There’s a joke in right-wing circles that you’ve probably seen: However much you hate the media, it isn’t enough. Usually, this joke is the caption of some newly egregious example of media malfeasance—another ridiculous transgender story or “Republicans pounce” headline.
But surely the Washington Post headline of September 28 should win some sort of award. In the wake of the Trump-less GOP debate, a story by Philip Bump featured this title: “The rise of ‘Chinese Communist Party’ as a pejorative.” The Chinese Communist Party—CCP—is in fact its actual name, not a pejorative. But according to Bump, using this factually correct title is a slur.
Ron DeSantis, says Bump, scarcely used the word “woke” at the GOP debate—but “he did use another pejorative term: ‘CCP,’ referring to the Chinese Communist Party. At another point, he referred to his opposition to ‘communist China.’ DeSantis has mentioned ‘CCP’ or Chinese communism six times since the beginning of August — and numerous times before that.”
It is difficult to see Bump’s point here. China is a geopolitical foe run by a Communist government—the CCP—which is currently perpetrating a genocide against the Uyghur Muslims. But Bump claims that using their…real name…is some sort of right-wing propaganda move: “Criticizing China’s communism is by no means new in American politics, of course. But this phrasing, the ‘CCP’ iteration of that criticism, seems to be in vogue at the moment. How did that happen?”
I’m not sure what Bump means by “in vogue,” but “the CCP” has had the same name since 1921. Bump then implies that this seems to be some sort of right-wing conspiracy theory, since “close-captioning collected by the Internet Archive shows that the use of ‘Chinese Communist Party’ or ‘CCP’ has been far more common on Fox News and Fox Business than on CNN and MSNCBC,” which makes sense since left-leaning media are notorious for ignoring the crimes of communist regimes.
Consistently referring to the official, self-chosen name of the Chinese Communist Party as a “pejorative,” Bump then gets to his point: “There was another utility to it in both 2020 and after, of course: It once again pits America against communism. Republicans (and particularly Trump) have repeatedly characterized the American left as communistic — meaning, in this reinvigorated context, that they are anti-American.” I wasn’t aware that anyone had to specifically “pit” America against Communism—that’s pretty much been the status quo since Communist regimes came into existence.
After all, a conservative estimate of the Chinese Communist Party’s kill count is about 65 million, although historians debate the numbers since some were actively murdered while millions of others perished in famines caused by Communist policies (other estimates push this number significantly higher). Mao Tse Tung’s Great Leap Forward, however, extinguished the lives of 45 million Chinese. The atrocities perpetrated by this regime—still ongoing—are countless, including mass executions, hideous tortures, concentration camps, re-education centers, tens of millions of forced abortions, and the destruction of entire communities.
With that in mind, the Washington Post might consider the fact that the “CCP” isn’t being used as a pejorative, as their alleged analyst ludicrously claims. The reason CCP sounds like a pejorative is it is the name of a party responsible for tens of millions of murders and an ongoing genocide against a minority religious group—and pointing these facts out isn’t an attempt to “pit Americans against communism.” Additionally, it must be pointed out that considering the leftist defences of atrocities against Israel in the name of “decolonization,” the description of many American progressives as “communistic” is entirely accurate.
It’s articles like this that remind us that however much contempt you have for the media, it isn’t enough.