onsdag 13. mars 2024

New Frontiers in Foreign Propaganda

In its home market, the Discovery Channel has earned a reputation for never letting reality get in the way of a good story. Once home to respected wildlife documentaries and science specials, the network is better known these days for such colorful titles as Naked and Afraid, Deadliest Catch, American Chopper, and, of course, Shark Week. The network’s volte-face from education to entertainment has even become something of a pop culture punchline.

But what Discovery stands accused of with regards to China is no laughing matter. According to a group of US Congressmen, the channel is “whitewashing genocide” against the Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in far-western Xinjiang. In an open letter last month to the president and CEO of parent company Warner Bros. Discovery, six Republican representatives called World’s Ultimate Frontier — a new co-production between Discovery and CGTN, the international division of state-run broadcaster CCTV — “an obvious work of propaganda on the part of a totalitarian, adversary regime.”