First, the controversial “media” outlet Bloomberg News, widely regarded by critics as a propaganda megaphone for the radical views of billionaire New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, reportedly censored one of its reporters by blocking publication of an article exposing cronyism and corruption among Communist China’s ruling class. Insider sources quoted in news reports said the decision to kill the story was made for “political reasons” — namely, to appease Beijing. Then, last week, award-winning investigative journalist Michael Forsythe, based in Hong Kong, was finally suspended by Bloomberg’s media empire, shattering its credibility among analysts.
The explosive story that Bloomberg refused to run reportedly detailed the myriad hidden links between one of China’s wealthiest crony capitalists and the families of ruthless Communist Party autocrats, who rule the nation with terror and an iron fist. Less than a week after killing Forsythe’s investigative article, Bloomberg bosses also declared another major China story to be off-limits. The second blocked piece, the New York Times reported in a front-page story citing four unnamed Bloomberg employees, focused on the children of senior Communist Chinese tyrants employed by foreign banks.
While most of the public exposure surrounding the Bloomberg scandal has been based on anonymous sources so far, a clearer picture of what happened behind the scenes is slowly starting to emerge. According to media reports, Editor-in-chief Matthew Winkler announced the decision late last month on a conference call, comparing it to self-censorship by news agencies inside National Socialist (Nazi) Germany decades ago. “He said, ‘If we run the story, we’ll be kicked out of China,’ ” one of the Bloomberg employees with knowledge of the scandal was quoted as saying by the Times.
The brutal Communist Party-run regime in Beijing has already retaliated against foreign media organizations in the past, including Bloomberg News, in response to coverage that offended or exposed the autocrats. Of course, Chinese “journalists,” who often double as spies for the autocracy in addition to their regular role as propagandists, are already strictly controlled, too. As reported recently by William F. Jasper for The New American, China’s so-called “journalists” were recently ordered to take new propaganda training as the regime seeks to clamp down even harder on access to information.
A few analysts have suggested that Bloomberg’s decision not to publish the story may have been linked to the company’s lucrative financial-terminal business interests, fearing that angering the regime too much could kill its extremely profitable Chinese operations entirely. When he leaves office in the near future, “Nanny” Bloomberg himself announced plans to visit Chinese rulers in Beijing. The upcoming trip has been highlighted by multiple critics of the media empire’s decision to kill the articles — especially because the Forsythe piece was reportedly set to run around the same time.
However, the primary explanation offered by inside sources, essentially that the firm did not want to have its journalists expelled from China, has also been described as plausible by analysts. The third potential option is that the story was killed to protect the reputation of the barbaric regime. Even though Bloomberg News has exposed several key China stories in the past — including articles highlighting the corrupt enrichment of well-connected Communist Party leaders and cronies — the man behind the media outlet has repeatedly shown affection for oppressive government schemes. At this point, the facts remain unclear.
Apparently under the impression that Forsythe may have revealed the Bloomberg decision to the media, the New York Post reported late last week that the journalist had been placed on unpaid leave. According to the newspaper, the investigative reporter, whose work exposing the Communist Chinese regime’s machinations has earned him several awards, was even escorted out of Bloomberg’s Hong Kong offices on November 14. He reportedly worked on the latest story for almost a year.
The company has refused to comment on Forsythe’s employment status, but sources quoted in the press said he is ultimately expected to be dismissed. Perhaps in response to the devastating news coverage surrounding the scandal, Winkler and other Bloomberg executives have claimed that the Forsythe story was not really “spiked” — claims that have largely been dismissed as misleading at best. Considering the huge amount of attention the saga has attracted, though, analysts say it is certainly possible that Bloomberg may have decided to run the story anyway. “What you have is untrue,” Winkler was quoted as saying in response to the media coverage about the scandal.
Some commentators expect Forsythe’s article to come out no matter what — and that now, it will garner even more interest. “With this story blowing up in the way it has, it seems like only a matter of time before the content of the investigative piece Forsythe was working on gets out anyway, either through Bloomberg growing a spine and just running it, or other outlets following up on the reporting,” wrote Joshua Keating at Slate. “Only now, as a certified ‘story Beijing doesn’t want you to read,’ it’s likely to get a lot more attention than it would have otherwise.”
