The House Select Committee on China held its first hearing Tuesday night on the rising threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party as its seeks to grow its foreign influence and reach global supremacy. The hearing was extremely bipartisan, but despite that rare example of Congress working together, Disney-owned ABC’s Good Morning America chose to stay in the good graces of the dictatorial and genocidal CCP by ignoring it.
Instead, ABC stuck to stories such as King Charles reportedly evicting Harry and Meghan from their Windsor Castle digs, how Shakira was holding up post-divorce, and pondering eight years since the infamous #OscarsSoWhite uproar.
In contrast, CBS Mornings had a two-minute-and-39-second story that combined the hearing and FBI Director Christopher Wray’s comments on FNC’s Special Report that he agrees with the Department of Energy finding that COVID-19 came from a lab leak.
“FBI Director Christopher Wray is doubling down on the bureau’s theory behind the origins of COVID-19. Wray says a leak from a lab in China is the most likely scenario,” co-host Vladimir Duthiers began, saying Wray made the claims “despite insistence from the White House that there’s no consensus on the cause.”
“It all comes as Congress just held a rare primetime hearing focused on threats from China,” he added.
With January 6 a near-afterthought, correspondent Scott MacFarlane had to find other stories to fill his days, so this fit the bill: “It’s a wave of crises involving China....The spy balloon shot down, worries of an invasion of Taiwan, whether it will provide lethal aid to Russia, and growing probes into whether COVID first leaked out of a Wuhan lab.”
MacFarlane offered up a series of soundbites from the hearing calling out the ruthless nature of the CCP (click “expand”):
CONGRESSMAN MIKE GALLAGHER (R-WI): We may call this a strategic competition, but it’s not a polite tennis match.
MACFARLANE: A newly formed U.S. House Select Committee on China warned the icy relations between the U.S. and China are entering a deeper freeze.
H.R. MCMASTER: What Xi Jinping sees is a fleeting window of opportunity. An opportunity to move while he perceives weakness in the United States.
MACFARLANE: CBS News contributor and former Trump National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster says there are rising fears of China joining Russia in an alliance in the war in Ukraine. [TO MCMASTER] Does that extend the war?
MCMASTER: Yes, it feeds Putin’s ATM. It allows him to continue to fund his war-making machine.
After footnoting the presence of a Code Pink protester defending China, MacFarlane pivoted to the threat posed by Chinese-owned TikTok and how the “bipartisan scrutiny is...growing over TikTok and whether the company’s links to China could make it vulnerable to propaganda.”
Going to another hearing soundbite, former Trump official and former Wall Street Journal writer Matthew Pottinger said the app “gives the Chinese Communist Party the ability to manipulate our social discourse or to amplify what tens of millions of Americans see.”
MacFarlane rounded out the piece with a Wray soundbite reemphasizing the FBI’s support for the lab leak theory as well as the White House’s attempt to put a lid on this theory gaining footing.
NBC’s Today had two segments for a total of six minutes and six seconds. Fill-in co-host Sheinelle Jones also led with Wray’s comments before going to the “bipartisan congressional committee set[ting] its sights on what they call China’s threat to U.S. national security.”
Senior Capitol Hill correspondent Garrett Haake focused heavily on Wray’s FNC interview and made sure to defend Team Biden by arguing a natural jump to humans “had been the mainstream scientific consensus for much of the pandemic” (click “expand”):
Those comments in a rare interview by Director Chris Wray are only adding fuel to this growing debate over where the COVID-19 virus, which has killed more than 1.1 million Americans and counting, actually originated, and now Congress is demanding answers. A blunt new assessment from the head of the FBI about the origins of COVID-19, deepening the debate this morning over what triggered the global pandemic.
The FBI’s agents, analysts, and bio-threat experts assessing that a lab in Wuhan China was the virus’s likely source. The Chinese government denies that, but FBI Director Chris Wray says they tried to hide evidence from the world.
Wray’s comments coming days after news broke that the U.S. Department of Energy also concluded with low confidence that the virus, which has killed more than 1.1 million Americans, had likely originated from a laboratory leak and described it as an accident. Other U.S. agencies believe it occurred naturally, a view which had been the mainstream scientific consensus for much of the pandemic.
Shifting to the hearing, Haake said he spoke with Gallagher, who “hopes [the committee’s] work serves as a national wake-up call.”
For the second segment, however, co-host Craig Melvin brought in the former Obama CIA Director John Brennan to talk about China’s surveillance state, which was ironic given Brennan too spied on innocent Americans against their will.
Brennan offered one mealy-mouthed, White House-like statement after another, ranging from the state of the original investigation being “a hung jury” to fretting how “the Chinese are making it very difficult for us to know with any type of certainty how the virus started” to China’s threat to the U.S. being “multidimensional.”
“It’s clear that China is not in the mood to cooperate on a number of issues and is being rather provocative, in terms of — whether it be intelligence collection activities or — as well as refusing to cooperate on things as important as the pandemic...I think the challenge is going to be a long-term one with China,” he said.
ABC’s refusal to upset future Disney business partners in the Chinese Communist Party was made possible thanks to advertisers such as Ashley HomeStore and Ensure. Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.
To see the relevant transcripts from March 1, click here (for CBS) and here (for NBC).