The WSJ‘s China Real Time section discusses a recent announcement that the government will be cracking down on “fake news”:
According to the People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Communist Party, such a phenomenon “seriously damages the image of news workers, corrodes the credibility and authoritative nature of the news media, is strongly opposed by all sectors of society, and bitterly detested by the people.” Nine government departments will be involved in the crackdown on such activity, the newspaper said.
By extortion, the government was referring to the practice in which people presenting themselves as journalists — real or not — threaten to report negative information on sources unless they pay them. While it didn’t explicitly spell out what it meant by “fake news,” the government has in recent years been cracking down on the dissemination of rumors or thinly sourced reports that it says contribute to social instability.
Late last year, in one particularly high-profile case, a Chinese newspaper journalist confessed to accepting hundreds of thousands of yuan in exchange for producing stories defaming a large construction-equipment maker. (Chinese reporters routinely accept hongbao, or small packets of money, when attending press events.) Meanwhile, deal-cutting among IPO candidates faced with media extortionists — in which many companies pay for advertisement space to avoid negative coverage — is common, according Caixin Magazine.
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You’ve got a nice office here, guv. Shame if anything were to happen to it, y’know?
Here is another reason public unions should not be allowed to collectively bargain with politicians running a local or state government. Union leadership — including those from law enforcement and firefighters — have sent letters out to local businesses demanding they publicly oppose the efforts of Wisconsin’s legislature and governor or face the consequences.
Not only are they suggesting they publicly oppose the fiscal-sanity measures in Wisconsin, they are flat out telling them they will publicly boycott businesses who do not proactively do so. From James Taranto’s opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal yesterday.
In the letter to Wisconsin businessmen, however, we see why so-called collective bargaining is particularly corrupting to the police. Although the letter explicitly threatens only an economic boycott, when it is written on behalf of the police — of those on whom all citizens depend to protect their safety — it invariably raises the prospect of another kind of boycott. Can a businessman who declines this heavy-handed “request” be confident that the police will do their job if he is the victim of a crime — particularly if the crime itself is in retaliation for his refusal to support “the dedicated public employees who serve our communities”?
LauraW clarifies the message here:
We’re the Police and Firefighters Unions.
If you don’t accede to our demand, we’ll put you on The Naughty List. And, um….boycott you. That’s our threat. We’ll boycott you. That’s all.
…did we forget to mention that we are cops and firefighters?
Just checking. Making sure you caught that.
H/T to Jon for the link.