MSNBC Parrots Chinese Propaganda Trashing Trump ‘Lunacy’

 MSNBC Parrots Chinese Propaganda Trashing Trump ‘Lunacy’

Appearing on MSNBC Friday afternoon, NBC News chief global affairs correspondent Bill Neely delivered two straight minutes of anti-American Chinese propaganda that accused President Trump of “lunacy,” claimed Washington was in a state of “panic,” and declared that China was “trying to argue from a position of strength that it has its pandemic under control.”

The segment began with co-host Katy Tur fretting: “During this afternoon’s news conference at the White House, President Trump again blamed China for the pandemic and his trade adviser Peter Navarro also spoke out.” After clips played of the President pointing out China’s mishandling of the health crisis and Navarro citing new U.S. intelligence showing Chinese hackers “trying to steal our vaccine information,” Tur pretended as if the criticism was baseless: “So, Bill, is there anything behind these allegations?”

Rather than describe the factual basis for the charges, Neely instead decided repeat ranting from China’s state-run media:

…the coronavirus really is now the central battleground between the U.S. and China….and it’s often at the state media level that you find out what the Chinese are really thinking – a completely different reaction to President Trump’s suggestion of cutting off relations altogether with China. The Global Times, pretty influential newspaper, saying that this is lunacy, something that’s not been heard from any U.S. president. Saying it’s hardly surprising from a president who suggested injecting disinfectant into COVID-19 patients.

Neely then marveled at attempts by the authoritarian regime to offer political analysis of the U.S. presidential election: “But the really interesting point that they make in their editorial is about election strategy in the U.S. They are suggesting that panic is beginning to set in, in Washington, that President Trump will not be re-elected in November. And that the strategy now is to blame China for everything…”

Neely went on to suggest that there was “some justification” for the propaganda and proclaimed that China was preparing “for a long battle, not just obviously over trade, but over the coronavirus itself, in advance of November’s election.”

Before concluding his report, Neely also made sure to tout China’s latest pandemic statistics, as if the numbers were reliable:

China has not reported a single death from coronavirus for a month now. And today only reported four new cases in one cluster. So China definitely trying to argue from a position of strength that it has its pandemic under control. That’s what it says.

Haven’t the media been terrified by the idea of foreign governments waging influence campaigns to impact American elections? Apparently not when China is the culprit.

Here is a transcript of the May 15 segment:

1:45 PM ET

KATY TUR: During this afternoon’s news conference at the White House, President Trump again blamed China for the pandemic and his trade adviser Peter Navarro also spoke out.

DONALD TRUMP: This came from China. It should have been stopped in China, before it got out to the world. We have 186, it’s been updated this morning, 186 countries are affected.

PETER NAVARRO: We signed a trade deal with them, and one of the things was stop stealing our intellectual property. Now we have credible information that the Chinese government is trying to steal our vaccine information.  

TUR: Joining us now from London is NBC News chief global correspondent Bill Neely. So, Bill, is there anything behind these allegations?

BILL NEELY: Yeah, I mean, it’s interesting, Katie, the coronavirus really is now the central battleground between the U.S. and China. And China responding at a state level, really rather diplomatically, not saying very much except asking that America should cut out the cold war rhetoric.

But at a state media level – and it’s often at the state media level that you find out what the Chinese are really thinking – a completely different reaction to President Trump’s suggestion of cutting off relations altogether with China. The Global Times, pretty influential newspaper, saying that this is lunacy, something that’s not been heard from any U.S. president. Saying it’s hardly surprising from a president who suggested injecting disinfectant into COVID-19 patients.

But the really interesting point that they make in their editorial is about election strategy in the U.S. They are suggesting that panic is beginning to set in, in Washington, that President Trump will not be re-elected in November. And that the strategy now is to blame China for everything, that this will just get worse in the months leading up to November. And it’s calling on Chinese people to be prepared for Washington to indeed cut off relations in certain areas, like technology and like the economy.

Now, the interesting thing, as you will know, Katy, is that officials in Washington have been talking in recent days about the position of Chinese companies on the New York Stock Exchange, about removing Chinese companies from the U.S. supply chain, even about limiting Chinese students access to study science in the U.S. So there is, you know, some justification, if you like, for what The Global Times are saying. But they are basically preparing China for a long battle, not just obviously over trade, but over the coronavirus itself, in advance of November’s election.

Just one quick fact also, Katy, that’s interesting. China has not reported a single death from coronavirus for a month now. And today only reported four new cases in one cluster. So China definitely trying to argue from a position of strength that it has its pandemic under control. That’s what it says. Katy?

CHUCK TODD: Bill Neely, thanks very much.