Wednesday, October 11, 2017

China Witch Hunt Warning…Courtesy of Steve Bannon and Miles Kwok




I have an interesting story up at Newsbud concerning Miles Kwok, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), and Chinese agents at Voice of America a.k.a. VOA.  

As a parallel narrative, I also touched on Steve Bannon's rather sinister interest in the BBG.



Well...

...the stories intersected on October 10 with this tweet from Kwok:


Miles and Steve do lunch!  

And maybe discuss some unfinished business i.e. the timidity of the prestige media outlets in amplifying Miles Kwok's rather interesting allegations about the PRC, the CCP, and Chinese spook and influence ops inside the USA.

A few days ago, in an appearance at the National Press Club, Miles Kwok responded to what looked like a planted question in order to “name a name”, rather bluntly giving the name of a manager at Voice of America who is, he alleged, an agent of the Chinese security services.

I didn’t name the name for the simple reason that I don’t do witchhunts.  Gimme a crime, a court, and due process, not outrage and innuendo funneled through the media is what I say.

The flock of journos from the national media in attendance (at least moderator Bill Gertz of the Washington Free Beacon, and reporters from the Wall Street Journal and NPR, who identified themselves when asking questions) chose not to lead their reports with this rather juicy allegation, even without naming any names.

Wonder why. I don't think the US media is down on witch hunts of foreign influence in our media and politics.

I’ve been following the witchhunt against Chinese influence down in Australia and consider it a template/trial run/warmup for a similar effort by China journos up here.  In Australia they fling mud with a free hand and name names; but so far, in the case of China, the US media hasn’t.

In this instance, one possible reason is that Miles Kwok is so polarizing and, quite frankly, skanky a figure that nobody wants to rely on him as a primary source, at least in public…at the same time every national outlet has been in contact with Kwok, his large, well-funded team, and his lovingly curated dossiers on CCP sleaze, either leaked to him by his allies in China or gathered by his investigators overseas.

Instead, I’m guessing the big outlets are busily engaged in parallel construction, that is taking the name Miles Kwok put out and trying to put together a story based on their own reporting and steno from the security services…and that doesn’t mention Miles Kwok.

The New York Times has apparently taken this route in the past, having run at least one story about Wang Qishan and his allegedly corrupt and arcane financial holdings that parallels what Miles Kwok had been talking about…but didn’t mention Miles Kwok.

Understandable, perhaps, because one PRC strategy to silence Kwok seems to be a firm and convincing promise that anybody and everybody who mentions Kwok’s allegations are going to get sued.  

So, better part of valor-wise, it’s smarter to run with Miles Kwok’s allegations without being seen to be running with Miles Kwok.  And no cause for the VOA manager with a bulls-eye on his back to breathe easier just because an allegation, with or without a name attached, wasn't in the papers the next day.

In addition, there might be some journalistic omerta going on, since the VOA is a US government-affiliated organization with lots of buddies in the media world.  

Maybe the Broadcasting Board of Governors were able to prevail upon journalists not to take the incendiary step of starting a witchhunt inside VOA until the story was absolutely locked down…and/or the BBG had ample time to clean its own house/prep for the public relations fallout.

This genteel, old school crisis management may not prevail because Steve Bannon has his eyes on China, Voice of America, the BBG…and Miles Kwok.

With Steve Bannon involved, I’d say we might be looking at torches and pitchforks instead of a nice, orderly kangaroo court…and something other than the inspiring story of a noble struggle against insidious Chinese influence that China hawks hope to use as a framing device for their political and policy campaign.


Watch the whole episode by joining Newsbud.  Or you can watch it simply by renting the Vimeo feed for $1.95.  


The a la carte Vimeo offering is a nice feature for cheapskates, tirekickers who want a testdrive before they pay the Newsbud subscription fee, or for people who have a specialized interest in the witchhunt against Chinese influence looming over American politics, media, and academia.




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