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Would CNN apply the same principle to their news coverage on both US and Chinese cops?

By Shu Hua (People's Daily Online)    16:16, February 21, 2021

Side-by-side photos show the NYPD officers arresting a suspect in New York on Feb. 16, 2021 (L) and protesters hurling petrol bombs at police in Hong Kong on Aug. 25, 2019.

On Feb. 16, a New York Police Department (NYPD) officer was filmed repeatedly punching a 50-year-old suspect in the head as he was pinned down on the ground by three other officers at the South Ferry subway station in New York City.

The bystander filming the video was heard saying “Oh my God” as additional officers with police dogs arrived at the scene to keep other pedestrians away from the scuffle. After being posted online this past Thursday, the clip was soon widely shared across social media, with many accusing the NYPD of engaging in police brutality.

CNN reported on the news story amid the uproar, pointing out that since it “has not reviewed an unedited copy of the video”, there was “no indication of what happened before the video began or during edited portions”.

“These cops were doing exactly what was asked of them: enforcing the transit system rules,” NYC Police Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch was quoted by CNN as saying.

It is good to see that CNN is attempting to adopt an objective and fair position in reporting on US police enforcement, using multiple sources and avoiding an undue overreliance on out-of-context fragments of information.

Unfortunately, this journalistic principle seems to enjoy short shrift when applied to the counterparts of American law enforcement in China.

During an illegal protest in Hong Kong on Aug. 25, 2019, CNN released a story headlined “Police Use Petrol Bombs and Water Cannons Against Hong Kong Protesters,” along with a widely circulated video, blaming HK police for their actions against protesters.

It turned out that the video was not only comprised of out-of-context fragments, but was nothing more than a clumsily devised patchwork -- the petrol bombs, as revealed in an original video clip, were hurled by the protesters instead of the police.

Such erroneous news coverage is not rare in CNN’s reporting on China, including on issues such as Hong Kong and Xinjiang. CNN, which flaunts that it is “working hard” to ensure that its reporting is “fair and balanced”, has apparently deviated from its principles, which epitomizes the media outlet’s naked double standards and hypocrisy.

Respecting the truth in news reporting should be applied beyond the border. One can only hope that a global news media outlet like CNN could at last drop its ideological bias and take on a genuinely objective and fair attitude toward China, just like what they purport to promise, and much along the same lines as their reporting on US cops. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Zhang Wenjie, Bianji)

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