The majority of the mainstream media ignored a China-based news outlet’s ties to the Chinese government, which had seated a reporter in a recent White House press briefing. Phoenix TV, based in Hong Kong, avoided media criticism after Trump criticized their reporter’s questions in the press briefing.
The Phoenix TV reporter asked President Donald Trump whether he was willing to work with China, to which Trump responded, “Who are you with?” She also made the claim, when pressed by Trump, that her employer is “a privately-owned company” based in Hong Kong.
Republican lawmakers blasted the White House Correspondents’ Association for permitting Phoenix TV access to White House briefings due to the potential propaganda angle for the Chinese government. The WHCA said that Phoenix TV has press credentials and is a part of its rotating schedule of seating reporters in White House press briefings.
Right-leaning media outlets, such as Fox News, Daily Signal, and National Review, reported on Phoenix TV’s attendance at the White House briefing. ABC News, CBS News, CNN, and NBC News ignored the outlet’s government ties and did not report on the spat between Trump and the outlet’s reporter.
Phoenix TV is based in Hong Kong, China, but has ties to the Chinese government. A former Chinese military official owns the outlet, and a former news director noted that the outlet does not report positive news about the United States. Other organizations warned about Phoenix TV’s ties, such as the Hoover Institution and Freedom House. Hoover considered Phoenix TV to be a “quasi-official” broadcaster with ties to the Chinese Ministry of State Security. Freedom House, in 2017, said that the outlet produces “typically favorable” coverage of the Chinese government.
The media failed to outline potential issues with Phoenix TV’s attendance at a White House press briefing, considering that it could use the public platform to promote Chinese government propaganda. Instead, the majority of the mainstream media (sans Fox News) ignored the outlet’s ties to the Chinese government and continued on as if nothing had happened. It was a serious national security concern, but the majority of the mainstream media chose not to report on it.