There’s something remarkably phony on the front page of every Washington Post proclaiming their motto, “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” A new investigative report from Reuters found that the Post’s owners at Amazon are partners in a propaganda project with Communist China.
Reuters began by revealing that Amazon knuckled under and banned reader reviews on its Chinese website so no one could critique a collection of speeches by Chinese dictator Xi Jinping. This was “part of a deeper, decade-long effort by the company to win favor in Beijing to protect and grow its business in one of the world’s largest marketplaces.”
When it comes to China, democracy dies in dollar signs?
Amazon partnered with China’s propaganda makers to create a selling portal on the company’s U.S. site, Amazon.com, a project that came to be known as China Books. The key operative on this project is Jay Carney, the former press secretary for Barack Obama and Joe Biden who is now the global head of Amazon’s lobbying and public policy operations. To gain access to the Chinese boodle, they’ll put communist propaganda on global display.
According to Chinese government reports, during a 2018 trip to Beijing, Carney promised an alternate member of the Communist Party central committee that Amazon would make “every effort” to promote China Books and make it “bigger and stronger.” Naturally, Carney wouldn’t offer any comment to the Reuters expose.
The books in this project sound ridiculous. Take the paperback titled “Incredible Xinjiang: Stories of Passion and Heritage” by the “Xinhua News Agency Team.” Xinjiang province is where China interns a million ethnic Uyghurs in concentration camps. But the book touts a local online comedy show in Xinjiang where an actor plays a local “country bumpkin” and insists ethnicity is “not a problem” there. This echoes the lying communist denial that there is any mistreatment of minorities.
Then there are books that hail China’s battle against COVID-19, which began in Wuhan. One is titled “Stories of Courage and Determination: Wuhan in Coronavirus Lockdown” by “The Editorial Board.” Reuters reports another book on this pandemic theme begins with commentary from Xi: “Our success to date has once again demonstrated the strengths of CPC (the Communist Party of China) leadership and Chinese socialism.”
The Amazon-owned Internet Movie Database (IMDb.com) also did Beijing’s bidding by removing harsh user comments on the documentary “Amazing China,” which praises the country’s accomplishments since Xi became dictator (“president”) in 2013. The film is still rated low — a 2.3 out of 10 — but archived screenshots showed that some negative reviews disappeared.
In response to Reuters questions, Amazon said it “complies with all applicable laws and regulations, wherever we operate, and China is no exception.” It added, “as a bookseller, we believe that providing access to the written word and diverse perspectives is important. That includes books that some may find objectionable.”
Oh, come on! In America, Amazon has banned the sale of conservative books on the wrong side of the LGBT censors, such as “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment” by Ryan Anderson, but it sells preposterous Communist Chinese propaganda because it proclaims “diverse perspectives” are important.
As we’re about to see in dazzling Technicolor display during the 2022 Olympics, so-called woke corporations will overlook a lot of human rights abuses in China to gain access to its enormous market. Media companies that genuflect to Chinese tyranny should take down their brave mottos or proclamations that they’re warriors for democracy and transparency and resistance … starting with The Washington Post.
Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Tim Graham and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.