Kowtow: Disney-Owned ABC Fails to Report Outrage Against NBA’s Groveling to China

Listen to the Article!

ABC’s World News Tonight was the only broadcast network evening newscast to completely ignore the sweeping and bipartisan outrage against the NBA for their kowtow to communist China’s totalitarian censorship policies. That news blackout came after their Good Morning America segment which boosted Chinese outrage at Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey for daring to support pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. Of course, ABC is own by Disney, who routinely submits themselves to China’s censorship.

“Now to trouble brewing for the NBA this morning. The general manager of the Houston Rockets upsetting China with his tweet supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. Now Chinese businesses are pulling support for the team,” announced GMA co-anchor Robin Roberts Monday morning.

Anchor and correspondent Paula Faris seemed to side with China as she touted their financial influence and elevated the backlash coming from the communist regime and their lackeys in the NBA (click “expand”):

FARIS: China, where the NBA is the number one sports league, reacted swiftly putting intense pressure on the Rockets. The Chinese Basketball Association run by former Rocket Yao Ming announced it would suspend all cooperation with the Houston team. China's consulate general also asking the Rockets to “clarify and immediately correct the mistake.”

The Rockets quickly distancing themselves from Morey's sentiment. The team's owner tweeting, “D. Morey does not speak for the Houston Rockets.” Star player James Harden even weighing in.

JAMES HARDEN: We love China. We love playing there and we appreciate the support they gave us.

FARIS: The NBA is big business in China with at least 25 marketing partnerships and more than 200 NBA-style stores. The owner of the Brooklyn Nets Joseph Tsai is also the co-founder of Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce platform. He weighed in saying that Morey's words will take a long time to repair.

After sharing Morey’s ridiculous apology to the repressive Chinese government, she shared NBA’s public apology. “And the NBA putting out a statement this morning saying, ‘Morey's comments have deeply offended our fans in China which is regrettable,’” she read.

Meanwhile, CBS and NBC noted the groundswell of bipartisan, American condemnation of the NBA for cowering to the Chinese dictatorship. On the CBS Evening News, correspondent Jim Axelrod quipped that the situation made “strange bed fellows” out of Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R) and former Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D). “Normally you can't even get those two to agree on what color the sky is,” he joked.

 

 

“It’s un-American to gag people when they’re speaking out on behalf of freedom,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a soundbite on NBC Nightly News.

It’s easy to understand why ABC would side with China. With the arrival of Disney+ in November, they’re likely unwilling to anger the government which controls internet access for billions. As The Hollywood Reporter published back in April, “[Disney CEO] Bob Iger has been building relationships in the Middle Kingdom for years (…) but cracking the world's second-largest VOD market could require big concessions.”

The article also notes that Netflix abandoned trying to get “regulatory approval” from the Chinese government and their original content couldn’t pass their censorship guidelines.

As of Monday, China has been cracking down on a recent episode of Comedy Central’s South Park for taking a buzz saw to China and their American corporate appeasers for subjugating themselves to censorship. The entire show has now been “scrubbed” from the Chinese internet, proving the show’s point. The episode also took a direct shot at Disney by showing Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters on a mission to appease the communists.

“The episode comes as Chinese censorship rules and heightened tension from Hong Kong protests have made it harder for America's entertainment giants like Disney to navigate the politics of the region,” Vice wrote.

They also reported that Disney was already on the receiving end of a China/Hong Kong controversy: “Disney's live-action Mulan remake, for example, became the center of a bitter controversy in August when lead actress Crystal Liu Yifei posted a statement supporting Hong Kong's military on Weibo.”

Unlike the cowards in the NBA, South Park plans to continue ripping into China and their enablers in the United States, releasing their own blistering non-apology on Twitter:

Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts. We too love money more than freedom and democracy. Xi doesn’t look just like Winnie the Pooh at all. Tune into our 300th episode this Wednesday at 10! Long live the Great Communist Party of China! May this autumn’s sorghum harvest be bountiful! We good now China?

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

ABC’s Good Morning America
October 7, 2019
7:10:35 a.m. Eastern

ROBIN ROBERTS: Now to trouble brewing for the NBA this morning. The general manager of the Houston Rockets upsetting China with his tweet supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. Now Chinese businesses are pulling support for the team. Paula Faris is here with that story. Good morning, Paula.

PAULA FARIS: Good morning Robin. The NBA is incredibly popular in China. And a whole lot of that has to do with Yao Ming who played his entire NBA career with the Houston Rockets. Ming is not happy and the Chinese Basketball Association, which he now runs, has ended its association with the team.

[Cuts to video]

This morning, Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets setting off a firestorm with this now-deleted tweet, “fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.” That tweet referring to the massive protests against Beijing in the former British colony.

China, where the NBA is the number one sports league, reacted swiftly putting intense pressure on the Rockets. The Chinese Basketball Association run by former Rocket Yao Ming announced it would suspend all cooperation with the Houston team. China's consulate general also asking the Rockets to “clarify and immediately correct the mistake.”

The Rockets quickly distancing themselves from Morey's sentiment. The team's owner tweeting, “D. Morey does not speak for the Houston Rockets.” Star player James Harden even weighing in.

JAMES HARDEN: We love China. We love playing there and we appreciate the support they gave us.

FARIS: The NBA is big business in China with at least 25 marketing partnerships and more than 200 NBA-style stores. The owner of the Brooklyn Nets Joseph Tsai is also the co-founder of Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce platform. He weighed in saying that Morey's words will take a long time to repair.

Overnight Morey apologizing, writing, “I did not intend my tweet to cause any offense to Rockets fans and friends of mine in China. I was merely voicing one thought, based on one interpretation, of one complicated event. I have had a lot of opportunity since that tweet to hear and consider other perspectives.”

[Cuts to video]

And the NBA putting out a statement this morning saying, “Morey's comments have deeply offended our fans in China which is regrettable.” But this all comes at a tricky time because the NBA, they are in Asia this week. You have four teams playing including the Lakers and Nets, LeBron James playing Thursday and Saturday. So tricky. One tweet but a mountain of fallout guys.

ROBERTS: That's true. Thanks, Paula.

NB Daily Censorship Foreign Policy Asia China Bias by Omission Corporate Liberalism Broadcast Television ABC Good Morning America World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Paula Faris Robin Roberts

Sponsored Links