Last Thursday on Facebook Live, I hosted the fifth episode of Jimmy at the Crossroads, my new webshow and podcast in partnership with The Washington Examiner. This episode, entitled “China’s Coronavirus Culpability & the Trump New Deal,” featured noted China critic Gordon Chang. Within minutes after the livestream ended, Facebook notified me that “... i-Cable News blocked your video because it may contain content they own.”
I was stunned. Nothing in the video could have been construed as containing “music, audio or video that belongs to” this Hong Kong-based Chinese outlet. Any footage therein was owned by me, usable by me, public domain and/or fair use.
Imagine my surprise when the 11 seconds they claimed to own was…footage of Trump’s Thursday morning press conference. Taken from C-SPAN.
Let that sink in. A Chinese outlet claimed footage from a press conference of the president of the United States was their property.
I disputed this with Facebook, and the video remained down for a few hours. At one point, I couldn’t even access my own Facebook page for about 20 minutes. Ultimately, Facebook apologized and restored my access and video.
I’m not mad at Facebook. Rather, what is clear from this experience is that China is using its proxies to silence Americans from calling attention to Chinese maleficence. Why else would a random Chinese outlet try to block a random video produced in the random state of Colorado?
There is really only one answer: It is an extension of the Chinese propaganda machine. Here in the U.S., their government is clearly trying to prevent any recognition of China’s role as the incubator of COVID-19. My webshow countered that. It got blocked.
Outside America, the regime is working diligently to push out falsities. On March 12, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao tweeted, “When did patient zero begin in U.S..?. It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan.”
Over the weekend, the supreme leader of Iran, one of the nations most afflicted by COVID-19, floated this conspiracy. In a televised address to his people, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — as proxy to China — nonchalantly directed at America: “[Y]ou are accused of creating this virus. I do not know whether it is true. But when there is such an allegation, can a wise man trust you and accept your help offer?”
In recent years, China has worked hard to expand its influence on the world stage. The Communist Party has shut down dissent within its own borders, holds three million Uighur Muslims in literal concentration and re-education camps, is actively trying to move Hong Kong more under its dictatorial fold and is forging tighter relationships with numerous developing countries.
The Chinese government always works with intentionality. They will float a conspiracy to get it out there, and then work through proxies to push the propaganda across the globe.
With COVID-19, the idea that the U.S. Army was responsible for introducing the virus to an American “patient zero” and then into Wuhan, China, is absurd. It is well-known that Wuhan was ground zero. Moreover, the Chinese government silenced its own doctors who tried to sound the alarm late last year.
Earlier this month, after the Senate passed his resolution condemning China, Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, stated: “Dr. Li Wenliang tried to warn the world about the novel coronavirus, but the Chinese Communist Party stood in the way. Now the COVID-19 outbreak has taken Dr. Li’s life and was declared a global health emergency. We must ensure that this communicable and deadly virus is contained, and that means that the Chinese Communist Party must not be allowed to hide details of the coronavirus from its people and the world.”
We know the Chinese government is now spreading malicious propaganda against the U.S. in its own country and around the world. And from my experience, it’s clear they are extending this effort into the U.S.
However, Trump critics like Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, persist in accusing the president of engaging in “inflammatory China-bashing” for calling COVID-19 “The Chinese Virus.” Yet such attacks ignore the real reason Trump is doing this: because China is making a point of saying the exact opposite wherever they can — and silencing those who acknowledge where it began, even here at home.
If our government doesn’t counter Chinese propaganda on the origin of COVID-19, they will continue to damage America by saying the U.S. Army is intentionally responsible.
That ought to be unacceptable to all Coloradans.