In recent weeks, The New York Times has featured multiple stories about Chinese dictator Xi Jinping’s attempts to secure his place among his nation’s most historic figures.
In one example, from November, a Times’ headline noted, “To Steer China’s Future, Xi Is Rewriting Its Past.” To add context to his efforts, the piece quoted Xi, who once observed, “To destroy a country, you must first eradicate its history.”
The irony of using that quote is obviously lost on people who peddle “The 1619 Project” as legit history. Still, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio wonders if the Times is repeating its own sordid history in covering up communist atrocities.
Earlier this week, the Florida Republican wrote a letter to Times Publisher A.G. Sulzberger, warning of “yet another historic stain on the New York Times’ record,” if what Rubio claims is found to be true.
Rubio asserts that the Times has 403 pages of documents detailing Xi’s role in the “ongoing genocide” of Uyghur Muslims in China, but refuses to report on them for political reasons.
“As you are aware, your paper has a long history of covering up brutal atrocities,” Rubio wrote. He referenced the work of former Times correspondent Walter Duranty, who won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on the Soviet Union in the 1930s, but failed to share how Josef Stalin purposefully starved millions of people living in Ukraine.
“It seems that history is repeating itself,” Rubio said in the letter.
He maintained that since 2019 the Times has possessed, but for “unknown reasons” withheld, documents that tie Xi and other top Chinese Communist Party officials to the brutalization of the Uyghurs.
The documents reportedly outline how Xi “explicitly authorized” rewriting counterterrorism laws, rounding up and sentencing Uyghurs to prisons, mandating forced sterilization, and using slave labor in Xinjiang.
“More than 100 years ago, the New York Times promised, ‘to give the news impartially, without fear or favor, regardless of party, sect, or interests involved,’” Rubio points out. “The paper has failed that test by covering up Xi’s direct involvement in the genocide.”
The senator added that he was under “no illusion” that Sulzberger would launch an internal investigation to hold accountable those who “carried water” for Xi.
Yet, he added, “America and those Uyghurs unjustly suffering in prison and slave labor camps in Xinjiang deserve answers.”
Rubio submitted a few questions he wanted to be answered.
They included identifying who decided not to release the documents that “someone risked their life to obtain” in order save people’s lives in Xinjiang, and answering why the Times “misleadingly” characterized Xi’s policy as counterterrorism instead of actual genocide, as the documents purport to show.
Rubio also wanted to know if the Times communicated with the CCP about the ream of documents, and if so, cut a deal to keep the contents quiet.
“For a newspaper that spent four years suggesting the duly elected leader of the free world was a Russian agent hell-bent on destroying America, the protection of a brutal dictator ordering genocide is simply astounding,” Rubio added.
“It looks as though the New York Times covered up proof that Xi sanctioned the total destruction of a people. No words of apology will erase your paper’s complicity in the ongoing genocide, but at the very least, you should end the censorship of your reporters and allow the full details to come out impartially, without fear or favor.”
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