In this Jan. 22, 2020, photo released on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, by China’s Xinhua News Agency, medical workers of the Union Hospital with the Tongji Medical College of the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan participate in a ceremony to form an “assault team” to battle against a coronavirus epidemic in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei Province, Jan. 23, 2020. (Cheng Min/Xinhua via AP)
Has CNN suddenly discovered that being a propaganda arm for the Chinese government is not a good thing?
CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s “reporting” on the speech was particularly grating, with the “journalist” alleging, without evidence, that Trump’s speech was “going to come across to a lot of Americans as smacking of xenophobia” because Trump characterized the virus as a “foreign virus.”
In fact, for the last two weeks now, Americans have been subjected to lectures from the mainstream press and Democrats (but I repeat myself) on how use of the terms “Wuhan coronavirus”, “Chinese virus”, and “foreign virus” are “racist” terms that should not be used. This in spite of the fact that the virus originated in Wuhan, China and in spite of the fact that it is common to name viruses after the places from which they originated.
With all that in mind, you’ll be surprised to learn that CNN actually undercut their own arguments against using the term “Wuhan” to describe the virus in a report they did Friday about how Cui Tiankai, who is China’s ambassador to the United States, was summoned to the State Department.
The meeting with Tiankai was called after China’s Foreign Ministry Information Dept. spokesman Zhao Lijian posted a tweet Thursday alleging the U.S. military might have “brought the epidemic to Wuhan.” Twitter has refused to take down the tweet.
During CNN’s Friday report, anchor John King kicked things off by noting Lijian alleged the virus “did not originate in the city of Wuhan, like it is widely thought.” King then went on to state the Chinese official’s remarks were “the latest of part of a Chinese campaign — propaganda — to question the origin of the pandemic which has infected more than 130,000 people now around the world.”
CNN’s national security correspondent Kylie Atwood was then brought in to explain why the United States government was “furious” over the allegations – and in the process, she accidentally made the argument for why the virus should be called the Wuhan coronavirus (bolded emphasis added):
I have been told by folks in this building that they are furious with the Chinese government. That’s because, just as you said, John, they are now claiming that potentially the U.S. military could be to blame for the Wuhan virus, which originated as we know in Wuhan, China. We have seen the U.S. push back on that disinformation, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo even called it the Wuhan virus just last week to make sure that folks knew where the epicenter of this virus really is. And we also heard President Trump earlier this week call it a “foreign virus.” They want to make the case that this originated in China and that is the reason that they summoned the Chinese Ambassador here to the State Department today. We are still waiting for more details with regards to what that conversation looked like, but there are growing tensions between the U.S. — the Trump Administration — and the Chinese government over where this virus originated.
I wonder if, going forward, CNN will start correctly referring to the virus as the Wuhan coronavirus, or if this was one of those “broken clock is right twice a day” things?
Either way, it’s nice to see some actual journalism happening there for a change.