Bozell to NBC: Don't Whitewash Chinese Human Rights Abuses During Olympics

February 2nd, 2022 3:45 PM

Media Research Center President Brent Bozell on Wednesday wrote letters calling on NBC News and NBC Sports to unflinchingly “devote significant on-air reporting to telling the truth” about Communist China’s genocide against Uyghur Muslims, as well as the country’s “egregious response” to COVID-19 and other outrages. 

Bozell declared, “The CCP oppresses and murders the Uyghurs, cracks down on legitimate protests in Hong Kong and silences those who raise justifiable grievances. Although some might prefer to carry on, pretending that nothing is wrong, we cannot.” 

One of the letters is to NBC President Noah Oppenheim, who in January insisted that the network is “ferociously defending the idea” of being “objective and nonpartisan.”  

Here is the letter in full. 

Mr. Noah Oppenheim, President, NBC News  

30 Rockefeller Plaza 

New York, N.Y. 10112 

Dear NBC News, 

Every four years, the Winter Olympic Games are supposed to unite the world and  showcase every nation's athleticism. This year is different. China is hosting the Winter Olympics after unleashing COVID-19 on the world. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) botched the  handling of the virus, refused to be transparent, and created fierce propaganda.  

The CCP oppresses and murders the Uyghurs, cracks down on legitimate protests in  Hong Kong and silences those who raise justifiable grievances. Although some might prefer to  carry on, pretending that nothing is wrong, we cannot.  

NBC News and NBC Sports need to devote significant on-air reporting during the  Olympics to telling the truth about the devastation caused by the Chinese Communist Party. The  CCP intends to use the Games as a political showcase to both project strength and to create an  image of itself that is at odds with the ugly truth. Capitulating to their wishes in silence is unacceptable, irresponsible and nothing less than propaganda.  

During the Games, NBC must expose the CCP’s years-long genocide against Uyghur  Muslims. NBC News only did three stories spanning thirteen minutes in the past year covering  the Uyghurs, according to NewsBusters. Compare this to NBC’s 58 stories in a two-week time  period when there was a human rights story involving the American military - the Abu Ghraib  prison scandal. The CCP deserves equal scrutiny. 

China’s egregious response to COVID-19 must be covered. The CCP rejected efforts by  the World Health Organization to investigate the origins of the virus, making it more difficult for  scientists to learn its true origins, how to fight it, and how to prevent another global pandemic.  

The CCP then went on to repeatedly lie about the number of cases and deaths in their  country, once again stalling the global response. The CCP tried to absurdly blame the U.S. Army  for COVID-19, then blamed other countries instead of taking any responsibility for the pandemic. NBC has a responsibility to tell the truth about the Chinese Communist Party during  their Olympic coverage. 

Another egregious action of the CCP must be addressed. The CCP locked approximately  2 million Uyghurs in forced labor camps. These innocent people, whose only “crime” is their  religious faith, are often forced to undergo sterilization and abortions. Although the world has  been crying out against these atrocities for years, there is no indication the CCP intends to stop.  The U.S. Department of State confirms this assessment and reports that China is "engaged in the  forced assimilation and eventual erasure of a vulnerable ethnic and religious minority group." 

As part of its coverage of China and the Winter Olympics, NBC needs to cover the  oppression in Hong Kong, and report how one of the freest and most prosperous cities in the  world has become a prison state. The CCP enacted a broad National Security Law, which the  Associated Press wrote "stamped out nearly everything the pro-democracy movement had stood  for." Millions of people in Hong Kong protested, but the CCP brutally cracked down and ensured that the light of liberty was extinguished in Hong Kong. In January, Hong Kong's Citizen News,  which had been a beacon of pro-democracy light, announced that it was closing because of CCP oppression. It has been reported that more than 1,100 journalists have been fired in Hong Kong.  

The story of Jimmy Lai shows how the CCP silences any dissenting voices. Lai founded  the innovative Apple Daily newspaper in Hong Kong. After China took over, Lai was sentenced to 13-months in prison for lighting a candle in remembrance of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. In 2020, the Chinese government permanently shuttered Apple Daily after taking over  the company's office and arresting many of its employees. Mr. Lai remains outspoken against  CCP oppression and wrote in a letter, "It is our responsibility as journalists to seek justice."  

NBC also has a moral obligation to press the CCP to come clean about what happened to  tennis star Peng Shuai. Last November, Shuai accused a high-ranking Chinese official of sexual  assault on social media, only to have the post deleted by the CCP minutes later. She immediately  disappeared, and when she was finally allowed to reappear in public, it was carefully staged.  When other women have come forward with similarly horrifying allegations of sexual abuse, the  CCP has similarly censored their claims and made them disappear.  

The Biden Administration made the correct decision not to send a diplomatic corps to this  Olympics. NBC should have boycotted as well, but can make up for it now by covering the  atrocities caused by the CCP. If not, they, like so many others, are capitulating to the Chinese  Communist Party on their censorship demands.  

NBC News and NBC Sports have an obligation to provide full context during the Winter  Olympics precisely because ignoring these events will play into China's hands, and once again  allow the Olympics to be used as a propaganda tool.  

This isn't some moral dilemma. NBC must honestly cover what China is doing and not  pretend that this is a typical Olympics.  


L. Brent Bozell III 

Founder and President