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Slate Magazine’s Quid Pro Quo With Chinese Communist Party Exposed

(How Hwee Young/Pool Photo via AP)

It appears that Slate Magazine is one of several media outlets that has hopped into bed with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). A recent report revealed members of the organization’s leadership took trips to China on the Chinese regime’s dime. In exchange, they allegedly agreed to provide “favorable coverage” of the CCP.

The National Pulse uncovered the relationship between the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF), a group linked to the CCP, and Slate Magazine, a far-left publication. The article outlines how deep the collusion goes. Author Natalie Winters reports:

Through Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) filings, The National Pulse has exposed how CUSEF sponsoring private dinners and trips to China for mainstream media journalists in exchange for “favorable coverage.” Documents also reveal that CUSEF has retained Western lobbyists to aid in their quest to “effectively disseminate positive messages to the media, key influencers and opinion leaders, and the general public” regarding the Chinese Communist Party.

Winters continued:

The May 2012 Slate visit included visits with Chinese Communist Party officials, state-run media outlets, state-run universities, and military collaborators such as Huawei.

CUSEF is an organization founded in 2008 ostensibly to foster dialogue between the American and Chinese people. However, the group has been accused of being nothing more than an arm of the CCP’s “United Front,” an initiative designed to promote the regime’s international influence and propaganda efforts. The group sponsors trips to China for journalists, students, politicians, and other important individuals. It also donates to universities and think tanks in the United States.

The group engages in these activities to promote positive perspectives towards the Chinese government. In essence, this group wines and dines people in important positions and persuades them to influence the American public to have favorable opinions of China.

Much of the National Pulse’s article focused on Jacob Weisberg, a former editor of the magazine, and his visits and meeting with key members of the Chinese regime. In a tweet posted while visiting a Chinese company, he wrote: “Our nice minder wants to clarify that the plant’s best workers are Communist Party members.”

In another, he wrote: “Ross Gan of Huawei. Best corporate PR I’ve ever heard. I’d invest. But you can’t. It’s employee owned.”

Winters also notes that Weisberg had written a piece in which he seemed to compliment the Chinese regime for “slowly opening up” to receiving more criticism from its citizens. He wrote:

When I visited China in early 2008, the overall conversation was far more constrained; You had to develop a feeling of trust with someone before he or she would criticize the government, especially in any kind of public setting.

Weisberg continued, noting that during his 2012 visit, “an entire class of journalism students at Peking University shared their objections to the blocking of websites – and their professors seconded the sentiment.”

According to the National Pulse, several other Slate writers have participated in CUSEF trips to China as well. Each has written articles casting the government in a more positive or normalized light.

However, Slate is not the only news outlet whose journalists have been wooed by CUSEF. Indeed, the Pulse noted how the Boston Herald, Vox, The Atlantic, Fox News, Newsweek, The New York Times, and a host of others have had their reporters participate in what CUSEF calls “familiarization trips.” Winters noted, “the criteria for participants included ‘effectiveness and opportunities for favorable coverage.’”

Sounds like quite the quid pro quo, right? A CPP-affiliated organization entices journalists to free trips, dinners, drinks, and other amenities then, said journalists write glowy gushy pieces about how wonderfully China fares under the rulership of its communist government.

But wait, it gets worse.

This is not the only way that China essentially bribes members of America’s establishment media outlets. In November, I wrote about how the CCP paid American media outlets almost $2 million for advertising and printing expenses. The “China Daily,” a publication whose purpose is to push Chinese propaganda internationally, threw millions of dollars at outlets like The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy Magazine, The Washington Post, and a slew of other journalistic organizations.

In return, these outlets published “China Daily’s” articles on their platforms. The majority of these articles are complimentary towards the CCP. In one instance, they published a piece with the headline: “Apple CEO: China Getting Outbreak Under Control.” Other articles are hit pieces on individuals or entities who criticize the Chinese regime.

The WSJ, the Times, and the Post terminated their relationship with “China Daily” after being criticized for helping the regime peddle its propaganda. However, the existence of CUSEF demonstrates that the CPP has other means of enlisting useful American journalists to shape public opinion about the government. China is attempting to subvert America’s dominance in a variety of ways, but one of the least-known methods is their ongoing propaganda campaign.

That American news outlets would be so willing to ally with the communist regime is disturbing, but not surprising. Members of the activist press are not too concerned with helping a totalitarian regime that punishes journalists for publishing dissenting reports as long as they can benefit from it. After all, who said you needed to have principles to be a part of the media?