Rick Scott: Newsweek Needs to Take Action After Contributor Took Money from Chinese Regime

On Monday, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., sent a letter to Newsweek Chief Executive Officer, Dev Pragad, and Global Editor-in-Chief, Nancy Cooper, informing them that one of Newsweek’s Expert Forum contributors, Vipp Jaswal, recently registered as a foreign agent for the Communist Chinese government.

Jaswal received a contract from the Communist Chinese government to promote the 2022 Winter Olympic Games on social media. The games are scheduled to be held in Beijing even while General Secretary Xi is committing genocide in Xinjiang, harassing Taiwan, destroying democracy in Hong Kong and persecuting Tibetans.

In the letter, Scott highlighted Newsweek’s extensive coverage of the human rights abuses of the Chinese Communist Party, and requested that the publication reconsider its relationship with Vipp Jaswal.

The letter is below and Jaswal’s response are below.

Dear Mr. Pragad and Ms. Cooper:

I write to bring your attention to a troubling issue with one of Newsweek’s contributors, Vipp Jaswal, who is a registered foreign agent of the People’s Republic of China. In exchange for an up-front payment of $210,000, Mr. Jaswal has agreed to work with the Chinese Communist Party to identify American social media influencers who will promote the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.

As your publication has reported many times, the Chinese Communist Party is guilty of genocide of Uyghurs living in the Xinjiang province. This human rights atrocity alone should be grounds for the games to be moved to another nation, but sadly, the attacks on democracy and peoples freedoms don’t stop there. Communist China has destroyed democracy in Hong Kong, continues to use its military to harass and intimidate Taiwan and remains engaged in its decades’-long persecution of Tibetans. I am grateful for the significant attention Newsweek has given to these abuses, and willingness to share the voices of critics of the Chinese Communist Party, including my own. We cannot ignore these crimes and should not give a voice to those who help Communist China attempt to whitewash them with the grand spectacle of the 2022 Olympic Games.

Mr. Jaswal presents himself as “The Voice of Outliers and Overcomers.”If that were the case, he would be working to give a platform to the millions of Uyghur Muslims being persecuted by Communist China, or to Taiwan, our great partner in democracy which is under constant pressure by Communist China’s military movements. Instead, he has chosen to join forces with America’s enemy and one of the world’s most evil regimes as it actively commits genocide. In making this decision, Mr. Jaswal has compromised his ability to publish in American media outlets that focus on reporting the truth and exposing abuse.

Because Mr. Jaswal is a contributor to Newsweek’s Expert Forum, I am requesting that you take action in response to his new contract with the Chinese Communist Party. Future decisions to publish or feature content from Mr. Jaswal should be made with consideration given to his affiliation with the Chinese government. Similarly, if such content is published, readers should be informed, through a disclaimer in Mr. Jaswal’s biography that he is shilling for a genocidal regime. Readers should be aware of the affiliations of authors, especially when those individuals are working for an adversarial foreign government.

Thank you for your attention on this important matter, and for your dedication to exposing the regular human rights abuses of General Secretary Xi.

Jaswal responded as follows:

This is not the first time that Senator Rick Scott has made a ‘socks and sandals’ attempt at seeking senseless sensation. One case in point, April 2019 where his allegations on the Maduro administration were declared to be false and misguided too. Furthermore, based on the track record of his many controversies, I find his pretensions of endorsing righteousness quite breathtaking and the arrogance with which he projects his hypocrisies truly entertaining. Nevertheless, with all the challenges facing his state, it’s an honor to be his first order of PR business for 2022.

 

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