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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Bloomberg News’ SHAMEFUL SELLOUT to Beijing
The Great Hall of the People state building in Beijing. Shutterstock Post Editorial Board
For shame: Bloomberg News spiked a story on China’s super-rich and their government ties back in 2014 — then forced the reporter to sign a non-disclosure agreement about it and tried threatening his wife into signing another NDA.
At the time, Bloomberg editors, including then-editor-in-chief Matthew Winkler, said the story just needed more investigating. But NPR, which reported the scandal Tuesday, found a recording of Winkler’s remarks to execs and reporters shows that his real concern was a fear that the Communist Party would “kick us out of the country.”
On the tape, Winkler even compares Beijing elites to “Nazis” — but said Bloomberg News didn’t dare “run afoul” of them if it wanted to do business in China, a claim that company founder Mike Bloomberg also echoed in private.
The company threatened to sue its reporter, Mike Forsythe, if he said anything about the spiking — and gave the same warning to his wife, fellow journalist Leta Hong Fincher, who even didn’t work for Bloomberg.
Bloomberg only stopped pressuring Fincher when she hired the same lawyers who’d represented whistleblower Edward Snowden.
This is how the Chinese Communist Party’s Beijing rolls, whether intimidating media or global bureaucracies like the World Health Organization: Cover for its party’s corruption and misrule, or it will make you pay.
Shame on Bloomberg for playing along, but the real monsters are in Beijing.