Chipman failed to disclose his 2012 appearance on CGTN, an arm of China’s propaganda machine that was required to register as a foreign agent in 2019
EXCLUSIVE: President Biden’s nominee to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) failed to disclose to the Senate a media appearance on Chinese state TV, which may have been used as propaganda by the communist state to cover up a mass stabbing of children.
Biden’s ATF nominee David Chipman appeared on a Chinese state-run media network, China Global Television Network (CGTN), previously known as CCTN, in December 2012 to discuss the government’s response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, one of the deadliest shootings in U.S. history that killed 28 people and injured two.
CGTN, which reaches 30 million households within the U.S., “is an arm of China’s propaganda machine. It is controlled by the Communist Party and serves as part of what Mr. Xi has called Beijing’s ‘publicity front.’” as described by the New York Times. In 2019, the Department of Justice (DOJ) required CGTN to register as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA.
According to DOJ, in order to protect the U.S. from covert foreign influence, FARA “requires certain agents of foreign principals who are engaged in political activities or other activities specified under the statute” to disclose periodic updates to the department.
On the same day as the Newtown Massacre, there was a mass stabbing of 23 children at a school in China’s Henan Province. As Reuters reported at the time, “On the same day as the Newtown shooting, a crazed man broke into a school building in central China, stabbing and slashing 23 pupils in an attack that, although not fatal, lit up the Internet – but barely registered with official state media.”
The Chinese government reportedly ordered its central propaganda department to “downplay” the Henan attack, including by focusing news coverage on the Newtown Massacre in the U.S
According to China Digital Times, a website following social and political developments in China and run by the University of California, “the government’s central propaganda department ordered all official media to downplay the Henan attack.”
In addition, The Tea Leaf Nation online magazine, which analyzes social media in China, found that “particularly vexing to observers was mainstream media’s following evident marching orders to downplay the Chinese tragedy in service of emphasizing the Newtown massacre, followed by local Guangshan government’s unwillingness to cooperate with an increasingly inquisitive press,” according to a report by the Miami Herald.
Chipman did not disclose his 2012 appearance on CGTN in written responses to the Senate’s questions for the record.