Hong Kong’s Phoenix TV Acts As Chinese Regime’s Mouthpiece
Phoenix Television (PTV) of Hong Kong aired a long program defaming Falun Gong on March 4, former PTV News Director Mr. Pang Zhong said in an Epoch Times interview. “Chinese Central Television (CCTV) has been boycotted by people for telling lies,” Zhong said. “Now Phoenix TV wants to follow suit. It is facing the same boycott from people both inside and outside the mainland.”
Mr. Pang worked at PTV from 1996 to 2002. According to him, all PTV programs defaming Falun Gong were directly related to the Chinese regime’s “610 Office”—a Gestapo-style organization dedicated to the persecution of Falun Gong.
PTV’s owner has a background in the regime’s military and state security departments. Pang believes the program broadcast this time to be no different to similar programs broadcast in the past –a program aired as a direct result of an order from the Chinese communist regime.
The PTV program features quotes by “overseas scholars” of which no one has ever heard, and so-called “mainland Christian representatives;” these people all repeat the same propaganda phrases used by the regime in its persecution of Falun Gong since 1999. All of the claims made in the show have been refuted and shown to be factually inaccurate; however, the Chinese regime still repeats these claims about the practice and the practitioners of Falun Gong, seeking to stir emotions rather than appeal to reason.
Renowned China expert Mr. Wu Fan commented on the PTV program: “Although the program is quite long and makes many claims, it is just repeating all the old lies, offering nothing substantial.”
PTV’s pretends to be independent of the Mainland
The Editor-in-Chief of Hong Kong’s Trend Magazine, Mr. Zhang Weiguo, discussed why the communist regime brought back the propaganda campaign against Falun Gong, which had almost disappeared from mainland media for a while.
According to Zhang, the regime is facing tremendous economic and political pressure; the conflict between the government and ordinary people is very serious. 2009 has already been a year filled with all sorts of crises for the regime. To deflect attention away from its economic and social policy failures, the regime has decided to crank up the campaign of hatred against Falun Gong.
It is possible that this move reflects conflict between different factions within the government, as was the case in 1999, when the Jiang faction initiated the persecution in an effort to seize political power, against the wishes of much of the CCP’s top tier of officials, .
Zhang commented that the overseas media knows very well that PTV is the regime-funded mouthpiece in Hong Kong, but average people in mainland China and Hong Kong may not be clear about the fact. “In order to achieve the regime’s propaganda effect, PTV may act much more open and free compared to mainland media in normal times,” Zhang said, but when the regime needed to make a statement that would not be believed if it came from CCTV, “PTV follows the regime’s orders in such crucial moments, to speak the words the regime wants to say.” [Please see these related articles: Coming to Canada: China Spy TV?; Is TV Network Implicated in Spying?; Controversial Chinese TV Seeks Spot in Canada]
Zhang added that this information would then quoted by mainland media as a “foreign source,” to try to fool the mainland audience. This method is sometimes more effective than issuing the same statement directly from the regime’s official media, which has no credibility in the eyes of the mainland audience.
Zhang believe that recently, the international community has been paying more and more attention to the Falun Gong issue; especially, the success of the Divine Performing Arts global tour that has moved many notable people in the upper classes of various countries to express their appreciation. Also, this February marked 50 million Chinese people quitting the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliated organizations. Taken together, all these things have deeply frightened the Chinese regime.
Zhang described the PVT program as, “a desperate act, trotting out the lies that have been repeated many times before; as the old Chinese saying goes, ‘the Guizhou donkey has exhausted its tricks’. It is a sign of its end.”
Advice from PTV’s former news director
Mr. Pang mentioned that during the persecution of Falun Gong, one PTV host had deeply impressed other station employees by choosing to quit the job, rather than yield to the pressure to cooperate on a program defaming Falun Gong.
Pang said much of the PTV staff knows Falun Gong well, including some high-level people; many have read the Falun Gong books and condemn the persecution privately.
Pang also appealed to all PTV program hosts and related staff, not to act against their own consciences by going along with PTV’s propaganda broadcasts. To support the regime’s hate-mongering would be irresponsible to themselves and to their audience. Pang hoped more PTV employees and more people across society would stand up to resist the regime’s pressure.