Acting as vanguard in misinformation war discredits US media

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, July 27, 2021
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While U.S. media tout themselves as defenders of U.S. democracy, their reputation is under siege.

In the 21st annual Edelman Trust Barometer released in January, researchers found that for the first time, less than half of all Americans say they have any trust in U.S. mainstream media, with 56 percent believing that "journalists and reporters are purposely trying to mislead people by saying things they know are false or gross exaggerations."

The fall in U.S. public confidence in the press does not come as surprising. Instead of functioning as providers of accurate information necessary for rational debates, U.S. media have turned themselves into willing accomplices in Washington's misinformation campaign against China.

In the past year and half, the world has been witnessing with astonishment how U.S. media have abandoned their professional ethics and resorted to double standards and fake news to smear China.

In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, The New York Times was criticized widely for its contradictory comments on the lockdown policies of China and other parts of the world.

To combat the spread of COVID-19, the Chinese government imposed a lockdown in the Chinese city of Wuhan and other cities in Hubei Province in the first two months of 2020. The lockdowns have proved to be crucial to China's successful containment of the deadly pathogen at home and were later emulated by other countries in their anti-virus fights.

In its coverage on various countries' prevention and control measures, The Times blatantly showcased its bias against China by claiming that the lockdowns in China "came at great cost for its people's livelihoods and personal liberties," while praising Italy for "risking its economy in an effort to contain Europe's worst coronavirus outbreak."

The U.S. mainstream have also no scruples about processing raw materials of misinformation into eye-popping headlines and peddling those misinformation to the public.

After being ridiculed and debunked for about a whole year, the "lab-leak conspiracy" concerning COVID-19's origin suddenly gained traction over the past months, with all U.S. media reports citing a story by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that quoted dubious sources.

By quoting a so-called "previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence report," the WSJ story hinted at a far-fetched connection between the "sick staff" of a Wuhan lab and the COVID-19 outbreak.

The World Health Organization (WHO) released in March an origin-tracing study report of the China-WHO joint mission, drawing a clear conclusion that lab leak is extremely unlikely. The report, co-authored by more than 30 top global experts in various fields, is widely representative and highly professional.

However, passing through the U.S. government to corporate press, a sinister production line of misinformation has been rumbling recently to mislead the public and demonize China.

"For a leak to occur, the virus must be present in the laboratory already and there would have to be a breakdown of usual regulated laboratory procedures around sample collection and preparation," according to Dominic Dwyer, a member of the WHO team sent to China in January.

"For further spread, the infected worker must transmit the virus to close contacts and through them to the wider community. There is currently no clear evidence that any of these steps have happened," the expert wrote in his opinion for The Guardian.

It was not the first time that the U.S. mainstream media had willingly played a role in the U.S. war of disinformation.

By readily following the White House's old playbook of manipulating media reports to sell its wicked agenda, some U.S. reporters and their employers are endangering not only their careers, but global efforts to fight an unprecedented global health crisis. 

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