The 'Ministry of Truth' whispers in our ear:
Propaganda comes in all sizes now, and China wants a piece of Times Square now.
Xinhua, the state-run and state-controlled propaganda agency of the
Chinese Communist Party, has leased
a longterm advertising space in New York's iconic Times Square, where
an LED sign, 60 feet high by 40 feet wide, taking over an outdoor sign
that had been occupied for the last ten years by the HSBC bank.
According to the New York Times, the Xinhua
sign is now underneath a sign for Prudential and above signs for
Samsung, Coca-Cola and Hyundai brands.
The problem is that Xinhua is not a brand, but the mark of branded
disinformation and propaganda. Like the former USSR,
today's China thinks it can fool the Western world with glass
skyscrapers, space flights and glowing Times Square signs.
But the West knows better, and Xinhua is merely flexing its public
relations muscles as it attempts to pull the wool over
more and more gullible eyes in America and Europe.
Xinhua is a news agency? Say that again? The propaganda arm of a
one-party state in an undemocratic land ruled
by fear and paranoia -- and using trumped-up jail terms to keep
dissidents in line -- Xinhua is akin to the old Soviet
propaganda machines of yesteryear that served Russia so well in the
1970s and 80s.
It's one thing for Times Square to open its advertising space to
private brands from across the globe, and surely
Chinese brands like Haier and Levono are welcome to showcase their
logos there. But a news agency that prints
blatant falsehoods and untruths about news inside China and in the
West, and has the unmitigated gall to call its workers "journalists"?
Whoever let Xinhua in to Times Square ought to have their heads
Jeffrey Katz, the chief executive and principal owner of Sherwood
Equities, a commercial real estate firm with properties that include
Times Square in New York, seems to think there's nothing wrong with
pocketing the hefty monthly rental fees from Xinhua.
After all, America has a strict one-China policy and wants to be pals
Why the public relations push in Times Square? Well, for one thing,
Xinhua has introduced a CNN-like 24-hour English-language broadcast
service, China Network Corporation (CNC World), that seeks to reach
millions of gullible viewers around the world, with
state-sanctioned propaganda of the most nefarious and sophisticated kind.
Xinhua is also flexing its propaganda muscles with an English-language
news wire service, hoping to compete with Western news agencies like
The Associated Press and Reuters.
Does anybody not remember Tass, the official disseminator of
government news releases in the former Soviet Union? Xinhua
is just Tass in sheep's clothing. Wake up, America!
Behind the Times Square sign is China's desire to counter what it
calls ''widespread bias against China'' in the Western media,
from CNN to the New York Times. But as the New York Times itself said
in a recent article about the new Xinhua sign in Times Square,
"reports by Xinhua on topics like Taiwan [or] Tibet, which are of
considerable political concern to its government bosses, are not
necessarily known for being objective."
Say that again? Xinhua's bosses are about as ''objective'' as the old Tass
operatives in the former USSR. Xinhua's so bad, it makes Tass look good.
Welcome to Times Square, Xinhua wolves in sheep's clothing. Maybe
you'll learn something about
freedom and democracy while you're there.