By Dennis Etler – From the “cry me a river” files: Foreign journalists have to abide by the laws of the nation they reside in. Many nations have expelled journalists or denied them visas if they transgress established boundaries, particularly if the countries they are from are antagonists. Recently both Latvia and Ukraine have expelled Russian journalists for that reason. I’m sure many other instances can be found, involving the US refusing visas to foreign journalists as well.
It is bittersweet to leave Beijing after spending six wonderful and eye-opening years as a journalist there. In May, China’s Foreign Ministry declined to issue me a new journalist visa. They say this is a process thing, we are not totally clear why.
— Megha Rajagopalan (@meghara) August 22, 2018
One only has to look at the record of foreign journalists in China to understand why they may be scrutinized. During the Tiananmen protests a plethora of false reports based on hearsay were written by foreign journalists stationed in Beijing. These reports, subsequently debunked by reputable journalists, still serve as the basis for the disinformation surrounding the fictitious “Tiananmen Square massacre.”
I’ve read Rajagopalan’s reports about Xinjiang. They are biased, based on hearsay, second-hand reports from dubious sources, stories assembled by Radio Free Asia, a CIA front group, and various separatist spokespeople, in other words a hodge-podge of crude extrapolations from unverifiable and unreliable sources. This is not journalism, but propaganda that gets repeated over and over again until it has the ring of truth. I hate to quote Rudy Giuliani but his oft-quoted and ridiculed statement that “truth isn’t truth” has the ring of truth when it comes to Western reporting from China.