…Russia overcame the inertia of collapse and started reviving its power while the West, being lulled by sweet day-dreams of the liberal ‘end of history,’ castrated its armed forces….. The balance of power in Europe has thus changed in Russia’s favor.Pravda, 13 November 2014
I wrote a book, previously published in Europe and Brazil, titled The Fool and His Enemy. It is now available in English. The book is a polemic with a “schizophrenic prelude.” I begin arguing for the defense of society, but a politically correct voice usurps the narrative, accusing me of racism, sexism and homophobia. Society and civilization ought to be destroyed, says the voice. After overcoming this voice, I begin to question its suicidal message.
Chapter Two begins with the visit of a Soviet official to UC Irvine in 1988, the year before the Berlin Wall fell. The official’s name is Georgi Arbatov. His game? To “take away the image” of America’s enemy. Regarding Arbatov’s villainous disappearing act, I ask the question, “Who benefits?”
Here is a question everyone should be required to answer, especially when the question is life or death. But as I demonstrate, the Russians themselves have long since publicly admitted everything — in the pages of Pravda.
The Pravda excerpt, quoted at the beginning of this article, was the first public admission, by the Russian side, that the Kremlin had used the “Soviet collapse” in 1991 to win a strategic victory.
There were two articles in this Pravda series, published in November 2014. They were both written by Dmitry Sudakov. The first in the series was titled “Russia prepares nuclear surprise for NATO,” while the second was titled “Russia takes complete advantage of castrated armed forces of the West.” (See links below.)
Sudakov explained the situation as follows:
Having written off Moscow as a serious geopolitical rival, flying on the wings of inaccessible military and technological superiority, Washington drove itself into a trap, from which it does not see a way out even in a medium-term perspective.
Sudakov said that the “absolute weakness of Russia” and perceived “superiority of the West” are “myths.” In fact, he added, “The illusion of world supremacy played a cruel joke on Washington.” By the time the Americans realized their mistake, it was too late to do anything. Thus, Chapter Two demonstrates the true origin and purpose of the subversive voice in Chapter One.
In Chapter three of The Fool and His Enemy, I describe the “New Religion” that has come to take the place of Christianity. It is secular and political — a religion “against all religion.” It seems, at first, to make the people its God. But who are “the people”? What follows is an examination of evil and its many masks.
In Chapter Four I discuss “the fool and the hero.” Corruption is now almost universal. And by corruption intellectual corruption is underscored; that is, the corruption of language growing out of the corruption of spirit. The fool is the pawn of this corruption. He thinks he is building something wonderful; but he is merely a collaborator in degradation and universal ruin. What we need are heroes, not fools. Then I quote Thomas Carlyle, who believed that our heroes were a gift from God. Without them our doom would be assured.
Chapter Five is titled, “The Winepress of the Wrath of God.” And here, aside from the usual thunder and lightning, comes a surprise.
The book is now available at Amazon.com in paperback. A link is provided below as it does not appear if you search under the title. It does appear, several entries down, if you type “J.R. Nyquist.”
Links and Notes
The Fool and His Enemy: Toward a Metaphysics of Evil https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08DSX8TKX/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_3EFiFb5X01E54
Dmitry Sudakov, “Russia Prepares Nuclear Surprise for NATO, Pravda, — https://www.pravdareport.com/russia/129015-russia_nato_nuclear_surprise/
Dmitry Sudakov, “Russia takes complete advantage of castrated armed forces of the West,” Pravda, — https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.pravdareport.com/amp/russia/129021-russia_usa_nuclear_weapons/
31 thoughts on “The Fool and His Enemy: (Available at Amazon)”
I have just purchased the Brazilian edition!
“The balance of power in Europe has thus changed in Russia’s favor.”
Considering the lack of support coming from that quarter recently, I’d say that’s Europe’s problem. Let them deal with it for once. We’ve got our own problems to contend with domestically.
Things are tough all over…or in the words of Bruce Willis, “Welcome to the party, pal!”
It seems like Europe doesn’t even have much of a military. Germany, in particular, has all sorts of massive problems. Last I checked, and admittedly it’s been about a year since I looked this up, all of their nuclear submarines are inoperable. Vast numbers of jets and tanks are also inoperable. Troops go into NATO exercises with brooms because of a lack of guns. Soldiers in Germany have told me they even lack things like socks and shoes. Germany’s condition is probably shared by most European countries.
But they have the money to house and feed a million Muslim refugees!
ZeroHedge is reporting that rumors have emerged that Three Gorges Dam is on the verge of collapse, and that 38 million people have been evacuated from downstream. The Chinese engineers claim that they have two weeks before the reservoirs overflow. Sounds a bit like the claim that 4000 people, total, died of covid in China. ZeroHedge also claims that posters were placed in Beijing urging the populace to enter underground bunkers in the event of sirens announcing war. I wonder if the Coronavirus Crisis coupled with massive floods will cause the Chinese to move back a step and lick their wounds, or make them even more aggressive.
If the fallout shelters of the country are flooded, how can they start a war with us? At least, they will have to wait for these shelters to dry out. Perhaps God is helping us.
The CCP has never placed a high value on human life, so I don’t think fallout shelters are truly a priority for them in that scenario. Perhaps it is Israel that God is helping?
At this point we need all the help we can get though…so I’ll take it.
The Chinese have a massive system of fallout shelters. It is not because the communists are humanitarians. It is because slaves are valuable property.
P.S. – Israel, sad to say, has been cooperating with China, as many countries have.
A good question. I’ve been adding these events and actions by the CCP to my greatest concern for the Chinese people – food. With the incredible environmental and state control (climate, disastrous floods and drought, infections, seed destruction and control, insane local laws and ordinances prohibiting food production, the idea that a stocked pantry is hoarding) of food worldwide in the past couple years, coupled with the inability of the Chinese to produce enough food to feed their people in good times, we could possibly have a situation where the Chinese believe there is no other option but war. War, unfortunately, has some useful side effects for the Chinese government: distraction, elimination of millions of young men, uniting people with the promise of American spoils of war, an outlet for anger, and the insane possibility of world domination. The CCP leaders are not sane.
Book on its way. Thanks for the link.
This is a serious concern because China is the most heavily armed country in the world, with a nuclear arsenal of unknown size and efficiency. Would they, under such desperate circumstances, unleash a more deadly plague on their own people and the world as a desperate measure of “population control”? After all, the thing they cannot survive is a famine in which the army or the people turn against the regime. At present, the criticism of the regime by a retired two-star General smells like a provocation — which it undoubtedly is. Why a provocation? To root out malcontented generals by emboldening dissent, and then to smash sedition before it grows into an open rebellion. This is an ancient Chinese technique, and we will see more of it.
My fear for the Chinese people is that they will be decimated. I mean that literally, that only about a tenth will survive.
The initial reaction inside of China of a Chinese invasion of the U.S. will be euphoria on the greatness of Chinese military. But when the military suffers its inevitable reverses in America, that euphoria will turn to rage against the CCP leading to the situation where China will be torn apart by civil war. As it says in Ezekiel, “Every man’s sword will be in his neighbor’s side.”
Why do I say “inevitable reverses”? 1) The U.S. has the third largest population of any country in the world. 2) We have the highest percentage of our population being military veterans who have actually seen battle, most of whom are still armed and ready to repel an invasion. They, plus hunters who are also armed, far outnumber the Chinese military. The Chinese troops are green. 3) Transportation logistics will limit the number of troops that China will be able to send over, further weakening their attack. My conclusion based on these factors, is that Chinese troops will have initial success in those areas run by traitors. Those are mostly urban areas on the coasts. But in order to defeat the U.S., they will need to conquer “fly-over country”, the interior where are found the majority of our veterans and hunters who will be defending their families, homes, farms and towns. Millions, possibly tens of millions, of Americans will die, but the Chinese invaders will be wiped out as a fighting force.
Our enemies had hoped that traitors in our governments would have disarmed our population before they invaded, so they wouldn’t face what Yamamoto called “a gun behind every blade of grass.” But they have run out of time, and we are still armed.
A final thought: I trust what the Bible says. Our feminized preachers coo that God is a God of love. True. But love cannot thrive in a milieu of injustice. Justice and love go hand in hand. Therefore God is also a God of justice who performs judgment on wicked nations and peoples. Since Roe v. Wade, the U.S. has unjustly murdered over 60 million innocent lives through abortion—if God requites a life for a life, 60 million of us will die. The CCP has murdered over an order of magnitude more innocent lives for which, if God requites a life for a life, will result in the Chinese population being decimated.
Just to clarify my comment, Global Times is claiming the posters were part of a routine drill.
