Attack Ad On Biden Incorrectly Targets China Airlines

Filed Under: China Airlines, Media

A few weeks ago I wrote about how China Airlines is allegedly considering a name change. China Airlines is based in Taipei, and is the “flag” carrier of Taiwan. However, there has long been confusion and controversy surrounding the name, as some people assume the airline is from mainland China based on the name.

While there has been talk about a China Airlines name change for a long time, the discussion around this has intensified recently, given the controversy surrounding China in light of COVID-19. Taiwanese government officials have even addressed this in recent weeks, and said they have an “open mind” towards a name change.

If you’re looking for the latest case of confusion over China Airlines’ name, look no further than an ad targeted at Joe Biden from “America First Action,” which is a SuperPAC that is dedicated to creating “a first place America we can all be proud of,” given that “for eight long years, America was held hostage by an administration where our hopes, dreams and values were sold, piece by piece.”

Anyway, this attack ad focuses on Biden’s response to the China travel ban that was instituted in early February. In the ad there’s a screen that says “Joe Biden failed to support China travel ban when it was announced,” and it shows a picture of… a China Airlines plane.

You can watch the ad here:

The China travel ban never included Taiwan, so while the SuperPAC clearly went to find some stock airplane footage, they didn’t actually do much research.

US Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao is from Taiwan… I wonder how she’d feel about this.

  1. Thanks for this story – I do think your headline is confusing, as it makes it seem like it is a Biden attack ad, rather than an ad attacking Biden!

  2. @ Brooks — Realized after publishing that could be confusing, so updated title from “Biden Attack Ad” to “Attack Ad On Biden.” Thanks for the heads up.

  3. So When I signed up for this “Travel Blog” you should have warned you would take it Political. Stick to your game and leave Politics out of your Travel Site.

  4. I really wish I could come on a travel blog without being inundated with political crap. And as usual, it’s heavily slanted towards one side of the political aisle

  5. Thank you for exposing the stupidity of right wing nuts, such as Bob above, who immediately call for decency, kindness, changing of the topic when someone shows the world how dumb they actually are.

  6. @Bob He’s not expressing an opinion about Joe Biden. He’s simply talking about a political ad with a picture of a particular airline. That’s not political, there’s no mention of his thoughts on the political candidate

  7. Easily one of the worst ads I have ever seen. It’s full of lies and attempts to shift blame from Trump to a man who has nowhere near as much power.

    My highlight was failed to support the travel ban. The ban that was so effective that over a million Americans have been infected.

  8. @Bob @K there was absolutely zero political bias in this article. If you chose to feel offended by what I can only assume are you conservative leanings being attacked by this statement of fact article, maybe you should reconsider your views ~snowflake~

  9. Just more of the ‘dumb and dumber’ deplorables in action. I guess they take a lead from the moron-in-chief, although he appears to take his strategy from figures from the 1930s , including “the big lie”, whereas the acolytes appear to be without strategy, merely cretinous .
    Taiwan Airlines would be a good choice of name.

  10. Americans are infamous for their general lack of geographic knowledge. The people who this ad would be targeted at probably never owned or intend to own a passport.

    However, this is America – China Airlines should sue. I’m sure they need the cash lol.

  11. @Bob and @K no one is forcing you read this blog. A blog is generally expected to contain personal views (not that I think Ben expressed any political views here) but if you can’t even deal with someone writing about their personal opinions…

  12. Elaine Chao is married to Moscow Mitch, so I’m sure she’s perfectly fine with it

  13. Wow, is it already time for another round of “conservatives whine and cry in the comment section”?

  14. @Wilhelm:

    That’s exactly correct. The segment of the US population that believes this tripe is the same sort that…
    A. Doesn’t know the difference between Taiwan and China in the first place (let alone the various airlines) and refers to all Asians as “orientals”, like the rug
    B. Likely has never traveled outside their state or region of the US, let alone hold a passport
    C. Watches Fox News only and thinks anyone that gets their “news” from other sources is ignorant or a “sheeple”
    D. Doesn’t understand the concept of bias or confirmation bias
    E. Endless clicks “Like” and “Share” on Facebook posts that support their far-fetched GOP conspiracy theories
    F. Refers to the period of American history in the early 1860s as “The War of Northern Aggression”, thinks it’s still going on, and has a “Don’t Tread on Me” sticker on their lifted truck since flying the “Stars and Bars” is pretty passe at this point

  15. Let’s just say that some Americans and geography don’t have a good relationship.

  16. Who cares lol. The point of an ad is to get a point across, which this did, despite the slight inaccuracy which 99% of the world wouldn’t notice.

  17. @Colin.

