NBC News was criticized on social media Tuesday for “blatantly running Communist Party of China propaganda” after publishing a headline about the country’s gains in its coronavirus fight.
“U.S. Reports 1,200 Coronavirus Deaths in One Day as China Lifts Lockdown,” the headline blared. The story went on to report that “not a single new death was reported” in China. The report noted that Wuhan, the disease’s once-epicenter, had only two cases in the past 14 days.
“NBC bought it. Hook, line and sinker,” Ari Fleischer, the former White House press secretary under President George W. Bush, tweeted. “Well done China. Well done.”
Herman Cain, the former Republican presidential hopeful, tweeted, “Looks like NBC News graduated from ‘journalistic malpractice’ to blatantly running CCP propaganda.”
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It is not uncommon for news sites to run death tolls provided from countries, but NBC News’ decision to compare China to the U.S. is what likely attracted the criticism.
One of the challenges in the fight against coronavirus is that it is a global virus. Data is being shared between countries with mutual suspicions. China, Iran and North Korea have all been accused of producing inaccurate information about the outbreak.
Sara Carter, the award-winning correspondent and host of “The Sara Carter Show” podcast, called on the U.S. to investigate China’s malfeasance during the outbreak.
She told the “Todd Starnes Radio Show” Friday that the focus needs to be on China because Beijing has lied from the “very beginning” and the World Health Organization, which has been accused of being in China’s back pocket, “did the same by supporting China without having any validated facts.”
The New York Times reported that even though China lifted its lockdown in Wuhan, “normal life is a distant dream.” The report pointed out that the city of 11 million was essentially sealed off in late January and reports indicate that many residents were fleeing the city once the ban was lifted.
The Times reported that the CIA has warned the White House that Beijing is not being upfront about the virus’ actual toll in the country. The report said that the Chinese government itself might not know specific numbers since “midlevel bureaucrats” have been untruthful about infection rates, fearing that they may be punished if the numbers are too high.
“That NBC News would report China’s obvious fabrications as potential facts is all the proof we should need to show how our once great institution of the press has fallen,” another Twitter user posted. “What influence has China bought in our news rooms? Pitch these ‘news’ sources and find new honest ones.”