Bloomberg disgraces itself by killing its own story about Chicom corruption and firing its reporter
Covering dictator fortunes is one of the dirtiest and most dangerous jobs in journalism. Along with cartels and terrorists, it's the kind of work that can get a reporter threatened or even killed. It happened to independent journalist Alek Boyd. It happened to Wall Street Journal correspondent Jose de Cordoba. It happened to Forbes Russia editor Paul Klebnikov.
When big corrupt money is at stake, oligarchs get violent. Anyone in the news business who's surprised by this ... shouldn't be in the news business.
Dictators with money to guard do terrible things.
But in none of these cases cited above did the force exerted come from their own news agency's side.
Anyone working at Bloomberg News, the news outfit owned by Democratic moneybags and onetime presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, wouldn't have been so lucky.
Instead of praising the courage of their reporters, as Forbes certainly did, here's the cowardly way Bloomberg dealt with the displeasure of the corrupt dictatorship of China. from NPR.
Six years ago, Bloomberg News killed an investigation into the wealth of Communist Party elites in China, fearful of repercussions by the Chinese government. The company successfully silenced the reporters involved. And it sought to keep the spouse of one of the reporters quiet, too.
In 2012, Forsythe was part of a Bloomberg team behind an award-winning investigation into the accumulation of wealth by China's ruling classes.
Even so, the reporting team pursued the next chapter, focusing on Chinese leaders' ties to the country's richest man, Wang Jianlin. Among those in the reporters' sights: the family of new Chinese President Xi Jinping. The story gained steam throughout 2013.
In emails sent back to Bloomberg's journalists in China seen by Fincher, senior news editors in New York City expressed excitement.
And then: radio silence from headquarters. That story never ran.
"Mike and some of the other reporters and editors who had been working on this story just were asking for answers about ... why was this story killed?" Fincher says.
Instead of standing up for their own reporters - and all the money they spent paying them to do their extremely difficult work over the course of a year -- they decided to cave to China, whose corrupt ruling elites' feelings were hurt by the coverage. And instead of doing just that, they fired their reporter and forced him to sign a non-disclosure agreement -- and told the other press they did no such thing. Worse still, they threatened their reporter's wife, who was also a reporter, but not for Bloomberg, something they had no business doing, butr in some amazing meddling, did, apparently to make someone happy.
The New York Post has an excellent editorial here.
They did it for the money. Money was more important than journalism to Bloomberg's leadership, the very people Democratic Party former presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg hired his campaign team from. Nothing, it seems, was more important than money, not even journalistic values, or, to put it in market terms, their brand and its reputation for integrity.
China knew this and unlike Russia or Venezuela, knew it didn't have to send out the thugs to get the spotlight off from it. It had a cutsey little pawn in Michael Bloomberg who would willingly do the wet ops for them, even at the cost of the brand he built.
This is the guy who pretty much finances the Democrats these days, and who might have become their nominee.
What a total disgrace. It's all part and parcel of the Bloomberg style of doing business and running things - money first, integrity only for show.