Analysts and media commentators, of course, lambasted the decision to kill the stories, saying the ham-handed move also killed “all” of the media outlet’s remaining credibility along with the articles. However, while the scandal certainly reflects poorly on Bloomberg and its “journalism,” it also illustrates several important points. Among the key takeaways: establishment “news” coming out of Communist China should generally be regarded as propaganda until proven otherwise. Indeed, the regime in Beijing has developed a reputation as one of the worst autocracies on Earth when it comes to just about everything — but especially free speech, free thought, and a free press.
Critics of the Bloomberg decision also said the scandal showed that media company’s reports should be taken with a grain of salt, too. “As it stands now, any reporting from Bloomberg should be automatically seen as suspect, as the editor-in-chief has admitted that he will appease local governments to keep them happy, and the reporting is expected to reflect that sort of propaganda-happy posture,” noted Techdirt editor Mike Masnick, saying the scandal showed that “yet another major news organization has decided that it no longer needs credibility.” Masnick also blasted the Bloomberg editor’s alleged motivation: Not angering the Chinese regime, which he reportedly compared to appeasing the Nazis.
Of course, the latest scandal is hardly the only reason to be skeptical of Bloomberg “news.” New York City Mayor Bloomberg, the billionaire behind the media machine that shares his name, has a reputation as one of the most autocratic politicians in America. Among other extreme statist activities that contributed to his being ridiculed as “Nanny” Bloomberg and America’s “most dangerous mayor”: Banning large sodas in New York, bankrolling totalitarian-minded politicians, squandering huge sums out of his fortune to assault gun rights across America, and more. He is also regularly criticized as a hypocrite for his fiendish efforts to disarm law-abiding Americans even as he cowers behind legions of heavily armed bodyguards. The Chinese regime, which disarmed the population amid its mass-murder and enslavement programs, also openly loathes the U.S. Second Amendment.
Separately, and perhaps even more alarming, Bloomberg is one of the billionaires at the center of the so-called “Good Club.” Participants in the radical outfit, extremist billionaires, include population-control zealots Bill Gates and Ted Turner, both of whom have either directly or indirectly contributed to and supported the Chinese dictatorship’s gruesome one-child policy, and the resulting forced abortions. CNN founder Turner even said he wants to take the schemes global, while Gates finances organizations that work with the regime to enforce it. Radical statist financier George Soros, who claimed the Communist Chinese regime should lead the “New World Order,” is a “Good Club” participant, too.
Also part of the exclusive club, which reportedly has as its mission reducing the number of humans on the planet, is none other than establishment ringleader David Rockefeller. The founder of multiple infamous organizations dedicated to advancing a deeply controversial agenda, Rockefeller has openly praised Communist Chinese dictator Mao, widely considered the greatest mass-murderer in human history. “The social experiment in China under Chairman Mao's leadership is one of the most important and successful in history,” he opined in a 1973 piece for the New York Times. Tens of millions had already been murdered by then.
Virtually everyone outside of China and North Korea — and probably many of the people in both nations — already understands that the Communist Chinese regime is ruthless in its zeal to suppress the truth. That was no surprise; though with the autocracy’s recent appointment to the dictator-packed United Nations “Human Rights” Council, it appears that most UN member governments do not see a problem with the tyranny and vicious human rights abuses.
Whether the Bloomberg stories exposing China’s communist rulers and the crony-capitalists they enrich will eventually see the light of day remains unclear. What has become even more obvious with the latest scandal, though, is that, despite its occasional hard-hitting investigative pieces, Bloomberg News’ credibility has plunged even further. The only reason Chinese regime’s credibility did not sink along with Bloomberg’s is because it was already at rock bottom.
Photo of the Bloomberg LP Tower, which houses Bloomberg News: AP Images
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is normally based in Europe. He can be reached at
China’s “Journalists” Ordered to Take New Propaganda Training