In the world of Donald Trump, literally everything he and his administration does must be met with a rebuttal, even if that rebuttal comes from seeking out a representative of a communist dictatorship to spew propaganda without any pushback.

That’s exactly what ABC News (via the Associated Press) did after Mike Pompeo gave a truthful description of China’s abuses of human rights, specifically involving the incident at Tiananmen Square. They couldn’t simply report his remarks. They had to go find a member of the Chinese embassy, who’s anonymous of course, to counter every statement made by Pompeo.

This is how they open the article.

China responded pointedly to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s comments on the 30th anniversary of the Chinese army’s bloody suppression of student-led pro-democracy protests centered on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

The dueling statements underscore the vast divide in perceptions of the events of three decades ago, which Beijing considers a taboo subject that the West only raises in order to embarrass and de-legitimize China as part of a strategy to contain its development.

There is no vast divide in perception. There is reality and then there’s the communist party’s affirmative choice to pretend reality doesn’t exist. ABC seemingly underscores China’s complaints as legitimate. You see, it’s the mean ole Trump administration’s fault for trying to embarrass them when this is really just about different perceptions.

Regardless, the opening to the article would have been passable had they went on to discuss what actually happened, given an account of China’s numerous misdeeds, and affirmed that Pompeo had said nothing wrong in his description of the events.

Instead, ABC chose to print a near line by line rebuttal with no further commentary, no factual injections, or even a disclaimer of the unreliability of such propaganda coming from the Chinese.

Here’s a taste of the format that follows.

— Pompeo: “We express our deep sorrow to the families still grieving their lost loved ones, including the courageous Tiananmen Mothers, who have never stopped seeking accountability, despite great personal risk. The events of thirty years ago still stir our conscience, and the conscience of freedom-loving people around the world.”

— Chinese Embassy spokesman: “Under the pretext of human rights, the statement grossly intervenes in China’s internal affairs, attacks its system, and smears its domestic and foreign policies. This is an affront to the Chinese people and a serious violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations.

It’s against international law to point out what a dumpster fire China’s human rights record is? Who knew. But China is the most thin-skinned nation on earth so it’s not shocking that they’d get their panties in a bunch over someone bringing up their historic oppression.

The “spokesman” goes on to assert that China is an open country now (it’s not) and that their human rights abuses are non-existent, well, except for the dynamiting of Christian churches and imprisoning of dissidents that happened just this year.

The ABC article just keeps going on like that, at which point the article abruptly ends. No further clarification of the situation is given and one is left with the impression that ABC wants you to think that China just owned Mike Pompeo.

This would be akin to an American official saying the Holocaust was terrible and then the media rushing to give space to a Nazi to deny that it happened. It’s expected but still pretty obscene. I think this might have something to do with why people trust a guy selling jewelry out of the trunk of his car more than they trust mainstream news outlets these days. Just a thought.

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