Now that media consolidation is changing the way that we receive our news, it can be hard to separate the misinformation from our true reality. During a moment when Chinese tensions are at a new high, the objectivity of the news is bound to be called into question. According to a recent Gallup poll, Americans are highly skeptical of the media response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The media received the lowest approval rating out of the nine institutions that were polled on this matter. The media is the only net negative on the list. In fact, far more Americans are offering their approval of the president’s response to the current dangers that we are all facing.
There are a number of reasons for the public to remain skeptical of what is taking place. All of these reasons have been on display during the pandemic. For starters, many are skeptical about China’s response to COVID-19. The Chinese are claiming that they have the virus under control but Americans have not been quick to buy into this line of thinking.
At the current moment, there is an increased level of skepticism towards the so called experts. New York Times writer Max Fisher believes in the official Chinese data because the World Health Organization is vouching for them. The country is said to have achieved a major turnaround over the past few weeks, thanks to their social distancing policies that have been in place since late January.
However, there is also evidence that the World Health Organization has been co-opted. Canadian epidemiologist Bruce Aylward works an adviser to the World Health Organization. He was recently seen dodging questions from a Hong Kong reporter and it’s the type of interview that you need to see in order to believe. This is the sort of thing that makes people wonder if the information that they are receiving is true.
Most journalists also have a worldview that is easy to pick apart. When all journalists are essentially living in a massive echo chamber, it is clear to see why they are not trustworthy. Journalists were telling everyone that they needed to keep being nice to Asian-Americans at first. They can act like they weren’t downplaying the virus but they were certainly acting like they had bigger fish to fry in that moment.
These reasons are easy enough to pick apart. On the other hand, media companies cannot always be trusted to provide a non biased point of view. Many of them are dependent on China for business reasons or they are paid off by the Chinese government. This reason is a lot more insidious than the first two.
The companies that own all of the major news networks in America are all accustomed to doing significant amounts of business with China. In a climate like this, it is easy to see why so many people believe that the American mainstream media is controlled by them. China Daily inserts are even found in some of our nation’s most important newspapers.
Who knows how much the Chinese government has paid to have these inserts placed in front of the American people? Conservative news companies are able to claim that they are much less involved with the Chinese. While Fox has made a few attempts to break into the Chinese marketplace in the past, they have largely abandoned such endeavors. They are now All-American.
Comcast Corporation is not only the participator of the increasingly close cultural exchanges, but also the contributor and beneficiary of deeper economic exchanges between China and the US. The NBC and the Universal Studios Theme Park in Beijing are witnesses of the in-depth development of Sino-US economic and trade relations and increasingly close cultural exchanges.
Meanwhile, Comcast owns MSNBC, CNBC and NBC News. These outlets have played a key role in the cultural exchange. What would Comcast do if one of these outlets were to say something that angers the Chinese government? There would certainly be more than a few tense conversations, that is for sure. Given the NBA dispute that has already taken place this year, their games might be removed from Chinese airwaves entirely.
There should be no doubt in anyone’s minds about the Chinese government and their aversion to objective reporting. Consul General Huang Ping has even made a point of offering a veiled threat to American news outlets who do not report positive things about the pandemic. He is worried that the Chinese response might be examined more closely.
Ping says that he hopes the United States will continue to report “fairly” about China. Anyone can see the implied threat that comes with this statement: it’s a nice country that you have here, it would be a shame if anything happened to it. This sort of corruption is harder for the American people to notice on a daily basis but it is still wreaking havoc on our democracy all the same.