    Yes, 99% will not notice. But then we are all airline geeks here, so this entire website is about things 99% of people do not care about.

  18. I love how you can only be a leftist, tree hugger on thus website. People like myself keep getting silenced for speaking the truth.

  19. @Colin- Who cares? you should care because the ad is one of the most misleading ads I have seen since 2016. Everything that Biden is saying is taken completely out of context and were parts of wider conversations. That is completely evil and deceiving which is pretty normal from high level Trump supporters. But then in Trumps own words several years back…If I was to run for president I would run as a republican because they are dumber. NOT MY WORDS ..HIS

  20. @AR- you are spot on. Perfectly stated. I can personally attest to your point F. A southern colleague once told me that the War of Northern Aggression was only half time. That was supposed to intimidate me. It only made me laugh even more

  21. @John. Who is “silencing” you and how? People who disagree express their views, sure. That is not silencing. Stop whining….

  22. @John, what truth are you speaking? That China Airlines is the airline of mainland China?

  23. LOL right wing snowflakes like Bob and K can’t grasp how Ben reported this totally flat without any tone. I have many Soviet jokes for these guys.
    Plus Elaine Chao can suck this down like Toad Mitch, she’s a Republican after all.

    And at the end of day this highlights a practical issue surrounding China Airlines, more and more Taiwanese are agreeing the name should better reflect Taiwan, which I can relate, though still love the China Airlines name.

  24. @John – would love LOVE for you and all the Covid hoaxers, racists, climate change deniers, MAGA hat wearing readers to go create a right wing-focused travel blog together. Win/win all around?

  25. Spirit Airlines should rename itself Air Sweden. After all, China Airlines is not China. Ok, they really are China, the correct China.

  26. John knows he isn’t being silenced at all. He’s just virtue signalling to his fellow right wingers.

  27. LOL, Ben regularly deletes conservative-leaning posts (but not all, he leaves a few up to make sure that liberals think that they are in the majority of his readers). You can see it by checking the comments, then checking an hour later and see what has been deleted. Probably like this one will be, lol.

    Ben post some great stuff, and I’ll keep reading, but his anti-trump, anti-United bias shines through regularly. You can set your calendar to it, about three times a week.

  28. @Jay
    Spot on, buddy. Apparently Ben doesn’t like anyone putting Trump in a positive light. It really is sad.

    Is marijuana legal in your state? If so, I suggest you smoke some

  29. Can’t you support Trump w/o supporting blatantly (laughably, frankly) false ads? Or are the two so inextricably linked you feel put on whenever somebody points this kind of thing out?

  30. Let’s take a step back here… when it comes to managing the COVID-19 crisis, Trump has been the most reluctant and inconsistent among public and private leaders in the world. I get that his priorities are in the economy and don’t think it’s completely invalid. It’s just that you can’t have the cake and eat it, too… Trump has nothing to claim when it comes to protecting Americans from the virus.

    Also please be reminded that the vast majority of America’s 1.2 million+ COVID-19 cases are of the European strand, e.g. the outbreaks in our country immigrated from Europe, not China or other parts of Asia.

    So that reduces the “China ban” to what it is… a “China ban” with little to do with disease control. Why would anyone expect Joe Biden to support a racist xenophobia, anyway?

  31. @ Jay @ John — No problem with conservative-leaning posts as long as they aren’t spreading misinformation and otherwise adhere to our commenting policy:

    If comments are being removed (yours or anyone else’s) that is the reason. If your political stance (left or right) somehow prevents you from being able to engage constructively in a public forum, or requires you to replace facts with propaganda, then I concede that it probably feels politically-motivated from that perspective.

  32. You should not post the screen image of this laughably inept propaganda piece that repeats the meme they are trying to establish, no matter how it exposes the complete ignorance of the right wing thugs running it. By showing that image, you further their efforts – this is what they count on. You are actually repeating and reinforcing their message.

    Your text describes the issue reasonably well, there’s no need to repeat their nonsense but by posting the image, you do.

    You could simply show a shot of a China Airlines plane – or maybe a map with Taiwan circled for the geographically ignorant and intellectually-challenged Trump supporters. You do NOT need to help them by amplifying their ad.

  33. Tea has been spilled and my popcorn is popping!

    Now sit back and watch the show 😀

  34. @Tiffany – The word misinformation appears nowhere in the “policy”.

    Also, who is the authority on what constitutes “misinformation”? Don’t you think it’s a slippery slope to be the word police?