When was the last time you participated in a routine nuclear war drill?
Jeff, not sure if you can comment, David DuByne who runs the Adapt2030 channel on Youtube just made a video on the Grand Solar Minimum, around the 4 min 40 sec mark in the video, he covers what my relatives in Hong Kong and Mainland China has been saying, Beijing had snow in July. David Dubyne also covers the dire situation regarding the food supply in China:
Maybe somebody mentioned in the imprint would have preferred not to be named. Maybe his work at the time was so distorted by a third party that he then refused to be listed there, and so – thank God – he wasn’t And now this reference? Without being asked? And what now about his anonymity? Well done. Well done..
No response? No apology? How miserable – and telling… What is, Nyquist, that is wrong with you?
I saw your name in the German edition copy I have, and used it as a guide as to whether to use your name in the American version. Were later German editions amended? If so, I am sorry for the misunderstanding. I did not do this maliciously. I was prompted by my graphics designer to include your name. As it appeared in the German edition I did not think it was a problem crediting you. As we are no longer communicating, per your wish, I didn’t realize there was a problem until now. I saw your complaint yesterday and was debating whether I had the skill to amend the present edition or recall my service to assist. It is inappropriate to conduct this discussion here, but as you wish to do this, you leave me no choice. As I was entangled on agreements then, and could not undo what was agreed to, and did not anticipate the disagreements that would arise, I am sorry. An English-speaking author with a translator and publisher at loggerheads is an impossible position. I understand you are aggrieved. I hope that I am able to make it up to you. I am new at KPD and will attempt to amend the problem on the Amazon edition asap. Please forgive the delay as I have not amended copy before and there is a learning curve. Perhaps I can pay my service to make the amendments.
It seems you don’t want to understand. My only point is this – totally groundless – reference in your English-language edition. The German “translation” as it went to the press, was from beginning to end my exquisite translation DESTROYED by your Swabian hillbilly “publisher”, which is why I insisted not to be named as the translator, and I wasn’t. And now you are listing me here? Did I ask for it? No. Was there any good reason to name me. No, again. Everybody knows well that are always right! But in this case, you aren’t. You shouldn’t have named me. Period. And you don’t even seem to realise what damage you have done by blowing my anonymity.
Truly, I do understand as you explain it; though it was an innocent mistake since my two German copies of the book have your name on the inside cover. I can post a photo if you do not believe me. If this was changed by Torsten my faulty memory failed to recall it, as I was then suffering an almost debilitating insomnia that impaired my memory in those days. I hope you can forgive me. As for the damage done, it is unlikely your name is unknown to the communists given your online activity. The Russians have access to real names and addresses of online avatars, as I am told by intelligence professionals. If you are now physically in danger and it is my fault, I am genuinely sorry; though being sorry is a poor rejoinder. I should have a warning label tattooed to my forehead, so that everyone understands the hazard: “DANGER — this person is marked for ‘liquidation’ by the communists. Association with this person can cause grave bodily injury or death.” I do not know what I can do to make it up to you. Perhaps, I have, unintentionally, done you great harm. I hope not. If you are killed immediately, and not in the coming mayhem, then your death may be on my head. I am sorry, though, as I said, this does not help you. If you are inconvenienced, as one might imagine, I am doubly sorry. That we are all potential victims of the communists is driven home by events on the streets of Portland, Oregon — a half-day’s drive from my doorstep. Conservatives are being threatened, beaten, even gunned down here, in America. My personal belief is that we must visibly stand up against this together. My address has always been public knowledge. The communists know where to find me. I would prefer that others stood up with me, but I know that is an unfair expectation (given the risks). In this matter it seems that I failed you. I will not attempt to justify myself.
I have removed your name, amending the edition. The book may not be available for three days or so as goes through the review process.
Mr. Nyquist, do you have any comments or insight on the packets of seeds from China that are showing up unsolicited in American’s mailboxes around the country?
I understand these seeds are very nasty, pervasive weeds. If you plant them in your yard, it will make gardening difficult. Obviously, gardening is going to be an important thing for many Americans once our food supply is compromised — or sold off to China.
Funny Jeff you get to talk about the Chines mail onslaught, cause I wrote an article about it on the online news site I write for, with it now coming very close to my neck of the woods in the last several days (Photos of the “evil” mail packages can be viewed at the original web page link below):
EAST KENTUCKY RESIDENTS RECEIVING ‘PACKAGES OF MASKS FROM CHINA, SHERIFF SAYS
by Wade Queen July 31, 2020 in Regional & State News
MASKS WERE SENT IN THE MAIL FROM CHINA TO AT LEAST ONE MARTIN CO. RESIDENT
‘SHANGHAI SURPRISE’? OR ‘ANCIENT CHINESE SECRET’?
MARTIN COUNTY RESIDENTS AMONG THE LATEST RECIPIENTS OF AN SCAM INVOLVING UNSOLICITED AND UNWANTED MAIL PACKAGES FROM CHINA
MORE PACKAGE ITEMS FROM CHINA APPEARING AROUND EASTERN KENTUCKY, THRU NEIGHBORING STATES, AND ACROSS THE U.S.A.
JULY 30, 2020 – written by WADE QUEEN
MARTIN COUNTY AND SEVERAL OTHER EASTERN KENTUCKY COUNTIES REPORTING THEIR CITIZENS RECEIVING MYSTERIOUS, AND LIKELY MALICIOUS MAIL PACKAGES FROM CHINA
Local residents in Martin County, Kentucky, appear to be the latest targets of a scam where people receive unexpected deliveries from overseas, especially China, without explanation.
Inez resident Alisha Jude was confused when she got a package in the mail Tuesday, July 28, as she hadn’t ordered anything from China that would be containing face masks.
“I’m just scared it’s got the (COVID-19) virus on it or it’s got something else that we don’t know,” Ms. Jude said.
Martin County, Ky. Sheriff John Kirk says they’ve gotten several similar reports. Sheriff Kirk advises if you get a package in the mail from China you didn’t order, don’t open it, and don’t wear the masks.
“If you do happen to open a package and you were expecting a package, but it doesn’t contain what you ordered, I wouldn’t open it,” Sheriff Kirk said.
Sheriff Kirk says Kentucky State Police told him they’ve also been getting similar calls in other counties about people getting unexpected packages of foreign seeds in the mail.
“They’ve urged people not to plant or distribute those seeds,” Sheriff Kirk stated.
This situation is similar to a number of reports in at least ten states including Kentucky of seeds being sent unsolicited from China.
Earlier this week, television station WNWO in Toledo, Ohio reported on what sounded like the same scam happening there, known as “brushing.”
“What happens is overseas con artists send you merchandise,” according to Dick Eppstein, president of the Better Business Bureau, Northwest and West Central Ohio and Southeast Michigan,.
“Sometimes they order things from Amazon, and it just arrives. You didn’t pay for it. You didn’t order it.” said Mr. Epstein.
Dick Eppstein says this scam gives the illusion a business is credible by finding a person’s name and address online, sending the product to them, and writing a review using their name.
“They’re also boosting sales rankings, because they’re showing this high volume of product moving from point A to point B,” Whitehouse, Ohio Police Deputy Chief Allan Baer said, “and we’ve learned it’s in Arizona, it’s in Ohio, it’s really pretty much all over the country,” according deputy chief Baer
U.S. Department of Agriculture officials say you should not plant the seeds because they could be an invasive species that could be harmful to livestock and local plants. They say don’t throw them in the trash either, because then they could end up growing at a landfill.
People who’ve gotten unsolicited foreign seeds in the mail are asked to report it to their state Department of Agriculture.
If you’ve gotten one of the mystery packages, don’t throw it away. Contact your local police department so they can pass it on to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to be tracked.
It has become obvious through this week that the mysterious package wave in Kentucky is even larger than first thought, as numerous unsolicited packages have been appearing across Eastern Kentucky during the past week, all marked with a sender’s address from China.
According to a Facebook post made by the city of Coal Run, Ky., Mayor Andrew Scott, which is in Pike County, reported that several of these packages have made their way to the citizens of Coal Run.
The mysterious packages from China have been appearing in other states, some containing seeds and others have markings and descriptions saying they contain items such as jewelry and masks.
Coal Run Mayor Scott said in a statement,”The city of Coal Run is cooperating with Kentucky Agricultural Commissioner Ryan Quarles and federal authorities to determine what threat, if any, these packages may pose to the public. In the meantime, we ask that you contact Kentucky Department of Agriculture at 502.573.0282 (email: email@example.com), Coal Run Police Department at 606.437.0902, or your local authorities if you live elsewhere regarding any suspicious packages you receive.”
