China calls out U.S. government and media for ‘hyping’ Chinese spy balloon while ignoring toxic train derailment

The communist regime in China is decidedly untrustworthy, but as the old saying goes, even a broken clock is correct twice per day.

A state-run Chinese media outlet has called out the U.S. government and media for its initial dearth of coverage about the toxic Ohio train derailment incident in contrast with the inordinate attention paid to the Chinese spy balloon that traversed the continental U.S. before being shot down, Breitbart reported.

To be sure, while the Chinese spy balloon story warranted ample attention from the government and media, China raises a valid point in that the coverage it received far surpassed what was initially devoted to the still-developing environmental disaster in eastern Ohio and the surrounding area.

The U.S. government and media called out

China’s state-run Global Times reported on Tuesday that the U.S. media had only just recently begun to provide sufficient coverage of the train derailment near East Palestine, Ohio on Feb. 3 that resulted in the spillage and “controlled” burning of highly toxic and carcinogenic chemicals.

“The fact that such a catastrophe occurred for more than a week without being extensively reported also reflects [a] toxic trend in US political and media circle, who are too obsessed with creating imaginary enemies, and hyping outside ‘threats,’ such as the Chinese balloon, that they pay little attention to their own people’s calls,” the outlet stated.

The Times went on to note that many residents in East Palestine as well as other communities in the general fallout zone of the spilled and burned toxic chemicals have continued to complain of noxious odors and symptoms of exposure, even as local, state, and federal authorities have appeared to downplay the health risks and generally declared the air and water to be safe from serious contamination.

The outlet also cited allegations from some Americans that the government and media were attempting to cover up the environmental disaster, including by arresting at least one journalist, and pointed to various Chinese experts as warning about the potential decades-long lingering effects of the toxic pollutants on the area’s food and water supplies.

Did the Chinese balloon story distract from the toxic train derailment?

News of the Ohio train derailment has been big on China’s version of social media, and the Times noted that “Many netizens even wondered whether the US recent hyping of Chinese balloon, which happened at almost the same time as the train derailment incident, is a move deployed by the US government to divert the public’s attention.”

“US media are very biased and selective of news topics. Compared with such a terrible incident that concerns lives of hundreds of thousands, they believe a balloon story is more eyeball-grabbing,” a Chinese professor of international relations told the outlet.

That professor went on to assert that the Ohio derailment incident exposed the “political cancer” in the U.S. as legitimate concerns about the “health catastrophe” were dismissed while “politicians tried a repertoire of tricks to make a fuss about a harmless Chinese balloon,” according to the Times.

Plenty of attention now

There was indeed initially very little national media coverage or overt government action in response to the Ohio train derailment, particularly in comparison to the Chinese high-altitude surveillance balloon, but that has since changed as the balloon story drifted away, so to speak, and made room for attention to be devoted to the concerning situation in Ohio.

As just one example, Axios recently reported on everything that was known thus far about the derailment incident, including what likely caused it, the several various toxic chemicals that were spilled and burned, the health risks exposure to such chemicals can cause, what is being done to clean up the mess and make the area safe again, and who might eventually be held accountable for the environmental disaster.

In another example, The Hill recently posed a series of still unanswered questions about the incident, such as a full accounting of all the toxic chemicals spilled and the byproducts created by burning them, whether local waterways were contaminated, whether lax regulations or delayed railroad reforms played a significant role, and the likelihood of a similar derailment involving toxic chemicals happening again in the future.

It is never a good thing to be called out by the Chinese communist regime, especially when they raise valid and correct points, but hopefully that embarrassment will serve as a catalyst for both the U.S. government and media to do a better job in balancing how they deal with and cover major events.

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