There’s a great phrase in the media at the moment – ‘opportunity cost’
Mostly, as it relates to the impeachment process of President Donald Trump. It’s a term used by Republicans pointing to the log-jam of legislation awaiting safe passage in the US House of Representatives.
The USMCA trade deal, finalizing a Budget and legislation to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. However, this only takes account of the opportunity cost as it relates to politicians and Joe public.
What about the opportunity cost as it relates to journalism and the General Public?
All of the smart minds in the media business are hyper-focused on the impeachment movement for the last 3 years. And indeed it is not an exaggeration to call it a movement.
A movement that has required James Bond-esque levels of audience reality suspension.
First it was ‘ From Russia with Love’
Then it was ‘ For Stormy’s eyes only ‘
And now the final act in the Ian Fleming trilogy – ‘ Ukraine Never Dies’
Without raking over the coals of recent political history or political reporting, I would point out that there has been an ‘opportunity cost’ to the general public due to the intensity of journalistic resources focused on the above topics. We are hyper-informed or mis-informed ( depending on your persuasion) on a very micro subject. The cost of this is a big one.
We are massively under informed on a range of hugely important issues
The biggest beneficiary of this resource mis-allocations over the last 3 years has been China.
Fortunately other parts of the western world have not been so neglectful. 60 Minutes in Australia ran a huge investigative piece two weeks ago on a 27 year old Chinese spy that has defected to Australia. Rather than me regurgitate what he revealed I will post a link to it at the end of this article.
The biggest talking point was that the Chinese Communist Party were within a hair’s breadth of getting an Australian/Chinese national and CCP spy elected to the national parliament of Australia. The individual got cold-feet and as seems to be 100% always the case – ended up dead.
Information like this should send a cold chill down every American citizen’s spine. The number one country that will be attempting to influence the elections of the United States in 2020 will be China.
What the Australian documentary uncovers is the hitherto unknown levels of human capital that the Chinese Communist Party employ to undertake espionage services for party and country.
What the documentary illuminates is that the long arm of covert surveillance and infiltration extends not just to recent Hong Kong unrest’s and attempts to disrupt the Taiwanese presidential elections, but also to established, secure Western democracies like Australia.
If the CCP are in Australia you can be damn well sure they are in the United States in 10 or 20 times the numbers.
The modus operandi of the Chinese security groups appears to be, in many instances, to infiltrate left, liberal and well-meaning groups and attack them from the inside. Whether that is college campuses, media organisations or most shockingly of all political parties.
I would ask media organisations the following question.
How much investigative work are you doing to reveal the where, when, who, why and what of election interference in the US 2020 elections?
We have spent three years listening to gossip about 2016. Can we have some Pulitzer prize winning investigative work on 2020 please?
In 2023 will we be talking about how a Chinese Asset or proxy managed to get elected into Representative Government?
Will Journalism take a portion of the blame if it happens?