As you can see in the photo (upper right), business owner Jen Lafferty-Kopecky at City Perk Coffeehouse in Prestonsburg, Kentucky, in Floyd County said she also received a mysterious package containing a golden coin with Chinese markings on it.
No word yet from local authorities or citizens if Lawrence County has gotten any of the malicious Chinese mail packages, but we will be inquiring, as also Lawrence County residents can inform in the comment section if they have been the recipients of the strange “Chinese wave” overtures.
EPIC NEW REPORT ON THE ROGUE ISRAEL-CHINA/RUSSIA PROPAGANDA OP THAT ENSNARED A LEGENDARY U.S. MEDIA PERSONALITY (GO TO ORIGINAL WEB PAGE TO VIEW THE MULTIPLE VIDEOS & PHOTOS OF THIS REPORT):
The Disinfomercial: How Larry King Got Duped Into Starring in Chinese Propaganda
The broadcasting icon’s fake interview with a Russian journalist went viral on social media, spread by accounts tied to China’s government.
by Renee Dudley and Jeff Kao July 30, 5 a.m. EDT
ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.
Jacobi Niv had paid Larry King a few thousand dollars apiece to narrate half a dozen videos for companies or projects in Israel, where King is still a big name. But what Niv wanted King to tape on March 27, 2019, wasn’t the usual infomercial. It was more like a disinfomercial.
An Israeli with designer clothes, a buzz cut and a long history of failed businesses and inflated credentials, Niv had known King for nearly a decade. King sometimes taped Niv’s promotional videos at the same Glendale, California, studio where the longtime television host filmed “Larry King Now” and “PoliticKING” for Ora Media, the digital TV network he started with his wife, Shawn. The crew resented the way Niv would stride into their homey, basic studio, bringing extra work for them. But he had ingratiated himself with King, in part by sending him lavish floral arrangements and other expensive gifts on Jewish holidays, King and others said.
That morning, Niv emailed a script to King’s executive producer, Jason Rovou, who recognized that it wasn’t Niv’s typical fare. It was about China, not Israel, and the content appeared to be news-related.
After a 300-word preamble on the U.S. trade deficit with China, King was to introduce a guest, Russian journalist Anastasia Dolgova. The first of King’s scripted questions for her was open-ended: “How can we strengthen the relationship between the 2 countries?”
It soon got more pointed. “Dolgova, you wanted to present us with a case that you mentioned on your show as well,” the script read. “There were several Chinese people who worked in China and allegedly committed crimes there who then fled to the United States and Europe, continuing on with their normal lives while leaving many angry people behind.”
Dolgova’s answers were not in the script. They were plugged in separately. King was expected to tape his questions without speaking to her. His skill at the give-and-take of interviewing, of sensing the moment and asking the right question that draws a revealing response, would not be of any use.
How Larry King Unwittingly Starred in Chinese Propaganda
Rovou sensed trouble. The idea of lending the set — and his boss’s reputation — to a potentially controversial video that Ora couldn’t control disturbed him, according to three people familiar with the incident. Rovou worried that King could be helping a foreign government spread false information, reminiscent of Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election — a topic King routinely discussed with guests on “PoliticKING.”
When Niv showed up at the studio, intent on making the video, the usually laid-back Rovou confronted him. “It annoyed the holy hell out of Jason, like I’ve never seen him,” said Ian Smith, then a director at Ora. “Jason, to his face, told him how annoyed he was with him. Everyone knew he didn’t like what Larry was being asked to do.”
Niv took Rovou’s outburst in stride. “Jason didn’t want to do this video, not this video, any video,” Niv recalled. “He would say, ‘Why do you come here without telling me in advance?’ So I told him, ‘Look Jason, I set it up with Larry.’”
Rovou implored King not to do the video. King waved away his concerns. The then-85-year-old host, who was in poor health, also made it clear that shooting elsewhere — he occasionally taped Niv’s videos at a Beverly Hills hotel — would be a burden.
Defeated, the crew gathered around the chestnut-colored wood-paneled set of “Larry King Now,” an Emmy-nominated interview show that has featured more than 1,000 guests from Oprah Winfrey to Harrison Ford. Staff loaded the teleprompter and started filming. In the same white shirt, blue floral tie and black suspenders that he wore for an episode of “PoliticKING” taped that day, King ran through the monologue and the string of questions, the last being, “I’m amazed, are you sure that the story you are telling here is real and authentic?” He concluded, “We will continue to bring you interesting stories.”
Early that afternoon, Rovou emailed a link of the raw footage to Niv.
“Ora can’t do favor tapings,” Rovou wrote. “I just can’t have this dropped on me again.”
Rovou’s fears were well-founded. In the twilight of a remarkable radio and television career spanning more than six decades, battling health problems but determined to stay in the public eye, King was ensnared in an international disinformation scheme. Based on social media analysis and the retracing of a trail that wound through two Israeli entrepreneurs to Ora’s California studio, it appears that the Chinese government, possibly in concert with Russia, manipulated an American broadcasting icon.
“It’s unfortunate that Larry found himself unwittingly being exploited,” said Ora’s CEO, John Dickey. “I’ve seen it over the years. He’ll talk to anybody. He’ll give access to anybody, to a fault. He loves to mentor. He loves to be available. With a star that shines as bright as his, you’re going to have some people come into your orbit who are not positive. … This was obviously not right, and in hindsight, I wish it never would have happened. Larry didn’t know, and Jason could only protest so much.”
Posted on YouTube under the title “Larry King US China Special Conference 2019,” and quickly spread by social media accounts linked to Chinese government influence operations, the fake interview went viral across Chinese-language social media, likely reaching hundreds of thousands of users on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
As diplomatic tensions escalate between the U.S. and China, the video demonstrates how foreign disinformation campaigns are growing increasingly aggressive even as they conceal their origins to boost credibility. Social media is only one element of China’s far-ranging propaganda efforts. China also disseminates its message on university campuses, where its Confucius Institutes convey a whitewashed view of Chinese history and politics, and its Thousand Talents program aggressively woos top scientists.
The video has other implications as well. By conveying Chinese disinformation through a journalist for Russian media, it may exemplify the increasing media cooperation between the two countries. In addition, it raises questions about whether Niv — and King himself — should have registered as foreign agents on behalf of China.
“This is something that the Department of Justice would certainly be interested in, particularly given the department’s emphasis on combating Chinese influence within the United States,” said Matthew Sanderson, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney who specializes in the Foreign Agents Registration Act. “Who was calling the shots and who is behind the interview?”
In the video, King appears to conduct a live interview with Dolgova, who according to her LinkedIn profile is the head of the International Department at Russian state-linked broadcaster REN TV, and used to be an editor and news analyst for the state-owned Russia-24 channel. The topic is Guo Wengui, a wealthy Chinese dissident who lives in Manhattan. Chinese authorities contend that Guo committed crimes in China, including rape and kidnapping, and they have unsuccessfully sought his deportation from the U.S.
Dolgova, who appears to be reading from a script in a home office, hits the key points of the Chinese government’s position, warning the U.S. against granting Guo political asylum: “The U.S. has really gambled with someone like him,” she says. “He’s actually fled his country from criminal felonies, such as corruption, bribery, money laundering and even sexual harassment.” Guo’s case, she adds, sends a “dangerous message. … If you are wealthy, bring your millions to America and all will be forgiven.”
In this excerpt from the video, Russian journalist Anastasia Dolgova warns against the U.S. granting Guo Wengui political asylum.
When King asks, “Could such events affect the relationship between the countries, and how?” Dolgova responds, “This is all happening in the middle of a trade war truce, so peace between Washington and Beijing. We have got days to go before the truce is over and a deal is set to be struck. … Now, we have this criminal that the U.S. is protecting because he’s a poster boy for free speech even with his long criminal track record.” She sums up: “It isn’t even about U.S.-China relations anymore. It’s about doing the right thing.”
In two emails to ProPublica and two phone interviews, Niv initially maintained that the video was nothing out of the ordinary. He said that Itai Rapoport, an Israeli former journalist who runs a production company, had approached him and “asked to sign a deal where Larry was to host an online conference” about U.S.-China relations, covering the economy, immigration and history. “We started with one episode about Chinese people with influence who moved to the U.S.”
The 36-year-old Niv said he had “no idea” who Guo was. He said that Rapoport provided the script and offered Dolgova as an expert because she had researched the topic. “Larry asked her questions, like he would do in any other conference,” Niv said. “…It was a very simple conference hosting work.”
However, Niv later acknowledged having had increasing qualms about the video as it continued to circulate on social media despite his efforts, at the urging of King’s wife, to take it down. “The only time that I got suspicious that something is not right is when I kept looking at the video again and again and again,” he said. “When I removed it, it kept coming back to YouTube.”
