It’s called Las Vegas Public Radio — the “People’s Voice of Las Vegas.” You might be mistaken for believing it’s an NPR affiliate.
It is, in fact, a radio outlet funded largely by outside cash, including money from a Chinese corporation closely linked to Beijing.
The station, according to the Washington Free Beacon, feels like many others: It “has local community sponsors, vaguely right-wing talk show hosts, and a website begging for a makeover.”
However, it receives funding from Huawei, the Chinese tech company with close ties to Beijing.
“We’ll tell the American people that Huawei is being f—ed in America by politicians,” LVPR founder and president Gregory LaPorta told the Free Beacon.
“They are no different from Qualcomm and Google,” he said. “[Huawei] wants a place in the world like anyone else.”
Well, not quite. Huawei is considered a security threat by the United States, and for good reason: In addition to its close ties to Beijing, the company could also control much of the world’s network infrastructure. You can imagine how that might be seen as a problem.
There’s also the issue of intellectual property theft — certainly nothing that’s new in China, but of considerable interest when Huawei is a major player in the Chinese tech firmament.
And then consider that this isn’t just a matter of LVPR being used as a mouthpiece for Huawei, at least according to the station’s founder.
The station receives funding from Las Vegas taxpayers, LaPorta said — despite the fact that it sets aside time to propagandize for Huawei and to advocate for their 5G equipment being used in America’s mobile infrastructure.
How Huawei got involved with LVPR is a bit of a convoluted story, as one might expect.
LaPorta said he courted the tech giant to “help pay the bills.”
“On Dec. 31, 2018, the LVPR Twitter account wrote that the radio station was ‘bringing Huawei to America,'” the Free Beacon reported.
Then came this statement, which I beseech you to read and not to laugh at: “LaPorta refused to discuss details about the New Year’s Eve broadcast — which was not archived — saying that what the station publicly broadcast to nearly 500,000 Nevadans that day was ‘privileged information.'”
In its lobbying disclosure, the station said it would “address concerns … about Huawei products/services being developed or manufactured in the US for US consumption.”
LaPorta insisted he registered himself as a lobbyist out of an abundance of caution. He hasn’t done any lobbying for Huawei since 2018, he swears.
However, in his 2013 Federal Communications Commission license application, LaPorta highlighted past experience facilitating “Las Vegas community business and tourism in China”
The lobbying disclosure form, meanwhile, also claimed that LaPorta is trying to develop ties between the communist government in China and Las Vegas, saying that he was developing “a specialized pilot project located in a select Chinese city to make the American Public Broadcasting System readily available in China.”
And then there are more sinister developments, if you can believe it.
“Since its 2016 launch, the station has employed two Chinese nationals as ‘international liaisons,'” the Free Beacon reported.
“One of the two, Hung Mui Amy Chim, has since been promoted to director of programming. The other is a pathologist based in a Shenzhen hospital, who LaPorta said offers overseas ‘contacts’ for the station. LVPR has also hired DaHung Law Office, a law firm that traces its origins to the Chinese government, as part of its legal team.”
Meanwhile, LaPorta has blamed the station’s financial instability on the fact the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which offers grants to public broadcasters, for whatever reason won’t give them money.
“This is why we’re going out of the country. Our own f—ing country has let us down,” LaPorta said. “They don’t want to support us? F— them.”
Yes, why on earth would the CPB let them down? Why would a station once registered as a lobbyist for a Chinese tech firm and given to broadcasting Chinese propaganda possibly get turned down for a grant meant for American community broadcasters? Their own country, abandoning them just because their station is a mouthpiece for a foreign tech firm not known to have America’s best interests in mind!
I’m sure it’s LaPorta’s blue language. It just didn’t go over well in the meeting and they were turned off. I can’t possibly think of anything else.
It has nothing to do with the fact that, for instance, the station sets aside that time to propagandize for Huawei and has lobbied on its behalf.
It has nothing to do with the fact that, while LVPR says on its website that it’s all about “respecting human rights and avoiding complicity in any human rights abuse,” the Free Beacon reported that “the station has been a reliable source of pro-China messaging, including on human rights issues.
“In January, for example, LaPorta conducted an interview with China’s San Francisco-based consul general, Dongua Wang, who used the opportunity to slam the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, accusing them of ‘violent criminal acts,'” the outlet reported.
“They were causing damage,” LaPorta said. “They were causing damages by businesses and throwing stuff in business windows. I think though that’s criminal, isn’t it?”
But remember: He hasn’t done any lobbying for Huawei since 2018. Really, he swears!
Never mind that part about the Chinese government backing his proposal to expand into China when he traveled there to talk about establishing an “independent public broadcasting facility.”
LaPorta also swears on a stack of Bibles, or maybe Jack Ma’s autobiography, that his radio station will “give them the truth” about human rights abuses in China.
“We’re not going to be a fake news agency,” he said.
His version of real news might not resemble yours, though: “The United States has probably more sins than the Chinese,” he said. “America, we’re the most corrupt nation on Earth, probably, at this point.”
All right, then, I have an idea: I’d like to establish my own broadcast outlet in Yunnan. I’m going to call it Chicom Community Radio. Every morning, I’m going to open our broadcast day with a guided qigong session from Falun Gong. We’ll have a lot of Epoch Times reporters and National Review writers on as pundits. Ai Weiwei will give art lessons over the radio. We’ll carry President Donald Trump’s news conferences live. Maybe we’ll even have Peter Navarro on for a bit of analysis.
What are the odds this nation — clearly less blameful than the United States — gives me the license? What are the odds I’m beaten about the kidneys at the airport and told never to return? I’m going with the second option being more likely, although I’d wager they’d probably just give me a hearty laugh.
Las Vegas Public Radio has every right to exist. That’s the great thing about America. It also has every right to be shunned — and almost certainly will be, once its provenance is discovered. That’s the great thing about Americans.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.