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USA TODAY, CCP TOMORROW: How China Pushes Propaganda Through Our Papers.

The CCP’s China Daily Has Spent Nearly $300K in Ads With USA Today Since October.

Photo for: USA TODAY, CCP TOMORROW: How China Pushes Propaganda Through Our Papers.

Last year, The Drill Down reported on China’s concerted effort to infiltrate America’s airwaves, spreading CCP propaganda on D.C. radio station WCRW AM 1190; they took $4.4 million dollars from China Radio International, forcing Potomac Radio Group to register as a foreign agent.

DD also reported on China’s incredible influence in the social media space, hiring firms to create thousands of fake accounts to spread disinformation about COVID, human rights violations and more —essentially using contractors to craft its image on the international stage.

Now, it seems the Red Giant is going for a hat trick: locking down American newspapers to disseminates disinformation. According to a recent report from the Washington Free Beacon, USA Today, which has an approximate daily readership of 2.6 million, has taken nearly $300,000 in advertising from CCP-sponsored China Daily.

But these aren’t ads in the traditional sense —this is propaganda.

“The USA Today–China Daily partnership comes amid heightened scrutiny over the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to shape Americans’ views of Chinese culture and its domestic and foreign policy,” WFB reports. “Newspapers like the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post ended advertising deals with China Daily because of foreign influence. Human-rights groups have criticized American news companies for publishing China Daily articles that tout the Chinese Communist Party’s policies in Tibet, Hong Kong, and other disputed regions.”

Unfortunately, China takes advantage of the fact that many American newspapers are on the verge of extinction — struggling papers need the dollars. USA Today’s readership fell off a cliff last year, losing 62-percent between 2020 and 2021. China Daily has also targeted other struggling publications, like Time, the Los Angeles Times, and the Financial Times.

According to WFB, American news companies typically republish China Daily articles online or in physical copies of their publications. And while they occasionally mark these stories as “paid content,” they have all the appearances of actual news.

We say “occasionally” because outlets like Time don’t always disclose that what you are reading has been brought to you by Xi Jinping and the CCP.

Can we no longer trust our papers? One look at USA Today’s code of ethics cast doubt on its commitment to the truth: “We will not blur the line between advertising and editorial content. We will provide appropriate disclosures, exercise transparency, and avoid actual or implicit commercial endorsements by our journalists.”

Funny —seems like blurring lines is exactly what you’re doing, USA Today.