  35. @ Tiffany, I have not had any of my comments removed, however, I know right-leaning comments have disappeared from this thread as well as:
    – Bernie Sanders Calls American Airlines Management Disgraceful
    – President Trump Wants To Buy Years Of Discounted Airline Tickets

    Perhaps the original posters are deleting them after reading Ben’s followers’ gospel. 🙂

    @ Tiffany, as you appear to be a moderator, and someone asked what was deleted, maybe you know the right-leaning posts from the above threads? And really, it’s OK to say “at OMAAT, we lean left and cater to that group”. You have the Bill of Rights on your side to do that. But the subtle disdain on OMAAT for anything that is not left is noticeable by any regular reader.

    Finally, a suggestion to young Ben … lay off the political posts that are only meant to massage the views of the other far-lefties here. They accomplish nothing except getting your readers all worked up (see this thread for evidence). Ben, stick to what you really know well. AIRLINES!!!!

  36. @Tiffany please, just for completeness, allow me to point out that there are other things, beyond what you cited, that can get comments “removed” or never appear in the first place. In my case, it certainly wasn’t political leanings or indeed my actual message or meaning. A single word (in my case a 3-letter word starting with G, sometimes synonymous with the word “happy”), used appropriately, accurately and positively by a kindred spirit, to compliment people and a dog on a bench, resulted in a message being banned.

    Assurances about how reasonable and predictable OMAAT’s censorship policy is don’t ring true for this reader, notwithstanding my strong alliance with your team on most other matters, likely including most politics.

    This blog’s high readership sadly prompted the company to use automation to screen comments posts. It’s easy, without any unwelcome intent, for a loyal reader’s otherwise welcome contribution to get tossed over the side.

  37. @Ben: another good one 🙂

    @John: “Apparently Ben doesn’t like anyone putting Trump in a positive light”
    I certainly wish you would be kidding but you are apparently very serious about that 😉

    @Jay: as a wise man you should not be patronizing, right?

    A recent tweet from Steve Schmidt (March 22, 2020) captures very precisely the kind of leadership America is enjoying currently. It goes along these tough lines “Trump is incompetent, dishonest and profoundly indecent. […]”
    Check for leadership qualities on the web too. Very informative.

    In today’s America facts matter less than ever at the highest political level. Acting responsibly too.
    GREAT not. WILD certainly… with the formidable potential of another 4 years.

  38. @ DenB® — The comment you reference wasn’t banned; it entered the manual approval queue (because a shocking number of people think it’s appropriate to post bigoted and homophobic comments on a site owned by an openly gay man, and we don’t think other people should have to put up with that). As far as I know it was ultimately approved? It should have been, and something like that would certainly never result in being added to a ban list on our end.

    But if there are things we miss, please do let us know.

  39. @ Colin — Does misinformation add value? We’re all doing the best we can here.

  40. @Tiffany “When” matters. If my long-ago post was “ultimately” posted, I didn’t learn of it. I stopped looking for it after many hours, because I gave up and at that point it no longer mattered. If my comment will be far down the list, I won’t invest my valuable time composing and editing it. And I won’t even begin composing something, if I think it might get caught in “manual approval” because that process is too slow and the resultant post, if approved, will not enjoy the same readership that made it worth writing. Once it’s in “secondary”, it’s waste.

    I love you guys
    I think you’re great from almost any angle (with decent lighting obviously)

    …but if I post something appropriate, positive, worthwhile, I will be bitter when an arbitrary, badly designed process ruins it. I won’t stop feeling your solution is bad, just because you’ve described the problem again.

  41. @DenB®

    If the comment moderation on a travel blog is making you this upset, perhaps you should log off and take a break for a couple days? I mean this with all sincerity. It doesn’t seem healthy to get this worked up over something so trivial.

  42. @Tiffany – I’m saying it isn’t always up to you what constitutes ‘value’ or ‘misinformation’. By definition, if a comment goes against your personal opinion, it obviously doesn’t add any value to you. It may to others.

    I’m not trying to be some warrior for completely un-moderated comments. I think there are some obvious behaviors/words that shouldn’t have to be tolerated. But I’ve also witnessed numerous comments get shunned down the memory hole as if they never existed and there are certain common denominators. Citing lack of “adding value” seems to be a copout, of sorts. Especially when I can name posters (even in this very thread) who constantly call people names (racist, homophobic, maggots) simply for disagreeing with political views. Is that ‘adding value’? I guess diversity isn’t so great when it’s the of the intellectual variety.

    All that being said, thanks for the blog. You and Ben do an excellent job. Just some friendly feedback/constructive criticism.

  43. LOVING IT!!!! Russia’s and China’s (PRC’s of course) divide and conquer doctrine is working…..Western people are ready to kill one another….The “best” is yet to come….

