The Trump administration ordered a Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-linked media outlet to cease operations within 48 hours after denying its license for failing to disclose its ties to Communist China, the Washington Free Beacon reported last week.
According to the Free Beacon, Phoenix Radio failed to disclose that it was owned by Phoenix TV, a Mandarin-language media outlet that is censored by the CCP and, as The BL reports, run by a former CCP propaganda officer from Shanghai. The failure is grounds for a license to be denied.
The order was issued June 22, which means the station should be shut down by now. The outlet had been headquartered in California but transmitted its broadcasts to Mexico, where they were pumped back across the border to the U.S., according to the Free Beacon.
A Federal Communications Commission (FCC) loophole allowed the broadcasts across the border, The BL reported.
Cruz hails shutdown
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), for his part, has championed the FCC move, calling Phoenix TV “a puppet of the Chinese Communist Party that broadcasts propaganda across the United States” in a statement published last Monday.
“Today’s decision sends an important message to the world that the U.S. will not allow China to exploit FCC loopholes and spread its propaganda over our airwaves,” Cruz added. “More importantly, this decision is a critical step in countering the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to control what Americans see, hear, and ultimately think.”
Cruz introduced the Blocking Evasive Attempts to Manipulate Signals (BEAMS) Act in April to prevent the CCP from using U.S. airwaves to broadcast Chinese propaganda, as Texas Border Business (TBB) reported.
“China is the greatest geopolitical threat facing America and our allies now and through the next century,” Cruz said in a press release on the legislation, according to TBB. “Congress and the administration have a role to play in addressing that threat.”
Trump fights back
The problem of CCP propaganda in the U.S. first came to President Donald Trump’s attention after a Phoenix TV reporter asked him a question during a briefing on the coronavirus outbreak in April.
At the time, Trump grilled the reporter about whether China owned the media company she worked for, but she claimed it was privately owned.
Trump was accused of racism for his questions to the female reporter, but it later came out that the organization was indeed controlled by China.
Since then, Trump has been working to crack down on CCP-controlled media operating inside the U.S. And with Phoenix Radio gone, it seems he just got another win on that front.