Dolgova and Rapoport declined to comment. “Unfortunately now is not the good time,” Dolgova wrote in a Facebook message.
“Unfortunately I cannot talk about my clients,” Rapoport said. “It’s very private.”
In a telephone interview, King expressed remorse and bewilderment. He said he is not familiar with Guo or Rapoport and hasn’t watched the video. “To me, it was just a small favor for a guy who I like,” he said. “I have no idea what it was for.”
Niv, he said, “gave me some cockamamie reason” for doing the video. “It sounded like I was helping someone in need,” King said. “I never should have done it, obviously.”
He added, “I was stupid. I did what he asked me to do. But I felt sorry for him. I regret having done it, but I had no idea it got international scale. … Obviously, he used me.”
King said he occasionally tapes questions for infomercials or convention videos in advance, without conducting a live interview. While he recalls little of the circumstances of the Dolgova video, he said, Niv would have encouraged him to participate by saying that it was connected to Israel. Whenever Niv pitched him on an infomercial, King said, “it was never without Israel being mentioned, because that would appeal to my instinct as a Jew. He would say, ‘It’s going to be very helpful for us.’”
“That’s all I know. It came and went.”
ProPublica found that the Chinese government was involved in distributing the video. Our analysis of data released by Twitter showed that nearly 250 fake accounts linked to China’s government shared nearly 40 different links to the video a total of more than 500 times. Around half of those fake accounts had more than 10,000 followers.
One Facebook account sharing the video purportedly belonged to “Gabrielle Mcdowell,” but the account’s profile photo was lifted from a photoshoot for a Chinese model named Xu Yanxin. The account owner, whose posts were in Chinese, shared no personal details.
Such tactics are characteristic of China’s growing manipulation of social media to attack its perceived enemies, including dissidents like Guo, Hong Kong protesters, Taiwan and the U.S. Although Twitter is blocked in mainland China, officials there in recent years have increasingly used it to spread disinformation aimed at influencing the Chinese diaspora, Westerners and others globally. Foreign Ministry officials have signed up for Twitter accounts en masse, with officials overtly spreading conspiracy theories, including one that the U.S. military brought the coronavirus to Wuhan. The Chinese embassy didn’t respond to emailed questions for this article.
A Guo supporter, in a Chinese-language tweet to more than 20,000 followers, wondered about Dolgova’s role. “There are so many Sino-U.S. relations experts in China and the United States. Why did the big-name host decide to interview a Russian journalist with broken English?”
But borrowing foreign media like Dolgova is part of the Chinese state media playbook. “They procure a Russian journalist to act as the mouthpiece for the content they want to put out there,” said Roman Sannikov, a cybersecurity researcher who has looked into the spread of disinformation from Russia. “It’s too obvious to have a Chinese person.”
As his career has wound down, King has maintained a presence on American screens thanks in part to Russian state media.
At his peak from 1985 to 2010, as host of CNN’s “Larry King Live,” King was arguably America’s foremost television interviewer of politicians and celebrities. Guests included Nelson Mandela and every U.S. president since Richard Nixon; O.J. Simpson called into the show the day after he was acquitted of double murder in 1995. A Brooklyn native with a mellow, rumbling voice, King was an American original, known not only for his affable manner and easy banter, but also for his trademark suspenders, support for Israel and eight marriages. A member of both the national Radio and Broadcasting halls of fame, he’s twice won the Peabody Award, and he has also hosted the awards ceremony.
In his last month on CNN, December 2010, King interviewed Barbra Streisand, Angelina Jolie and Al Pacino, and two people who would influence the next stage of his career: Mexican telecom billionaire Carlos Slim and then-Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Without an immediate landing spot, King taped infomercials and other paid interviews. But he still yearned for his own show.
In March 2012, King and Slim announced the creation of Ora, funded by Slim’s América Móvil, the Latin American telecom giant. Ora, which means “now” in Italian and is Shawn King’s middle name, made several deals in 2013 with the Russian-controlled international news network RT to license and air its shows. The second Ora show that King hosted, “PoliticKING,” launched on RT America that June. “PoliticKING” is “a terrific fit for RT’s viewers around the world who want to see Larry engage leading lights on the critical issues of the day,” Margarita Simonyan, RT’s editor-in-chief, said.
RT has been criticized for censoring reporters and spouting the Russian government line. A January 2017 report by U.S. intelligence agencies called RT the Kremlin’s “principal international propaganda outlet.”
On several “PoliticKING” episodes, King interviewed members of Putin’s cabinet. He chatted with Russia’s then science and education minister, Dmitry Livanov, about growing tension between the U.S. and Russia in 2015. King also spoke with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in July 2018, an interview touted by RT.
RT has “never interfered” in his programs, King said. “I have a wonderful working agreement with them, they never bother me at all.” Ora’s Dickey and Anna Belkina, RT’s deputy editor in chief, concurred. “Everything we produce and license is unfettered, unbiased, uninfluenced,” Dickey said. King’s shows, including exclusive content for RT, are Ora’s “fully independent productions,” Belkina said.
In September 2018, six months before King taped the Dolgova video, Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping attended a ceremony in Vladivostok, Russia. There, the Russian state-controlled Rossiya Segodnya news agency and Chinese state-controlled China Media Group signed an agreement to cooperate in news exchange, joint reporting and distribution, and promotion of each other’s reports, especially on social media.
Simonyan, the RT editor in chief who had praised the Ora deal as a “terrific fit,” also serves as editor in chief of Rossiya Segodnya. RT hailed the pact as “Russia & Asia working together to create new media language.” China Media Group head Shen Haixiong told RT there must be a “framework for strategic media cooperation, especially between Russia and China.” (China Media Group was established in 2018 to consolidate China’s largest state television and radio companies.) Dmitry Kiselyov, the head of Rossiya Segodnya, added that the new partners “need to fully understand how much Russia and Asia complement each other.”
The Russia-China partnership reflects the alignment of the two countries’ political messaging, as both promote alternatives to liberal democracy in a post-Cold War world. To achieve that goal, the Kremlin is building a “global media conglomerate,” said Nataliya Bugayova, a research fellow at the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. Russian media outlets have signed more than 50 cooperation agreements with foreign media since 2015, she said. Including the Vladivostok pact, Russian and Chinese state-run news agencies have agreed at least six times since 2017 to share content and technology, according to a study by Bugayova and George Barros.
China has initiated its own partnerships with foreign media organizations, said Louisa Lim, a journalist and senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne. About one-half of the journalism unions she recently surveyed in 58 countries had journalists participate in exchanges or training programs sponsored by Chinese organizations. More than one-third reported that their countries had entered into content-sharing agreements with Chinese outlets. Through these partnerships, China is “offering another model of journalism that is … designed to counter the Western media narrative,” she said.
The media relationship with Russia appears to have benefited China. On several occasions, outlets linked to Russia’s government have supported Chinese propaganda. In December 2019, for instance, RT aired a documentary that accused the U.S. of colluding with the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
When Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry, tweeted that reports of mass detention camps for China’s Uighur Muslim minority were the “LIE of the CENTURY,” she cited an article in the Grayzone, a website founded by Max Blumenthal, a frequent contributor to RT and the Russian-controlled Sputnik news agency. Similarly, Chinese government spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s tweet that the coronavirus originated in the U.S. cited a website previously found by NATO to spread Russian propaganda.
China and Israel are also drawing closer. China has become Israel’s second-largest trading partner, behind the U.S., and a Shanghai-based company has a 25-year contract to manage the container terminal of Haifa’s seaport. On a May visit to Israel, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned that letting China invest in such critical infrastructure was a security risk and would jeopardize “the capacity for America to work alongside Israel on important projects.”
Guo, the subject of the King video, is among the earliest and most frequent targets of China’s covert Twitter influence operations, according to an analysis of Twitter-released data by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. ProPublica’s own analysis found that more than half of the nearly 30,000 accounts that Twitter has linked to the Chinese government and suspended had targeted Guo in at least one tweet. The tweets call him a liar, a cheat and rapist who should be repatriated — paralleling Dolgova’s accusations in the video.
Guo rejected those accusations through his attorney, Daniel Podhaskie. “The fact that Guo is the most targeted individual by the Chinese Communist Party’s fake social media arsenal reflects the CCP’s fruitless efforts to discredit Guo and silence his campaign to bring freedom to the Chinese people,” Podhaskie said.
