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Administration doctors true ailment of US

By Hannay Richards | China Daily | Updated: 2020-03-12 08:05


Having spent much of the past more than three years producing policy based on a torrent of tweeted sound bites, tossed out like dog biscuits to the gullible, and trying to gag anyone that might portray its policies in anything other than a favorable light, the US administration's dislike of any domestic media outlet that is not sycophantic and servile to its agenda is both well-known and well-documented.

Facts put forward as evidence that the administration, and those who've bet big money on it are trying to hawk something that is fabricated for their own purpose are routinely decried as "fake news".

Those with opposing viewpoints pointing out that the administration is frequently peddling snake oil are declared unpatriotic and "enemies of the people".

Such appeals to patriotism are the preserve of those without scruples. Agreeably packaged to its intended audience as heroically upholding the ordinary man-in the-streets' right to free speech, the notion that whatever the administration dictates suits its agenda is presented to the American people as a precondition of loyalty to the country.

Therefore, with the election looming, and having won the last one piggy-backing on the notion that China was taking advantage of the United States like it was ripping candy from a baby, it should perhaps come as no surprise that the administration has targeted Chinese media organizations with operations in the US.

This not only casts tried and trusted bait at its core constituency, it also seeks to silence those Chinese media giving China's side of the story. An additional bonus being that it also helps fuel the shift in the administration's strategy from targeting China per se, in all is demonstrable diversity, to instead disparaging the Communist Party of China, which in the ready-formed connotations associated with its name is a much easier sell to conservative voters in the US.

Yet, despite the administration trying to divert attention to China as an external threat to the country, the most fatal ailment to the US is within its own society, namely the huge and ever-widening imbalance between its rich and poor.

The attack on five Chinese media outlets operating in the US fits neatly into the already established narrative of Western democracy versus communism which conveniently obscures the fact that Western democracy serves capital which only serves those who possess it.

Truth and an informed public are essential to the functioning of a democracy: that the US administration and its backers seek to deny the US of both the former belies their claims to be defending the values of the latter.

Ignorance is the cause of fear, and in seeking to stifle the Chinese media in the US, the administration is trying to keep the US public ignorant of the reality of China so it can exploit it as a threat. While the true motivation for that may be obscured, the effects are visible to all.

The author is a senior editor with China Daily.

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