
Furthermore, the Stanford University-based Hoover Institution has labeled Phoenix TV as a “quasi-official” news network that is closely tied to the regime’s Ministry of State Security. In other words: pretty much state-run.
She had a “hard pass”
As to how this blatantly pro-China reporter infiltrated the White House briefing room, it turns out that she is a member of the White House Correspondents Association and the White House Foreign Press Group, with members of the latter organization taking turns in a rotation to attend White House briefings. The Foreign Press Group’s secretary, a Canadian journalist named Richard Latendresse, told The Daily Caller that the reporter was part of the group’s regular rotation and “also has a ‘hard pass’ to be in the White House Briefing Room that was granted to her by the current administration.”
The White House declined to comment when asked about that particular nugget of information, and it is worth noting that the administration may be reluctant to revoke that reporter’s “hard pass” given the fact that previous attempts to do so with other reporters had resulted in lawsuits and unfavorable court rulings.
However, in light of the current international crisis — and the simple fact that the White House shouldn’t have to allow communist talking points to be spewed in its own briefing room — there should at least be some serious consideration given to that idea.