    Of note: I was being sarcastic about “loving it”…VERY sad indeed….

    United we stand my A$$………….

  44. If you think the reactions here are bad, you haven’t seen another popular blog where the Axis of Deplorables has sadly taken root…far far worse than here

  45. Lucky, do you know that Taiwan’s current DPP administration is a firm Trump supporter as they basically run on the same anti-intellectual populist agenda.

  46. @ Colin — I appreciate where you’re coming from (though I would disagree that there isn’t value in something that goes against one’s personal opinion — many people, myself included, find value in opposing viewpoints and the associated dialogue when it’s constructive), and we truly are doing our best here.

    There is a difference though between facts and lies, and that difference is frankly not a matter of personal opinion. We welcome all sorts of opinions, even and especially those we disagree with, provided they are fact-based. I would absolutely agree that there are certain common denominators to the comments that do get deleted, but I’d suggest you may not be seeing the full spectrum there.

    I fully acknowledge that we aren’t perfect (or anywhere close to it), and this is all very complicated. But we’re trying to do what we think is best for the majority of readers in this community, and most people seem to appreciate that.

  47. @Tiffany – Thanks for the response. It’s appreciated.

    And thanks again for the hard work (ok, Ben too 😉 ) on the blog itself. There wouldn’t be anywhere to ‘add value’ in the comments section if there wasn’t the value of the content to begin with 🙂

  48. Wow this is a funny article. China Airlines must be from China. Some guy from a place like Nebraska searching google image for a Chinese airliner.

  49. @John “Spot on, buddy. Apparently Ben doesn’t like anyone putting Trump in a positive light. It really is sad.” I’d be very interested to find anything that Trump has done that is positive. Please, post away.

  50. US score 27th on the list of average IQ. It seems to go down faster now while asian countries go up.

  51. The average punter won’t even know the difference, or care for that matter. Talk about fake news. LOL.

  52. @Ben has done a great service to promote (non-political) Truth by pointing out how easy it is to confuse China Airlines as being an entity from China, rather than rightfully being from Taiwan; this confusion is of utmost importance, for interests of national identity, to the government and populace in Taiwan, and polluting such concerns with totally irrelevant American politicization is totally inappropriate, and merely reinforces a global sentiment that the American public is just so inconsiderate about such issues regarding other countries’ national identities!

    The reason why it’s important to rectify such an image mistake, is because Taiwan, through China Airlines, has donated tons of PPE supplies to ailing countries in need worldwide (even USA), but especially to the EU, where Taiwan has finally attained rightfully earned acknowledgement for its generosity. China, on the other hand, vacuumed up the world’s PPE supplies ahead of COVID-19’s international spreading, and then tried to sell those supplies back to those ailing countries at much inflated prices. Taiwan definitely does not want to get conflated with China!

    So everyone needs to stop politicizing this unfortunate imagery mistake and support the country — Taiwan — that got wrongly attributed in that unfortunate political advertisement, especially since Taiwan had tried to warn the WHO (and hence the world) back on December 31, 2019, about human-to-human transmission of COVID-19, only to get rebuffed and ignored by that agency, which preferred to suck up to China and its coverups and disinformation! Think about the hundreds of thousands of worldwide pandemic victims who could have been saved, had WHO accepted Taiwan’s early warning!

    Somehow American partisan politics shouldn’t seem so important when viewed from the global pandemic victims’ perspectives, huh?

  53. Attention is in the detail and this is quite offensive to the other parties involved. If Trump is focused on Taiwan rather than Mainland, this does not send a good message. For better or worse, they are acting as naive and uneducated as most Americans.

  54. @Iamhere – are you suggesting that Trump (and America) can’t walk and chew gum at the same time?

  55. Sad times for Bob. All he wanted was reading a travel blog without anyone hurting his feelings by pointing out factual errors.

  56. There is a relatively easy solution for those idiots inside Taiwan’s MOT & senior management of CAL — changing the English name of the airlines to:


    CAL already owns the the name “Mandarin” (name of its subsidiary airlines). People around the world will not get confused by the name “Mandarin Airways”, citizens of Taiwan likely won’t have negative sentiments toward the name “Mandarin Airways”, & it will be difficult for those God damn ChiCom bastards to pick on the name “Mandarin Airways”.

  57. I really don’t like it when a travel site becomes more and more political. I’m sure some of you will tell me to leave. Ok…

  58. Aren’t these the same people who used footage of Gary Locke (a US-born American citizen) to portray Biden’s “secret Chinese masters?”

    Red-baiting racist idiots don’t know the difference, and they don’t care. They’ll do whatever it takes to keep the Mango Moron in power.

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