A real estate developer and investor, Guo fled China in 2014 as the government began to arrest his business associates. The next year, Chinese media began accusing him of wielding political connections for personal gain: most luridly, of gaining control of a luxury hotel development in Beijing by leaking a sex tape — obtained from a top Chinese intelligence official — of an uncooperative city bureaucrat. Chinese authorities have sought his arrest on corruption allegations, which he has denied.
In January 2017, Guo resurfaced in New York. He accused Chinese officials of corruption and called for regime change in live-streamed videos broadcast from his $67.5 million penthouse apartment overlooking Central Park. China responded with the Twitter campaign, which began in April 2017.
Guo has made powerful allies in the U.S. He is a member of President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, and his associates include former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, who has a $1 million contract with Guo’s media company for promotional services. On a recent podcast with Bannon, Guo accused China of releasing the novel coronavirus from a Wuhan research lab and covering up the true death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dolgova says in the video that Guo and Bannon “tried to create a fund … to fight Communism and yet no one has heard of that fund or heard anything from Bannon.” In a statement, Bannon said, “This is a war to the knife with the Chinese Communist Party — I’m honored they consider me public enemy #1 against their totalitarian regime.”
Everyone has a different story about how Niv and King first met. Niv told an Israeli magazine that former U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon sent King a letter of introduction. King said he had “no memory of that at all,” adding that a former Beverly Hills mayor introduced them. Danny Ayalon, former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., told ProPublica that he introduced them at Niv’s request around 2011.
Regardless, “I liked him right away,” King said in a 2017 interview with an Israeli outlet. “Then we forged this kind of partnership and investment firm. I have a lot of confidence in him, and I think he’s a terrific thinker and a futurist — he looks ahead.”
King and Jacobi Niv. (Wikimedia Commons)
King’s wife, Shawn, was less enamored of Niv, especially after their experience with businessman Mykalai Kontilai. In the mid-2010s, Kontilai asked the Kings to host a television show called “Collectors Cafe,” promoting a collectibles auction website Kontilai planned to launch. The Kings also attended Kontilai’s dinners with investors, and Larry introduced him to Slim. Kontilai “for sure” used Larry’s credibility to attract and retain investors, King said. Larry taped segments with celebrities including actor Dick Van Dyke, designer Betsey Johnson and rapper Joseph Simmons of Run DMC. The show was never broadcast and the site never launched. In May 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil complaint in federal district court against Kontilai, alleging he misappropriated more than $6.1 million of investors’ money to “fund his lavish lifestyle.” The case is pending.
Shawn had expressed her distrust of Niv to Larry, but he had shrugged her off, he and others said. In a 2014 letter to the director of a hotel in the Alpine resort of St. Moritz, Switzerland, where Niv was seeking to stay, Niv had referred to “Larry King Now” as “my new show” and to Slim as “my partner.” (Niv told ProPublica that his assistant mistakenly used the wrong template.) Such instances led King’s manager — Shawn’s father, Karl Engemann — and Ora’s attorney to send letters in 2014 and 2015 to Niv warning him to stop misrepresenting his relationships with Larry and the company.
Top: A demand from Ora’s attorney to Niv that he stop using the names of King and Ora to acquire benefits from third parties; bottom: an email from Niv to the director of a hotel in the Alpine resort of St. Moritz, Switzerland. (Obtained by ProPublica)
Niv is variously described in Israeli news articles and on his Facebook page as president of “Larry King Foundation”; “KING Entertainment Group”; and “Larry King Holding Company.” ProPublica could find no such entities, and King said they don’t exist. Niv said he made up the names “to describe what we are doing.”
“He was obviously playing off my name,” King said. “I did sign a few things [with Niv], but they went away because the business went out. … I said, sure I’ll help. And then suddenly it was gone. Then he’d have another thing, and it was gone. He’s a wheeler-dealer, but I felt sorry for him. I never envisioned him hurting anyone. But I certainly don’t like him using my name without my authority. It’s dangerous, what he’s doing.”
In 2014, Israeli media reported on Niv’s launching of the “Israel Silicon Valley Chambers of Commerce” with King and Technion Israel Institute of Technology. ProPublica found no evidence of the organization’s existence. Technion spokeswoman Doron Shaham said that “preliminary discussions … did not bear fruit. There has been no interaction with Mr. King or his representatives since then.”
Niv’s actual businesses mostly failed. In 2004, when Niv was 21, he co-founded Koteret, or Headline in Hebrew, a magazine that attracted well-known Israeli journalists, including Ofri Ilani. When Niv recruited him, “I left my previous job and moved on to Koteret,” Ilani recalled. “The wage was low but there was a promise that the magazine would develop and become the Israeli New Yorker.” The magazine folded after several issues.
In 2012, Niv and Larry co-founded LCI-Life Changing Internet LLC in California, according to archived versions of its website. It aimed to develop digital platforms and content, and is no longer active. “He is an amateur bad businessperson with an ambition to gain notoriety just through the networking but not necessarily understanding how to launch products,” said Calvin Mays, the group’s former head of marketing. Niv also formed LK Eyewear LLC, which never got off the ground.
Niv dismissed criticism of his business acumen. “Overall, I’m very happy and proud with my initiatives,” he said in an email.
Niv recently established an online store for adult incontinence products. “Our co-founder Larry King is a senior himself,” the website says. “…During his own quarantine, he noticed the lack of specialized services for the elderly, many of whom have existing issues with mobility and other forms of accessibility.”
In November 2018, an Israeli magazine ran a cover story, “Larry King’s Prince,” about the friendship between Niv and King, with five photos of them together: King in his suspenders and blue tie, Niv sporting a Burberry shirt in one shot, a Hermes belt in another. Niv boasted of moving in A-list circles: meals with Tina Turner and Rihanna, a trip to a spa with Naomi Campbell.
“Did you know that the legendary interviewer Larry King’s right-hand man is Israeli?” the article asked rhetorically.
The article intrigued Rapoport, who had founded his production company in 2007. After reading it, he called Niv, reaching him at a mall in California, Niv said. Rapoport told him that he was impressed by Niv’s other videos featuring King and pitched the idea of an online conference about U.S-China relations, Niv said.
“He told me: ‘The first video we want to do is about people that went out from China to the U.S. And I have a reporter, she made a study on it, she’s very knowledgeable about the case, and Larry can interview her,’” Niv said.
Niv said he recognized Rapoport’s name as a former news reporter on an Israeli television channel. Rapoport’s firm, which has a number of major Israeli companies as clients, prides itself on making promotional videos that resemble actual news. Its website highlights the effectiveness of this approach with viewers: “84% accept private news as real news!”
Recently, Rapoport’s company has done other work related to China. In September 2019, his company shot footage for a video for an Israeli builders’ group about the Haifa port, where Shanghai International Port Group won the 25-year deal to operate the container terminal. “The Israelis are running the business here, the Chinese are [putting] in the hard physical work,’” he wrote on his Facebook page at the time. His post included a photo of the flags of Israel, China and SIPG — the Shanghai port operator — flying side by side.
Rapoport’s proposal delighted Niv. “I went to Larry, and I told him, ‘Larry, look, it’s the first time that someone approached me because he knows that I know you,’” Niv said. “‘This is what he wants to do, what do you think about it?’ He looked at it, he told me, ‘Let’s do it.’”
One month before the taping at Ora, Rapoport sent Niv a message on WhatsApp, giving him a choice of Dolgova or an Italian journalist as King’s video guest. Niv said he picked Dolgova because “she looks better in front of the camera.”
Rapoport sent Niv several videos of Dolgova and told him she is “a star” on Russian television, Niv said. “I thought OK, it’s someone good to talk with, and that’s it.”
Niv didn’t independently verify Rapoport’s information about either Dolgova or Guo. “I didn’t need to do due diligence about the guy that she’s speaking about,” he said. Rapoport “told me that he is a very, very, very, very bad guy. … I said OK.” Niv also didn’t ask Rapoport about the identity of the client who was sponsoring the conference, he said.
After receiving a transcript of Dolgova’s answers from Rapoport, Niv said, he showed it to King over breakfast at a Beverly Hills coffee shop. “Larry told me, ‘Look Jacobi, it doesn’t really matter because she’s the one who made the research, I’m only interviewing her,’” Niv said.
King said he doesn’t recall seeing Dolgova’s responses. “I have no idea who that lady was or what she said. All I know is, I got a list of questions and I asked them.”
Initially, Niv said, Rapoport wanted King to interview Dolgova on one of the Ora programs, but Niv replied that it wouldn’t be possible. Niv had King pre-tape the questions to “save Larry’s time,” he said. “We do it often.”
On March 28, 2019, the day after the taping at the studio, Niv sent the completed video to King’s assistant. As he and Rapoport had arranged, he asked for it to be posted to King’s official social media. Rovou, King’s executive producer, dug in.
