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CNBC was raked over the coals for a report on China’s citizens giving their country a “top score” for their handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
In an article published Wednesday, CNBC highlighted a recent poll that showed the highest approval rating for a government’s response to the global pandemic was given to China by its own citizens. Reporting that China “gets top score as citizens rank their governments’ response,” CNBC was quickly criticized over the irresponsible article.
“China, where the virus is thought to have originated, ranked highest in the citizens’ survey, with a score of 85 out of 100. The world’s second-largest economy was followed by Vietnam (77), the United Arab Emirates (59) and India (59), in a list which saw Asian countries take the top spots,” the report stated.
The poll revealed results from the “Global Crisis Perceptions” index from Toluna and Blackbox Research which surveyed 12,500 people across 23 countries about the performance of their governments in dealing with the crisis.
With China being at the center of international criticism for mishandling the response to the virus at the outset, CNBC’s tone-deaf report was met with immediate mockery for missing the obvious point that citizens of the communist-run nation can be punished for being critical of the government.
Oppressed subjects of a brutal authoritarian regime with gulags of death praise their government with high marks out of love and admiration and a desire to see their families not murdered.
— Razor (@hale_razor) May 7, 2020
This funny thing happens when you run a country so brutally that citizens know that criticizing their government can result in their disappearance.
But, please, media, continue with your very serious news report. https://t.co/FQBiKnELQX
— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) May 7, 2020
And you should see the results from the last Chinese election! Absolute landslide. https://t.co/HHxMRIx0SD
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) May 7, 2020
A “top score” staring down the barrel of a gun.
— Donna (@Aposematics) May 7, 2020
Hey guys, why do you think that is?
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) May 7, 2020
“North Korea came in a close second,” actor Allen Covert tweeted.
“Same way Kim Jong-Un wins elections with 100% of the vote, right?” Pollster Frank Luntz wondered in another tweet.
Wow, weird how approval ratings in China are always so high! Wonder what could explain that! https://t.co/l2n4RvuFwp
— Andrew Tobias (@AndrewJTobias) May 7, 2020
I wonder if news organizations with parent companies investing in China run a certain number of these pieces just so that when Beijing complains to the parent companies, they can argue that they “show both sides.” https://t.co/cH5ynrdPw1
— Jim Geraghty (@jimgeraghty) May 7, 2020
The poll cited by CNBC showed that U.S. and German residents rated their governments at 41 for the response to the pandemic, while the U.K. earned a 37 out of 100 and Japan came in last with 16.
“For many of these countries, this pandemic is unprecedented. Governments are still coming to terms with a crisis they did not expect, and public confidence suffered as a result,” David Black, founder and CEO of Blackbox Research, told CNBC. “Meanwhile, a significant part of Asia has had their leadership shaped by past epidemics, such as SARS and MERS.”
The article also noted that the poll showed that the “majority (85%) of Chinese people said they believe their country will come out of the crisis stronger, compared to less than half (41%) of Americans.”
NBC has repeatedly come under fire for appearing to tout the Chinese government during the pandemic, even declaring that China was emerging as a “global leader” in the crisis in an article published in March.