While communist-controlled media from China are welcome at a National Governors Association summit with their Chinese counterparts in Salt Lake City this weekend, one U.S. anti-communist magazine is not.
The NGA denied press credentials to William Jasper, senior editor of The New American magazine, published by the anti-communist John Birch Society. The group is named for a U.S. missionary killed in China by communist forces after World War II and is considered by the society to be the first casualty of the Cold War.
The NGA told Jasper in an email that he was denied credentials partly because they are only for reporters "engaged in the dissemination of objective news stories."
He complains that credentials were given to reporters from communist-controlled media in China. "I'm sure their coverage will be unbiased," he said sarcastically.
Jodi Omear, spokeswoman for the NGA said credentials also are only for legitimate media that reach a general audience. She confirmed that many Chinese media were given credentials, but said the NGA does not release lists of which organizations receive them.
Jasper suspects he was denied credentials because the NGA may be upset about stories he wrote criticizing closer ties between individual U.S. states and China. He also pointed to efforts by some in the John Birch Society urging governors to boycott the current meetings with Chinese leaders.
"The NGA just wants to have shills [among reporters]," he said, "who will rip and read what's handed to them."
Jasper said governors "are so head over heals about seeking Beijing dollars and approval of the Chinese that they are ready and willing to abandon the Constitution, the First Amendment, human rights and everything else on the promise of jobs, jobs, jobs."
He wrote in a recent magazine article that the NGA has "a scripted chorus line, with U.S. governors and Chinese provincial officials linking arms in smiley faced, harmonious poses," that he said are a "cover for the continued transfer of the U.S. industrial and economic base to China."
A number of John Birch Society chapters nationwide, Jasper said, have "been particularly active in encouraging members to write and contact their governors about" their disagreement with closer ties with China, and to discourage their attendance in Salt Lake City.
"I've never been denied press credentials within the United States before," he said. "It has happened to me outside of the United States."
Despite no credentials, Jasper said he would do his best to cover the meetings by talking to participants outside of meetings. He noted some governors had scheduled interviews with him.