Gold medalist, world-class skier Eileen Gu decided in 2019 to compete for her mother’s native country–China–in the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Her choice was motivated by a desire to inspire young people in China, promote a sport she loves, and through skiing, “unite people, promote common understanding, create communication, and forge friendships between nations.”
However, the coverage of Gu by The New York Times reflects none of that message.
Although Eileen Gu may be a public figure, she is still a teenager. Why is The New York Times, one of the most influential media outlets in the world, exploiting an 18-year-old to reach a click quota? Headlines like “Why is U.S.-born Eileen Gu skiing for China?” and “Eileen Gu Is Trying to Soar Over the Geopolitical Divide,” only draw attention away from Gu’s athletic abilities and her original message in skiing for China.
This is only a symptom of a larger problem with the NYT’s reporting on China.
Ever since the beginning of the pandemic, a clear pattern has emerged in the NYT’s reporting on China and COVID, revealing a clear anti-China bias.1 With anti-Asian hate crimes up over 300% from 2020 to 2021 alone,2 this theme of obvious anti-China sentiment in NYT reporting reveals poor journalistic integrity.
With their coverage of Eileen Gu, the NYT stoops to an all-time new low by targeting an 18-year-old to further drive Sinophobia and fuel aggression and war on China.
The mainstream news cycle has gone into overdrive during the 2022 Winter Olympics to misrepresent China, and at the CODEPINK China Is Not Our Enemy campaign, we will continue to expose the hate at the root of U.S. media that serves war not peace.
At the beginning of this month, we delivered over 2,000 signatures to Trevor Noah’s The Daily Show studio in New York City in addition to mailing the petition to The Daily Show’s public address;3 we will continue to push Noah to take a position of peace and collaboration when it comes to China!
Onward toward peace,
Lauren, Jodie, Alli, the CODEPINK China Is Not Our Enemy campaign, and CODEPINK