CNN Caught Promoting Press Release From the Chinese Military

CNN caught publishing Chinese military propaganda

CNN published a report Monday from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) boasting about how China’s Navy is doing a much better job containing the coronavirus than America.

The propaganda piece came from China’s English PLA website, CNN admitted. The network wrote that the Chinese Navy “has done a much better job controlling coronavirus than the US Navy,” according to the PLA.

Large parts of CNN’s story are very similar to the PLA’s military press release.

CNN’s article closely mimicked PLA’s report. (Screenshot CNN, https://edition.cnn.com/world/live-news/coronavirus-pandemic-04-13-20/h_56789fcd84e51ac3bc5f96a325cfdb72)
CNN’s article is almost the same as PLA’s report, which is cited by the network. (Screenshot China Mil, PLA, http://english.chinamil.com.cn/view/2020-04/12/content_9789946.htm)

Dailycaller.com reports: “The report said that the Chinese carrier was carrying out this operation while four US Navy aircraft carriers — the USS Theodore Roosevelt, the USS Ronald Reagan, the USS Carl Vinson and the USS Nimitz — have reported cases of coronavirus, crimping their operations,” CNN wrote.

This was also noted in PLA’s write-up, as CNN noted in their blurb.

Many parts of CNN’s article were similar to PLA’s release. (Screenshot CNN, https://edition.cnn.com/world/live-news/coronavirus-pandemic-04-13-20/h_56789fcd84e51ac3bc5f96a325cfdb72)
PLA’s notice for comparison to CNN’s, shown above. (Screenshot China Mil, PLA, http://english.chinamil.com.cn/view/2020-04/12/content_9789946.htm)

The CNN article even quoted part of PLA’s notice touting their job in preventing the virus.

“‘Through the voyage, the Liaoning showed that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has done a great job in the epidemic prevention and control work and COVID-19 epidemic has not had an impact on its deployment and operations,’” the story says, citing Xu Guangyu, a senior adviser to the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association,” CNN wrote.

“‘It showed that the PLA can dispatch troops stationed anywhere at any time, with the troops always maintaining vigorous combat capabilities. The Chinese people can always count on them,’ Xu is quoted as saying.”

A CNN spokesperson dismissed concern the outlet was simply repeating propaganda from China’s PLA, calling the post on the site a “single update from our international site’s 24-7 Live Story.”

“[The story] explicitly states the sourcing as a PLA story and identifies the Global Times as ‘a state-run tabloid.’ That transparency is key as a global news source serving a global audience,” CNN’s Vice President of Communications Matt Dornic told the Daily Caller.

CNN’s write-up comes at a time of mounting distrust in China regarding the novel coronavirus. Legacy media has also come under scrutiny for repeating Chinese propaganda amid the pandemic.