Second Open Letter To Global News: A Protest Against Hate Speech

May 19, 2020, Tuesday

Chris Bassett
National Director, Content & Editorial Standards
Global News | Corus Entertainment

Dear Chris,

Thank you for replying to my Open Letter of Complaint of May 4, 2020.

Your letter affirms Global News’s support for Sam Cooper’s portrayal of Canada’s ethnic Chinese people as traitors.

The portrayal, presented in the form of an “investigative news story” on April 30, is a mixture of facts, interviews, allegations, innuendoes, and opinion based on incomplete reporting and a Google-translated Chinese language story.

The result is a sensational and simplistic narrative of Chinese Canadians as tools of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) government amid the increasingly politicised COVID-19 pandemic crisis. According to Mr Cooper, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and its influence arm, the United Front Works Department (UFWD), directed Chinese Canadians to export masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) from Canada to China.

By affirming Mr Cooper’s distorted story, you and Global News are now party to his unbalanced reporting in the following areas:

  1. Failure to include the experiences and views of people who would have tempered his thesis that Chinese Canadians had acted under the direction of the CCP and the UFWD. Mr Cooper failed to mention the spontaneous efforts of civic groups and individuals who, independently of the Chinese state, supplied PPE to their families and friends in Wuhan when they learned about the epidemic. Had he spoken to a wider group, he would have found a more complex story, not the one-dimensional piece that was published.
  2. The use of a flawed translation of a Xinhua Chinese language news story. As you have confirmed, Global News’s sectional headline, “Every overseas Chinese is a warrior”, was translated “as-is from a sub-title within a March 2, 2020, state media report.” This translation is incomplete — and inaccurate, giving the impression that every overseas Chinese potentially serves the CCP. In the original, the Xinhua phrase says, “Every overseas Chinese is a warrior against the pandemic.” It appears Global News had used Google rather than a qualified person to undertake the translation. The use of Google translation for an important story is unprofessional. You now compound that by refusing to correct the error in the story. You have confirmed that Global News is more focused on fear-mongering and sensationalism than it is in conveying the truth. You have violated Global News’s own standards on journalism.
  1. The subplot involving Xun Chuang and the Richmond company, E-Pirate, based on allegations of criminal behaviour — completely unproven — with little relevance to the COVID-19 crisis or PPE-exporting activities.  If Mr Cooper intends to link the UFWD with criminals, the reference to Xun Chuang and E-Pirate is invalid since neither has been charged, much less convicted of any wrongdoing. Did Global News include Xun Chuang and E-Pirate to boost its “Chinese Threat” storyline?
  2. The absence of the expert views of recognised Chinese Canadian leaders or scholars to temper the alarmist story that the CCP is in charge. Beijing is struggling to make inroads due to resistance from Chinese Canadians. Is it Global News’s policy to sell one-sided narratives?

In your letter, you asserted: “At no point in this article or subsequent coverage does it state or imply that all Chinese Canadians are loyal to or controlled by the CCP, nor would we allow such a prejudiced perspective in our reporting.”

You have made a false statement.

No one is saying “all Chinese Canadians”, but it is clear from Mr Cooper’s reporting that he is implying Chinese Canadians cannot be trusted.

The entire point of his article is that Chinese Canadians are a collective security threat to the nation. Without the alarmism, Mr Cooper’s story falls flat. Is Global News boosting its ratings at the expense of Chinese Canadians?

You made a small concession in response to my complaint: the removal of the “master-puppet” imagery from the original story showing a hand pulling the strings of a group of Chinese people. It’s an image of hate and fear, similar to the anti-Semitic images used by the Nazis to show Jews controlling people.

From April 30 to May 15, you broadcast that image of the CCP puppetmaster to the world. For 15 days, Global News distributed a hate image about Chinese Canadians.

When you removed it, you did not apologise for having published hate speech. Instead, you published this bland statement:

“One of the graphics contained in this piece has been updated to more clearly represent the Chinese Communist Party’s broad surveillance and attempted control of parts of the Chinese diaspora”

Your defence of Mr Cooper’s unbalanced reporting has laid out Global News’s biased editorial policy towards Chinese Canadians.

As you intend to persist with this policy, I will speak up against Global News and Mr Cooper.

Lastly, as mentioned, I intend to publish your May 15 letter on my blogsite, www.OnePacificNews.com, today.

Mr Lu Chan has given me his feedback, and others will too once they read it.

I will be writing up a follow-up commentary.
Thank you,

Ng Weng Hoong

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