A lengthy New York Times report makes the case that Bloomberg News has softened its coverage of China for fear of having its reporters kicked out of the country.
Editor-in-chief Matthew Winkler denies the allegation, but the Times musters a great deal of evidence, starting with one Bloomberg story that hasn’t seen the light of day:
“The investigative report they had been working on for the better part of a year, which detailed the hidden financial ties between one of the wealthiest men in China and the families of top Chinese leaders, would not be published.
“In the call late last month, Mr. Winkler defended his decision, comparing it to the self-censorship by foreign news bureaus trying to preserve their ability to report inside Nazi-era Germany, according to Bloomberg employees familiar with the discussion.
“‘He said, “If we run the story, we’ll be kicked out of China,”’ one of the employees said. Less than a week later, a second article, about the children of senior Chinese officials employed by foreign banks, was also declared dead, employees said.
“Mr. Winkler said in an email on Friday that the articles in question were not killed. ‘What you have is untrue,’ he said. ‘The stories are active and not spiked.’”
In that case, the real test will be whether Bloomberg ever publishes them.
In a statement, Bloomberg News expresses disappointment in the Times piece and says “it is absolutely false that we postponed these stories due to external pressure.” But what about the kicked-out-of-China quote?