The state-funded Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has committed an absolutely jaw-dropping act of journalistic malpractice amid the west’s mad scramble to whip up public hysteria about China.
Daniel Dumbrill, a Canadian video blogger who lives in China and frequently criticizes western narratives about the Chinese government, has posted a series of videos on Twitter which proves the CBC deceitfully edited part of an interview with him to make it appear as though he was saying the exact opposite of what he’d actually said.
In a newly released segment titled “How China uses influencers to squash human rights concerns“, the CBC warns its audience about “westerners living in China with pro-government views” who act as social media “influencers” and were “invited on trips organized and often paid for by the Communist Party.” The CBC then introduces Dumbrill as a “China-based influencer” who makes “videos defending Chinese policy in Xinjiang” that were “often amplified by state media.”
— Daniel Dumbrill (@DanielDumbrill) February 7, 2022
After framing Dumbrill in this way, the CBC then inserted a short, out-of-context clip of Dumbrill saying “If anywhere else in the world was doing the same thing, it would be called a marketing campaign.” After introducing Dumbrill as a pro-China influencer whose work gets amplified by Chinese state media, the sudden insertion of that clip makes it look as though Dumbrill is defending himself and confessing to being part of a Chinese marketing campaign, especially after the video then cuts away and CBC’s Steven D’Souza moves to another subject with a “But China isn’t just using influencers at home…”
A review of the interview footage that video clip was taken from however makes it abundantly clear that Dumbrill was in fact saying the exact opposite of what he was portrayed as saying.
While the CBC only used about three seconds of footage from what Dumbrill says was a 23-minute interview, Dumbrill’s own footage from that interview shows that Dumbrill had explicitly denied being part of any propaganda campaign shortly before his out-of-context “marketing campaign” comment, and that he’d used that phrase to refer not to himself but to the unbalanced way the west has been reacting to Beijing’s attempts to promote its image to the world.
You’ve actually got to watch both clips to fully understand how unconscionable the CBC’s deceitful edit was. Don’t worry, they’re quite short. First watch this clip of the way the CBC framed Dumbrill’s comment:
Now watch this footage posted by Dumbrill. Notice his explicit denial of D’Souza’s accusation that he is part of any campaign and pay attention to the context in which he makes the “marketing campaign” comment:
To see where they pulled the 3.5 second soundbite from, here's the context. The "marketing campaign" reference is at the end. They pulled this by-the-way supporting auxiliary point out of context & painted me as answering as a participant, not an external commentator as stated. pic.twitter.com/o41L49krPU
— Daniel Dumbrill (@DanielDumbrill) February 7, 2022
Dumbrill not only denies being part of any kind of campaign but adds that he doesn’t benefit financially from his video blogging about China and in fact does so at great personal expense. His “marketing campaign” remark is snipped out of a thoughtful, nuanced objection to the way Beijing working to improve its public image gets labeled an “influence campaign”, a rather nefarious-sounding term not typically applied to western cities, provinces and nations who do more or less the same thing. It’s crystal clear that he’s not making that observation in any relation to himself and his work but rather speaking objectively about Beijing’s behavior, entirely separate from the accusation of being a propaganda influencer.
D’Souza knew this. He sat there with the CBC editors and knowingly put together a deceitful propaganda piece falsely framing someone else as admitting to being a government propagandist. All with the funding of Canadian taxpayers.
This is made even more ironic by the fact that the CBC segment is dominated by the analysis of a think tanker from the anti-China narrative management firm Australian Strategic Policy Institute, which D’Souza never bothers to inform CBC’s audience is extensively funded by governments and the military-industrial complex. Dumbrill had even posted footage of the interview where he’s seen telling D’Souza that citing think tanks funded by governments and the arms industry without telling your audience that that’s what you’re doing is journalistic malpractice, which is plainly true. And they went and did exactly that anyway.
A war machine-funded think tanker appearing on a brazenly propagandistic show on western state media to explain the dark mechanics of Chinese propaganda is so twisted it’s actually delicious.
“Do you have any shame about doing exactly what you claim others are doing: pushing state propaganda?” journalist Aaron Maté tweeted at D’Souza in response to Dumbrill’s footage. “If you have any remote interest in journalism, you should have Daniel on — live — and let him respond to your smear job.”
Somehow I doubt that’s going to happen.
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