Well, this is certainly a brilliant strategy on the part of Team Obama to attack Mitt Romney on foreign policy. Two leading figures in the campaign urged people to read the state-run Chinese news service Xinhua in response to criticism leveled by Romney, as Daniel Halper noticed. First up, deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter:
— Stephanie Cutter (@stefcutter) September 14, 2012
Shortly afterward, Team Obama’s rapid-response director wanted to point out “irony”:
— Danny Kanner (@DannyKanner) September 14, 2012
You know what’s really ironic? Campaign officials attacking Romney as clueless by using a news service widely regarded as a disinfomation channel for China’s communist regime. But don’t take my word for it — ask Reporters Without Borders, an NGO that can hardly be described as “conservative.” In 2005, RWB called Xinhua “the world’s biggest propaganda machine … at the heart of censorship and disinformation” in its service to the regime in Beijing:
With more than 8,000 employees and 105 branches worldwide, the official news agency, Xinhua, is at the heart of censorship and disinformation put in place by the communist party. To mark the 56th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, Reporters Without Borders releases a report of an investigation into how this highly unusual news agency operates. …
Although it is more and more regularly cited as a credible source – nearly one third of the news reports on China selected by Google News originate from the agency – Xinhua, the head of which has the rank of minister, is the linchpin of control of the Chinese media.
Successor to the agency, Red China that was founded by Mao Zedong, Xinhua adopted its current name in January 1937. Since October 1949, this state-run news agency has been completely subordinate to the CCP.
The Reporters Without Borders’ report includes accounts from several Xinhua journalists who agreed, on condition of anonymity, to explain how the control imposed by the CCP’s Propaganda Department operates on a daily basis.
With the help of former French journalist on Xinhua, Reporters Without Borders exposes the distortion of facts, hatred for its enemies (particularly the United States and Japan) and its support, through the treatment of international news, for the world’s worst regimes.
It would be analogous to Jimmy Carter’s campaign quoting Pravda and Tass to support his attacks on Ronald Reagan’s perspective on the Soviet Union, had Carter’s campaign had been idiotic enough to do so. Say what you want about Carter, but at least his team knew better than to use communist propaganda machines as credible sources.
Clearly, one side has a pretty good grip on foreign policy, and the other clueless about the major players in the field. Unfortunately for the US, the incumbent side is the latter.