The Washington Free Beacon has fired one of its top reporters after discovering a “financial transaction” the reporter had with someone he covered, the site announced on Friday. The reporter, Bill Gertz, was recently accused of having worked on behalf of a Chinese billionaire who has been at the center of a recent high-profile legal dispute.
The Free Beacon’s leadership published a note saying that the site “recently learned that senior editor Bill Gertz entered into a previously undisclosed financial transaction with an individual or an affiliate of that individual whom Mr. Gertz had covered in some of his reporting.” Gertz was asked to resign, according to the note, and did so. See Washington Free Beacon’s note:
The Washington Free Beacon recently learned that senior editor Bill Gertz entered into a previously undisclosed financial transaction with an individual or an affiliate of that individual whom Mr. Gertz had covered in some of his reporting.
Upon learning about this transaction, the Washington Free Beacon promptly asked Mr. Gertz for his resignation and that resignation was received and accepted. The Washington Free Beacon has appended this disclaimer to all of Mr. Gertz’s affected news stories.
William D. “Bill” Gertz (born March 28, 1952) is an American editor, columnist, and reporter for The Washington Free Beacon and The Washington Times. He is the author of six books and writes a weekly column on the Pentagon and national security issues called “Inside the Ring.” During the administration of Bill Clinton, Gertz was known for his stories exposing government secrets. Gertz is a fixture within the beltway on those who cover U.S. national security. His guest lecturer circuit includes the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.; the Central Intelligence Agency in Virginia; the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington; and the Brookings Institution in Washington as just a sampling.
Bill Gertz admitted to taking a $100,000 payment from a businessperson connected to a controversial Chinese billionaire, according to newly unsealed court filings. In a deposition from Oct. 15, Gertz told lawyers for a company involved in a lawsuit with another company connected to billionaire Guo Wengui, aka Miles Kwok, that he had approached Guo for an advance for “Deceiving the Sky,” his latest book on China that was published last year.”Deceiving the Sky: Inside Communist China’s Drive for Global Supremacy,” reveals details about the growing threat posed by the People’s Republic of China. He is also the author of the ebook “How China’s Communist Party Made the World Sick.” Gertz described it as a “loan” that would be paid back using his book royalties.
The Free Beacon and Bill Gertz, both right-leaning and generally not positive on US-Chinese relations, have not really commented fully on the situation. Gertz’s latest tweet provides a flavor to his public stance on China. However, anytime money is passed from the person you are reporting on in a story or book is problematic. Though at the same time it may have been innocent. Regardless if someone is liberal or conservative we need to be consistent on any potential corruption. The swamp can run very deep. One just needs to be aware of this.
Wuhan pneumonia should be called SARS-2 after severe acute respiratory syndrome, the Chinese-originated pandrmic in 2003. But the Chinese Communist Party forced WHO to call it Covid-19 to avoid Beijing complicity. Tell the truth about CCP
— Bill Gertz (@BillGertz) April 25, 2020
The Free Beacon, though often a good publication, has a website US Alex rating of #6,134. A medium-level news outlet. This is not to diss The Free Beacon, after all, they did do the right thing and dismiss Bill Gertz when the found out about the situation. The Free Beacon additionally was involved in funding the original opposition research on candidate Trump by hiring the now-infamous Fusion GPS. Paul Singer, a conservative billionaire, is a major funder of The Free Beacon and strongly opposed Trump in 2016 at the time of engagement with Fusion GPS. The publication has always maintained they were not involved in the later DNC/Clinton expansion of oppo-research including the Steele Dossier. Paul Singer’s ruthless business strategies are infamous, which include bullying CEOs, suing governments, and seizing their navy’s ships – click here.
Right Wire Report recognizes China has a well-established respect for information warfare. The Chinese Communist Party, has insidiously and rapidly, expanded its efforts to influence discussions about China beyond its borders to attempt to suppress criticism and make international media refer to China in a positive light. The US State Department last February designated five Chinese media outlets “foreign missions,” calling them, in essence, state-sponsored propaganda and agents of the Communist Party of China (CCP). The CCP has developed the world’s most multilayered and sophisticated apparatus of media controlled propaganda which should concern all governments.
Our thoughts turn to just how often do these conflicts of interest occur that we don’t know about. If the Chinese are willing to pay only $100,000 to a website with a US Alex rating of #6,134, we now know the price of corruption of a senior author on an Alexa point per dollar basis (or $16.30, rather cheap). As a note and to make a graph of this corruption price structure, we would need to have more data points on the graph, especially assuming the graph is not linear.