“It is offensive to me as a journalist and a producer and I think it should be so for Larry, too,” Rovou wrote to the assistants to Larry and Shawn King. “It’s one thing if he’s paid to do this for a conference video to be seen somewhere internally but it should not see the light of day or be bounced around on his social media.”
Five days later, it still wasn’t posted, so Niv sent a follow-up text to King’s assistant.
“I really don’t want to bother you but it’s not on yet,” he wrote. “Larry said it will be posted today. … I’m really concerned about the timetable with the conference. They are on the edge with that.”
Niv had a backup plan. He created a channel for King on YouTube, posted the video there and sent a link to King’s assistant. On April 5, the assistant sent it to Rovou, who was furious. He hadn’t known that the video would be available on social media. “I thought this was dropped?” he replied, adding Shawn King and her father to the email thread.
Watching the video, Shawn King was baffled; she had never heard of Guo. She was also upset by Larry’s uncharacteristic mistakes. Less than an hour after receiving Rovou’s email, she called Niv and demanded that he remove the video from YouTube. She yelled into the phone that he should have run the deal past her or her father.
“That woman that you say is a journalist, there is nothing, nothing on the internet that says anything,” she told Niv. “She has no credentials. … Larry didn’t even interview her. She was dropped in with the questions. It’s a script. It wasn’t in an interview.”
“You are ruining his brand,” she continued. “You were told many years ago: Do not go directly to Larry. … And when you saw him, you didn’t say, ‘Oh wow, he doesn’t look so good, let’s just kill this thing.’ Don’t ever go to Larry again.”
Niv took it down, he said, but it was already out of his hands. Suddenly, on April 9, King’s video rampaged through social media. That day, a Twitter account with more than 300,000 followers posted the link. The account’s first seven years of posts had been deleted, indicating that it had been hijacked and repurposed.
“While discussing China-US trade negotiations on his show, Mr. Larry King ended up talking only about Guo Wengui’s rape case,” the account tweeted. Guo’s “reputation in the U.S. already stinks.” Twitter later determined that the account was related to a Chinese government influence operation.
There were other signs of a carefully orchestrated campaign. The video had been posted on dozens of unrelated YouTube channels. It also appeared within a short time across social media accounts with limited discussion and engagement between them. In quick succession, some Facebook accounts shared inaccurate English and Chinese transcripts of King’s exchange with Dolgova, suggesting that the script had been circulated in advance.
Alarmed at the video’s sweep across social media, Rovou reached out again to Shawn King. She was driving to watch the older of her and Larry’s two sons play baseball when Rovou called. She pulled her car over and looked on her phone at the links Rovou was sending her.
She called Niv and berated him. When she arrived at the baseball game, he called back, telling her that he did the video as a favor to Larry and that “they” had fooled him, according to two people familiar with the conversation.
Niv didn’t tell Shawn King who “they” were. But he vowed to call them immediately to insist they remove the video from YouTube.
Over a series of emails, Shawn King pressed Niv. “I’m beyond disappointed and furious,” she wrote. “Why on earth is that video back up? You have no right to post it. Take it down immediately.”
Niv replied that the video “was not posted by me or my people. … The only one who has it is us and the conference people, which probably did it WITH NO PERMISSION!” he wrote. “We will request YouTube to remove it immediately.”
Aside from the China video, the other videos Larry King participated in were “small beautiful projects supporting Israel,” Niv assured Shawn. The videos were “not a business for us,” he wrote. “I did it from time to time mainly for Larry if he needed, and to support Israel.” He added that Larry earned a $7,000 “down payment” followed by an additional $3,000 in cash for participating in the video. (In a phone interview, he said that Larry’s share may have been $7,000, and that Niv got the remainder, an amount he didn’t specify.)
Niv has produced half a dozen videos featuring King. From top left clockwise: King; Dolgova; King and Niv; King and Yitzhak Herzog, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel; Larry King and Yossi Abu, CEO of Delek Drilling; and Shraga Brosh, then-president of the Manufacturer’s Association of Israel. (Top left and middle obtained by ProPublica. Top right and bottom row via Walla! News)
Niv told ProPublica that, as a result of concerns about how King looked in the video, “we decided to remove it and redo the conference at a different time. No one ever stated anything about the content of this one chapter of the overall conference.”
If Niv “had any intent or interest” in disparaging Guo, he added, “I would obviously leave the video there and wouldn’t take tremendous effort to remove it immediately.”
As the video continued to pop up, Niv said, he called Rapoport. “I told him: ‘Itai, something here is driving me crazy. What is happening here? I don’t understand.’ He gave me all kinds of excuses.” Niv then enlisted a friend at an Israeli television company to help him take down the video, he said. (Rovou also asked YouTube to remove it.)
In the meantime, King’s health was deteriorating. That month, he had a stroke. “I was out of it for most of April,” he said. “I woke up in intensive care. … They thought I was going to die.”
Niv is not registered as a foreign agent. Given the circumstances of the video, it is “likely” that he should be, and possibly King as well, said Sanderson, the Foreign Agents Registration Act attorney. The act would apply if the request, direction or funding for the video came from a foreign source, he said. The maximum penalty for a willful violation is five years in prison, or a $250,000 fine, or both.
Since U.S. media are exempt from registering, King’s exposure to FARA might rest on whether he was “acting in his capacity as a member of the news media, or is he doing an infomercial where he’s paid specifically to do the interview,” Sanderson said. “The substance of some of his questions and the structure of the interview itself could undercut his claim to be exempt.” Given his age, King could also argue he was “doing something at the behest of a longtime business partner who he regularly knows and trusts … and that he didn’t know about the origins of any money or request.”
That excuse might not help Niv, Sanderson said. “If you’re an international businessman, to say that you accepted money in an outside-the-norm type of transaction or message, and you didn’t do any investigative work to determine what the actual purpose of the task was — just accepting money, sight unseen — typically the (Justice) Department hasn’t accepted that type of argument,” Sanderson said. “…Ignorance and naivete are not free passes here.”
Foreign agents are required to file with the Justice Department the message they’re distributing — in this case, the transcript and video link — at the time it is distributed. The video itself should include a disclaimer identifying it as informational material distributed on behalf of a foreign principal.
“One of the issues here is should people have been on notice that this was distributed on behalf of the foreign government,” Sanderson said.
King said that, as an interviewer, he shouldn’t need to register.
“Would I register as a foreign agent? That’s crazy. I’m not a foreign agent.”
Niv denied working for China. “I never got approached by anyone that was related to China,” he said. “No one Chinese.” Rapoport “told me we are doing a video for him.”
The King video is harder to find online than it once was. YouTube has taken many copies down. By May of this year, aiming to combat Chinese disinformation, Twitter suspended and released data on nearly 30,000 Chinese government influence accounts, many of which had spread the video.
ProPublica found only 14 Facebook accounts still online that had posted the video or its transcript. Seven other accounts that we identified as making similar posts in 2019 are no longer online. Facebook declined to comment on whether it had taken down those accounts; their owners could also have removed them. We couldn’t trace any of the 21 accounts to their actual owners, suggesting that they had been fake.
Guo’s supporters were appalled by the video — and couldn’t believe King was involved. Most of their discussions on Twitter came to the same conclusion: It was a sophisticated political deep fake that used machine learning to imitate King’s voice and likeness. Guo himself took that view. On April 10, the day after the video began to circulate, he live-streamed a message to his followers.
“When we looked up the videos, virtually all of them were posted by wumao on YouTube,” Guo said, using a common term for Chinese government-funded internet trolls. “The transcript of the fake interview was released at the same time.”
Echoing the same false assumption, Guo’s lawyer asked Ora on April 18 to join in “legal action” to take down the video. “The creator of the Video clearly doctored Larry King footage,” Podhaskie wrote. “Not only does the Video make false claims about my client, it impersonates Larry King and appears to signify Mr. King’s endorsement of the defamatory remarks.”
Wrongly assuming that the footage of King was faked, Guo’s lawyer asked Ora to join in a legal action to take down the video. Guo is also known as Miles Kwok. (Obtained by ProPublica)
This year, Ora laid off many staffers and moved out of the Glendale studio. The pandemic has delayed plans to tape some Ora programs at RT’s Los Angeles studio. “Larry King Now” had its final episode in February. Its replacement is a show hosted by comedian Dennis Miller.
King recently renewed his contract for “PoliticKING” through 2021-2022. He’d like to keep working for the rest of his life and “collapse on the set asking a question,” he said.
Ora no longer allows King to tape infomercials on the set, Dickey said. “What was an accommodation to his schedule and his age, … we just can’t put ourselves in that position any more, and we don’t.”
