Tom Brokaw was scheduled to appear on Chinese Communist Television last night; he was supposed to discuss “his insights on the major changes in China over the past four decades, the challenges that lie ahead for the country and how the United States should deal with China’s role as an emerging global power.”
As Daniel Halper of The Weekly Standard points out, “Brokaw, a once trusted newsman, will without a doubt lend legitimacy to the Chinese television network’s budding presence in America.” But in truth, this is nothing new. The Russian government already sponsors RT – Russia Today, which features far-left American commentators like Thom Hartmann and Russian-born Alyona Minkovski. And, of course, there’s Al-Jazeera.
Foreign governments sponsoring Western television channels isn’t a problem so long as people know what they’re watching, and remember to take everything with a grain of salt. In order for media to truly be free, it should be free of government subsidization.