mandag 20. april 2020

The U.S. Tried to Teach China a Lesson About the Media. It Backfired.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is better known for yelling at journalists than consoling them. But when Mr. Pompeo got on the phone with the publishers of The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times on March 21, he said he was there to offer help, according to a person with direct knowledge of the call. And he acknowledged that the Trump administration’s latest shot at China had been, if not wrong, poorly timed.

That’s because on March 2 — a month after President Trump banned travel from China, and the day the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States passed 100 — the State Department announced a long-planned expulsion of about 60 employees of five Chinese state media outlets working in the United States.

The U.S. move gave the Communist Party the perfect excuse to get rid of pesky American journalists who had, over the previous two months, offered the world a window into China’s deadly mistakes in responding to the outbreak of the virus. On March 17, China slammed that window shut, announcing the expulsion of reporters for The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and New York Times, and forcing the firing of Chinese nationals who worked for those outlets as well as for Voice of America and CNN.