Niv’s incontinence business has changed its mission. It will now have “free online courses” to help the elderly, he said. Rapoport asked him for more videos featuring King, but Niv wasn’t interested, he said. He told Rapoport that he didn’t want anything more to do with him.
“Seriously, who needs this headache?” Niv said. The China video “really put me in a very bad position, and I really hate it, and I feel like I don’t deserve it. I never, ever thought that there is something not right.”
“I felt like someone took advantage of me,” he continued. “I wish that I knew (about the connection to China), and I wish that I knew it on time. … Today I am more intelligent, I am more knowledgeable.”
In a Facebook post on Feb. 4, Rapoport displayed a photo of himself behind interlocking table-top flags of Israel and China. “Preparing super interesting lecturers for an economic conference that will be held tomorrow,” he wrote.
Itai Rapoport with the Israeli and Chinese flags. (via Facebook)
After almost 22 years of marriage, Larry King filed for divorce from Shawn in August 2019. (The divorce is pending.) They remain close and talk regularly by phone, he said.
Based on the revelations about the video, King said he is “breaking off relations” with Niv, including “bowing out” of the incontinence venture. He now believes, he said, that Niv took advantage of his friendship, and that the gifts on Jewish holidays were “part of the con.”
On July 20, four days after receiving emailed questions from ProPublica, Niv called King. He arranged to come over the next day “to bring me a cake and take a picture with me,” King said. On Shawn’s advice, King canceled the date.
Shawn King and Rovou “turned out to be right,” King said. “Shawn has always said I’m easily taken advantage of.”
Investigative journalist Uri Blau contributed reporting and translation. Priyanjana Bengani, senior research fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School, and Mia Shuang Li, research associate at the Paul Tsai China Center at Yale Law School, contributed reporting.
“Authorities in Beijing are taking steps that are setting off alarm bells inside the U.S. military and intelligence communities.”
‘Indications and warnings’ from China
By Bill Gertz – The Washington Times – Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Authorities in Beijing are taking steps that are setting off alarm bells inside the U.S. military and intelligence communities.
What intelligence agencies call “indications and warnings” — signs of potential hostile military or other actions against the United States — are being detected from inside China. Analysts suggest these movements reveal Beijing may be preparing for some type of military or covert action.
One indicator was Twitter video showing authorities putting up signs telling citizens how to take cover in a bomb shelter.
The account @TruthAbtChina on July 25 tweeted video from Beijing and Shanghai showing posters instructing people how to go to underground bunkers if an alarm signals a military attack.
One poster read: “How to quickly enter the wartime civil air defense facility after you hear the alarm.”
Civil defense has been a major focus of Chinese Communist Party leaders since the 1960s, when Beijing feared attack from the Soviet Union.
Also, China’s “Great Underground Wall” — 3,000 miles of tunnels connecting nuclear missiles, warheads and production plants — highlights the CCP’s concern with underground facilities.
Another source in Asia reported that Taiwanese ham radio operators were picking up indicators that China may be preparing to take some type of action against Taiwan’s outer islands, which are closer to the mainland than the main Taiwan island, which sits around 100 miles off the southern coast.
A third indicator comes from a businessman with contacts inside China who says locals there are reporting unusual movements of equipment and shifts in production at some factories away from producing civilian products.
There are also rumors of a major political power struggle in Beijing pitting Chinese President Xi Jinping against political elements behind former Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong — an ally of former leader Jiang Zemin and part of the Shanghai political faction.
“The internal messaging has suddenly turned much more bellicose, and crackdowns internally have ratcheted up, significantly,” said the businessman, speaking on background. “It is not clear if their concern is external or internal, but there has been a shift in Chinese-focused rhetoric, and military readiness is suddenly heightened.”
The last time similar indicators were seen was around 2012 when senior party leader Bo Xilai set himself up as a new sort of populist leader in southern China until he was ousted by Mr. Xi.
ESPER LEFT OUT OF CHINA SPEECHES
Four senior Trump administration officials in recent weeks issued major foreign policy addresses outlining the threats posed by communist China and the Trump administration’s response to it.
One official who was not part of the four-part critique and counterproposal was Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who instead recently announced he is ready to travel to China for meetings with military leaders there.
The conciliatory approach appears part of the past engagement policies that placed a high value on military exchanges with Beijing, but the effort to “build trust” with the People’s Liberation Army has largely failed to produce closer ties or cooperation.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed such engagements in his own address on China, questioning whether there were any benefits to the U.S. from 50 years of engagement with China. “The old paradigm of blind engagement with China has failed,” he said.
White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien kicked off the series of speeches last month, identifying America’s dealings with China as the greatest failure of U.S. foreign policy since the 1930s.
FBI Director Christopher Wray then outlined the Chinese intelligence and technology theft danger, which he called the greatest long-term threat to American economic and national security.
Attorney General William Barr then lambasted the Chinese Communist Party for exploiting American openness. “The CCP has launched an orchestrated campaign, across all of its many tentacles in Chinese government and society, to exploit the openness of our institutions in order to destroy them,” he said.
By contrast, Mr. Esper, in a July 21 speech, sounded more like a defense secretary in the Obama administration while laying out his views on China.
Instead of focusing on Beijing’s alarming buildup of conventional and nuclear forces aimed at preparing for a future conflict with the United States, Mr. Esper instead offered a relatively dry outline of the U.S. military’s plan to bolster regional readiness and increase alliance ties.
The secretary did highlight what he called China’s “systematic rule-breaking, coercion and other malign activities” in the South China Sea and East China Sea, and its imposition of a draconian new security law in Hong Kong.
But Mr. Esper also lauded his “multiple” conversations with Chinese military leaders and announced that he plans to travel to China later this year “to enhance cooperation on areas of common interest, establish the systems necessary for crisis communications, and reinforce our intentions to openly compete in the international system in which we all belong.”
The problem is that China has shown no willingness to enhance mutual cooperation or establish systems of military communications.
A senior administration official said the Pentagon leader was left out of the four-speech strategy because of a lack of solid China hands in key policy positions after the departure in December of Assistant Defense Secretary Randall Schriver. Instead, Pentagon policy bureaucrats known to favor softer policies on China remain in key positions.
A senior State Department official said Mr. Esper’s moderate stance on China is not a problem and appears more of a “good cop-bad cop” tactic.
Jonathan Hoffman, Mr. Esper’s chief spokesman, denied that Mr. Esper is soft on China and insisted that the Pentagon has been focused on the China threat for years by implementing plans for long-term competition.
“The secretary has focused on this topic in his public and private remarks for more than a year. Notably, he spoke out at the 2019 ASEAN defense ministers’ meeting plus to our partner nations and his Chinese counterpart, and again to the International Institute for Strategic Studies last week to a global audience,” he said.
More messaging along those lines is expected in the coming weeks.
“At the same time, however, if we are looking for a diplomatic — not military — solution to Chinese misadventure and malign influence, then other elements of the U.S. government should be communicating as well, which we have seen increasingly over the last year from all corners of the administration,” Mr. Hoffman said.
Militarily, American forces “will continue to exhibit action and capacity in our ability to confront China if needed,” he added, noting stepped-up freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea.
The highest-profile military show of force in the region was the recent dual aircraft carrier operations in the South China Sea — a direct challenge to China’s expansive sovereignty claims. The Pentagon has also built up advanced capabilities and adopted strategies and plans to protect the American people and promote shared interests in the Indo-Pacific, the spokesman said.
“As the secretary said, ‘While we hope the CCP will change its ways, we must be prepared for the alternative,’” Mr. Hoffman said.
CFR’S HAASS ON POMPEO
Richard Haass, president of the establishment Council on Foreign Relations, recently challenged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech calling 50 years of American engagement with China a failure.
Writing in The Washington Post, Mr. Haass described Mr. Pompeo’s “blistering” speech in California last week as undiplomatic and inaccurate.
Mr. Haass praised the engagement policy launched by President Nixon and then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, saying it saw China as a “counterweight” to the Soviet Union and aimed at shaping Beijing’s foreign policies and not reforming its communist system.
Mr. Haass’ piece echoed many of China’s own talking points, arguing that Beijing is peaceful, has not fought a war in over 30 years and has not invaded Taiwan yet.
“Theodore Roosevelt advised the United States to speak softly and carry a big stick,” Mr. Haass wrote. “This president and his chief diplomat are perilously close to getting it backward.”
Evidence of how closely Mr. Haass’ views fit with those of China’s propagandists was on display on Twitter. A tweet by Mr. Haass promoting his op-ed was retweeted by none other than chief Foreign Ministry propaganda official Hua Chunying.
