Twitter Allows Chinese Mouthpiece To Call GOP US Senator a Vulgar Name on Its Platform


It’s good to know that, in this age of overzealous Twitter censors finger-wagging at politicians, slapping their posts with the exclamation-pointed fact-check label of official disapproval, the social media platform is giving one vocal government employee pretty wide latitude to say some edgy things about a sitting U.S. senator.

Granted, those things involve multiple uses of a sexist slur and that government employee is a mouthpiece for one of the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda mills — but progress, no?

In what could most charitably be called a pointed exchange between GOP Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Chen Weihua, the European Union bureau chief for the sub-Pravda China Daily, Weihua called Blackburn a “b—-” in two separate tweets after Blackburn, addressing a bill signed by President Donald Trump that would ban the importation of cotton produced by Uighur forced labor, said, “China has a 5,000 year history of cheating and stealing.”

“Some things will never change,” Blackburn said in the original Thursday tweet.

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While Blackburn apparently was referring to Chinese officialdom and not the Chinese people, this was going to generate all the wrong sort of headlines in the liberal media. Thankfully for her, in came Chen like a Beijing-sent Kool-Aid Man smashing through a potential brick wall of censorious MSNBC coverage.

He initially offered a one-syllable response to Blackburn’s tweet:

WARNING: The following tweets contain graphic language that some readers will find offensive.

Spoken like a man whose publication reads as if it were translated into English via a third language on Google. He’d later extrapolate upon this:

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Pro tip: If you’re going to claim someone is racist, it helps if you’re not being a demonstrable sexist in the same thought.

Also, how does one become a “lifetime b—-?” Is this an appointed position? Elected? Or is he saying she watches a lot of Lifetime movies? If Chen knows that, China’s data collection efforts are even more worrying than we’d first imagined.

Chen also fired off a third response that merely called Blackburn a “lowlife” — an improvement! — and suggested Congress was dysfunctional because a Gallup Poll, taken in a constitutional republic in which people are allowed to freely voice their displeasure, showed most of us don’t approve of our elected lawmakers:

Gallup’s polling of how many Chinese voters approve of the National People’s Congress and President Xi Jinping was unavailable because you’ve got to be kidding me.

Just in case Chen’s Beijing-based superiors didn’t quite catch on to why Chen’s verbal incontinence is a problem, consider that it allowed Blackburn to seamlessly pivot into China’s human rights abuses against the Uighurs in Xinjiang province.

“From Tiananmen Square to Uyghur genocide, Communist China is an expert at slaughtering populations. America will not bow down to sexist communist thugs,” she tweeted.

Just curious: Which brief fusillade of words does Chen think would be more persuasive to international onlookers? That or “B—-?” And keep in mind, this was likely right as the American mainstream media were about to do the heavy lifting for Chen and turn their fire on Blackburn, never a favorite of theirs.

Instead, the story — when it was covered at all — involved Chen’s sexist slur. I understand he’s probably not used to media pushback in the Chinese propaganda ecosystem, but surely Twitter has exposed him to the realities of these sorts of exchanges.

Or perhaps not. Last month, Chinese media got itself in a snit when German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas congratulated Democrat Joe Biden after the U.S. media declared him the winner of the 2020 presidential election. In a statement, Maas said he intended “to put forward concrete proposals on how we can close ranks as a transatlantic community,” including on issues regarding China.

Chen’s own hack publication put it delicately, saying, “There are many dialogue mechanisms between China and Germany, and China and the EU to expand cooperation and tackle their differences, including those by Maas. The 5th China-EU High-Level People-to-People Dialogue held online on Tuesday is one of them. …

“Maas needs to rectify the anti-China message he sent to Biden and Harris on Nov 7.”

Chen took a different tack, however. “The f—ing Maas,” he tweeted.

You showed him.

Other than the obligatory tag identifying Chen as being from a state-controlled source — which was only added by Twitter in August after years of failing to identify propaganda mills like China Daily, RT, Sputnik and others — Twitter has done nothing about a Chinese “journalist” (there are no air-quotes emphatic enough) using a sexist slur to describe a sitting senator.

There wasn’t even a desultory fact-check tag: “Election experts have disputed the existence of a category for being a ‘lifetime b—-.'”

This isn’t just a matter of two celebs engaging in a back-and-forth obscenity-fest. It’s a Chinese government functionary using gravely misogynist language against a U.S. politician.

Twitter is no longer “the free-speech wing of the free-speech party,” as it once claimed to be; it polices its platform when it wants to. Therefore, when it doesn’t censor bad actors speaks volumes about why it doesn’t censor those bad actors.

Twitter is currently trying to make the case Washington that shouldn’t meddle in its Section 230 protections, which allows it to moderate its platform as it sees fit. If that’s the case, those moderators should regulate China Daily and its apparatchiks with the same zeal with which they went after the New York Post in the wake of the Hunter Biden laptop story.

If they won’t, it’s time for Congress to step in.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture