Millions of Americans still get most of their news and information from cable TV. Which can be great or terrifying, depending on what they’re watching. And this is amplified for the 4 to 8 million Chinese people in the US. Because most of the Chinese language TV channels they get on cable are controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.
Every major cable company in America carries China Central Television (CCTV). It’s the Communist Party’s main television mouthpiece. In fact, the Chinese Communist Party is investing $8.9 billion into spreading their censorship overseas—buying up newspapers, TV stations, even starting an english-language China Central Television Network.
Turn on your cable box right now, and you’ll see China’s state-run propaganda on your television. And CCTV isn’t the only channel with Chinese propaganda.
Time Warner Cable—the second-largest cable provider in the United States—has seventeen Chinese language channels in its lineup. Sixteen of them are either directly run by the Chinese Communist Party, or run by someone with strong ties to the Party, or whose programming is influenced by the Party in various ways. And only one of them is totally independent. That independent network is New Tang Dynasty Television (NTD). NTD has a 24-hour channel, number 1414 in New York.
NTD is extremely “dangerous” because of its support for subversive programming, like China Uncensored. (This show is sponsored in part by NTD.)
Of course, the vast majority of NTD’s programs are in Chinese. Most of NTD’s founders were Tiananmen Square survivors, Falun Gong practitioners, or others who felt that perhaps the Chinese Communist Party isn’t the most reliable source for information.
Some people have called NTD the “Freedom Channel.” Others have called it “undermining China.” In the sense that freedom undermines China, they’re both right.
That’s especially the case because, in addition to being on cable in the US, NTD also broadcasts directly into China via satellite, where millions of people including Chinese officials have to pretend they don’t watch it. Because like Twitter, Facebook, or Björk, NTD is banned in China.
Time Warner has carried NTD in New York City for more than 10 years. But the current contract expires on June 30, 2016. NTD wants a new contract, but the leaders of Time Warner haven’t agreed yet. If they drop NTD, they would be dropping the only free voice of the Chinese people—and it will disappear from 3 million homes in New York, Los Angeles and Hawaii.
And that’s why NTD needs your help.
Please call Time Warner Cable at 212-364-8300. You should be able to connect to a human within a few minutes, at least during business hours.
Tell them that you heard Time Warner wants to drop New Tang Dynasty TV in New York. Tell them it’s an important channel, and to keep it. And make sure they pass the message on to management.