A senior Trump administration official tells Inside the Ring that Mr. Haass’ views are stuck in the “China fantasy” policy of the 1970s that sought to downplay or ignore threats posed by Beijing.
The Council on Foreign Relations president “mistook Nixon and Kissinger’s incidental expediency for permanent strategy, confusing means with goals,” the official said.
“In fact, the primary impetus for Nixon and Kissinger to go to China was to seek Chinese help in getting the U.S. out of the Vietnam War to boost Nixon’s 1972 reelection.”
The official noted that it was the Chinese communists — not the Americans — who wanted a joint geopolitical counterweight to the Soviet Union.
“The Chinese played the U.S. card much more adroitly than the other way around,” the official said. “The post-Watergate spin on Nixon and Kissinger’s strategic brilliance in the 1970s reflects a poverty of epistemological humility.”
Asked about the official’s comments, Mr. Haass said his op-ed “speaks for itself.”
• Contact Bill Gertz on Twitter at @BillGertz.
Tachyum Prodigy Universal Processor microchip to revolutionize technology – Washington Times
Revolutionary microchip hailed as ‘generational’ breakthrough that will upend defense tech
Chip melds into one device three types of current processors
By Bill Gertz – The Washington Times – Thursday, July 30, 2020
An energy-efficient microchip under development combines different types of processors into one chip and is expected to revolutionize commercial and defense technology, the advanced semiconductor’s inventor says.
Radoslav Danilak, a veteran Silicon Valley electrical engineer who has worked with the U.S. military and intelligence community, predicted that the chip, called Prodigy, will save billions of dollars for tech giants such as Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Google.
In two to three years, Mr. Danilak said, the advanced microchip likely will be running aerial and underwater unmanned vehicles, powering the world’s fastest supercomputers and being deployed on cell towers to facilitate faster and more capable 5G internet and telecommunications infrastructure.
“We’re bringing this capability 10 to 15 years earlier than others thanks to our universality, so that’s really a game changer,” Mr. Danilak said in an interview.
Retired Army Lt. Gen. Richard Zahner is a career electronic intelligence specialist who headed signals intelligence at the National Security Agency and ended his career as Army deputy chief of staff for intelligence. He said the new microchip could help restore America’s technological edge.
“It’s an American design,” said Gen. Zahner, describing the chip as a “generational” technology breakthrough.
“I think the instruction set and the rest make this sufficiently different to make it challenging for the Chinese and others who might otherwise have an existent leg up. So this sort of re-levels the playing field potentially in our favor.”
The chip, Mr. Danilak said, drastically reduces energy consumption from earlier microchips. The efficiency is needed to respond to a projected skyrocketing of global electricity use to power cloud computing data centers — the electronic brains of the modern information age.
For government, the technology holds the promise of boosting advancements of artificial-intelligence-powered robotic weapons and helping build next-generation nuclear weapons, Mr. Danilak, an American born in Slovakia who holds a doctorate in computer science, said in an interview. Intelligence capabilities would also be enhanced.
“We feel this is a fundamental transformation from dual-use technology, and both the commercial sector and the government will immensely benefit from that,” he said.
‘It will be very disruptive.’
The chip combines microscopic wiring technology and complex software to produce a “universal processor chip.”
The chip melds into one device three types of current processors: a central processing unit, a graphics processing unit, and a cutting-edge processor called an artificial intelligence accelerator, application-specific integrated circuit, or ASIC.
Combining three types of processors will dramatically improve computing efficiency and allow big data companies to maximize servers costing hundreds of millions of dollars by renting out computer time during periods of low usage.
For example, Facebook’s largest data center houses more than 400,000 computer servers, but many of the servers are idled during early morning hours when people are sleeping and online activity is low. Mr. Danilak said Facebook could generate hundreds of millions of dollars by using servers powered by the new chip and renting out computer time for artificial intelligence work during off hours.
Mr. Danilak is chief executive officer of Tachyum, a startup with offices in his native Slovakia and in Santa Clara, California. The small company includes an international team of technology experts who developed the Prodigy chip over the past four years.
They include Ken Wagner, a former undersea warfare technology expert for the Navy, and Steve Furber, an engineering professor who is credited with developing the first Advanced RISC Machines processor, or ARM — now the power behind cellphones and other handheld devices.
Mr. Danilak believes the reduced energy usage of the Prodigy chip will alleviate what he says is a coming global energy crisis. In 10 years, the explosion of cloud computing data centers, artificial intelligence-driven computing, 5G telecommunications and the “internet of things” — billions of networked devices — threatens to overwhelm current electrical power capacity.
As electronic data grows, the centers used to house, store, process and cool servers could run out of juice.
Eyed by the military
The Prodigy is being developed mainly for commercial data centers, but military and intelligence users are looking at its unique features for artificial intelligence devices and supercomputing.
“What we are bringing comes from first principles,” said Mr. Danilak, contending that “our solution is three times lower in cost but requires nearly 10 times less power use.”
Mr. Danilak also believes Prodigy will speed up efforts to develop artificial intelligence systems the size of a human brain. Currently, a computer powerful enough to mimic the human brain would cost about $10 billion, more than either government or industry views as practical.
With the new chip, production of a robotic brain may be possible in three or four years.
Automakers will use the chip for AI-powered self-driving cars, Mr. Danilak said.
For government and the military, the chip will bolster weapons and intelligence systems with improved size, weight and power.
Prodigy chips could boost onboard processing power for drones and satellites by nearly 10 times the current systems, and onboard artificial intelligence could be used without increasing electric power consumption.
Harry Haury, a cloud computing expert with extensive business experience in China, said he believes the chip has the potential to revolutionize the industry.
“Tachyum’s new product puts 128 fully functional AI-capable computers on a single chip,” Mr. Haury said. “The product sips power and provides a future direction for software defined data centers, cloud computing and supercomputing at a fraction of the cost.”
The microchip also uses “an advanced architecture that provides multichannel ultra-high-speed communications to allow seamless horizontal scaling, the holy grail, if successful,” he added.
Mr. Haury said Chinese authorities have made obtaining this type of technology a high priority.
“If a technology is critical to a sector they wish to command, they will go to great lengths to acquire and control it,” Mr. Haury said. “This has happened already with many technologies once dominated by the U.S. or Europe.”
China’s government has made dominating strategic industries a key national goal. Information technology targets include cloud computing, telecommunications infrastructure, chip design and manufacturing, AI, massive database technology, social networking, software defined networks and advanced processor architecture.
“New high-performance parallel communications architectures combined with high-performance chips to implement massive data center sized computers are a key focus of Chinese technology development,” Mr. Haury said.
Gen. Zahner, the former government electronic intelligence specialist, said U.S. adversaries have been emboldened in recent years to seek advantages over the United States across the spectrum of competition and conflict.
Newer, smarter weapons will require advanced technologies like those powered by artificial intelligence, he said, and that will require more and better data and processing.
“Today’s tapestry of computing architectures is exquisite but fundamentally stovepiped. Achieving the imperatives of operational convergence requires a fundamental rethink of our approach,” he said.
Prodigy’s “unique attributes,” he added in an interview, “set the conditions to create a computing architecture fully aligned with the operational and strategic imperatives of our national strategy.”
Microchips are small, thin semiconductors that relay information through an electrical grid and create an integrated circuit. As the chips became smaller and more powerful, the wires used to move electrons through the chips have slowed performance.
Prodigy says it has patented a method to open the bottleneck by dividing computations from communications within the device.
“By solving the wire problem, we can solve the power problem,” Mr. Danilak said.
Mr. Danilak did not say whether the technology could be sold to China but noted that it will help the United States compete with China in the field of supercomputing.
Asked whether Beijing might steal the technology, based on China’s aggressive program to acquire foreign know-how, Mr. Danilak said the chip is patented and the technology secured from unauthorized copying.
“I would like to bring it to market, to be everywhere, so that everybody uses it and everybody benefits,” Mr. Danilak said. “I want my name on the first human brain scale machine.”
Jeff not sure if you can comment, this video which John L Casey did on the coming Grand Solar Minimum in 2013. Well he mentions the start of the Grand Solar Minimum will be similar to the Dalton Minimum and around the 2030’s John L Casey believes it will be similar to the Maunder Minimum. John L Casey goes into the causes of the French Revolution and apparently he mentions starvation was a huge factor/cause
I’m not sure if starvation was the cause, as most histories emphasize the bankruptcy of the French Crown. That is was cause King Louis XVI to summon the Estates General, which then began to form its own state around egalitarian and republican ideals. Of course, cold weather may have been missed by the historians I read. I will watch the video to see what I missed.
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