Strange version of quoting out of context by NHK


Mitsuo Shiota


June 16, 2021

I was watching News Watch 9, an NHK nightly news program, on June 16, 2021. It told President Biden of the U.S. was about to meet President Putin of Russia, and it let us know there is some criticism in the U.S. that the meeting itself can be a reward to Russia.

And then it quoted from Fox News opinion by Mike Pompeo, the former Secretary of State in the Trump Administration, “Biden has already signaled to Putin that he is timid and unprepared to confront the Russian challenge.” NHK didn’t mention his opinion was published on June 15, 2021.

Next, NHK showed the White House press briefing. It quoted a question, “Can you respond to criticism from some Republicans that the administration is essentially rewarding Putin for bad behavior?” Actually the caption was shortened to “There is criticism that the meeting is rewarding Russia.” Next it quoted Press Secretary Jen Psaki replying, “It’s actually important to meet with leaders when we have a range of disagreements, as we do with Russian leaders.” “We regard it as a vital part of defending America’s interests.” NHK displayed “Last month” at the upper left corner of the screen only for two or three seconds to let us know this press briefing was held in May. I noticed this display, when I watched NHK plus App (registration required) repeatedly. Actually it was held on May 25, 2021.

As a brief viewer of the program, I thought Mike Pompeo criticized that the meeting is rewarding Putin, and the White House responded to his criticism. However, it can’t be so, as I found Mike Pompeo’s opinion was published on June 15, 2021, and the White House press briefing was held on May 25.

So I read Mike Pompeo’s opinion, and found he criticized Biden changing Trump’s course mainly in climate and energy policies. He didn’t criticize that the meeting is rewarding Putin. NHK quoted him out of context. NHK could have quoted Sen. Ben Sasse, the Nebraska Republican, saying “We’re rewarding Putin with a summit?”

I think NHK should be ashamed of this quoting out of context.