The Washington Post seems to be changing its narrative surrounding the Chinese Communist Party-run TikTok mere weeks after it criticized political action against the social media app.
As MRC NewsBusters reported, the leftist rag conducted an exclusive interview on Feb. 15 where it appeared to cast doubt on assertions by TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, who suggested the Chinese-owned company does not pose a threat to national security, as was claimed by a bipartisan group of congressional lawmakers.
This write-up appeared to contradict prior reporting when the Post appeared to defend TikTok after various universities decided to prohibit the app from their wifi networks. Posting a piece titled, “As states ban TikTok on government devices, evidence of harm is thin,” the Post pondered if these legal attempts could be simply explained as “political grandstanding.”
As the outlet wrote, “Blocking taxpayer-funded workers from accessing entertainment apps is the kind of rote, bureaucratic micro-decision that information-technology staff often perform without gubernatorial involvement.”
NewsBusters noted that the Post’s seemingly different opinion on the Chinese social media app came after Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) appeared on ABC Sunday’s “This Week,” proclaiming that a ban on TikTok “should be looked at.”
As he spoke before Congress to defend TikTok’s continued existence in the United States, Shou Zi Chew reportedly said, “There are more than 100 million voices in this country, and I think it’ll be a real shame if our users around the world are not able to hear them anymore,” before asking, “We have to have tough conversations on: Who is using it now? What kind of value does it bring to them? What does it mean if we just, like, rip it out of their hands?”
Chew added that he does not take the conversation surrounding TikTok’s potential ban lightly.
The Post drew attention last month after it began firing staffers over reported declines in readership and ad revenue.
Employees of the Jeff Bezos-owned company were very upset upon hearing the news, as was seen at a December town hall meeting in which CEO Fred Ryan announced the incoming layoffs. Ryan then fled from the jeering crowd.
One employee called out to Ryan that he should be answering his staff’s questions “because we’re a news organization that values transparency…” only to be cut off before the CEO walked out the door.
Today, we came into WaPo’s so-called town hall with questions about recent layoffs and the future of the company.
Our publisher dropped a bombshell on us by announcing more layoffs and then walking out, refusing to answer any of our questions. pic.twitter.com/ajNZsZKOBr
— Washington Post Guild (@PostGuild) December 14, 2022