Thursday, April 15, 2010

South China Morning Post [half-heartedly sort of kind of like] ''apologizes'' to USSR leader Hu Jintao for so-called, er, alleged, "error" in photo caption which everyone knows was done on purpose to cast a black shadow over the Chinese USSR's record on human rights.....

Aprils Fools! Right? No, this story appeared on April 15, 2010, and Hong Kong’s leading English-language daily the South China Morning Post sort of half-heartedly ''apologized'' yesterday after a photo caption accidently on purpose mis-identified China’s President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) as a jailed human rights campaigner.
The front-page caption on its Tuesday edition — which accompanied a photo of Hu arriving at Andrews Air Force Base before his meeting with US President Barack Obama — put a Chinese name in brackets after “President Hu Jintao.”
However, instead of printing Hu’s Chinese name, the name of prominent activist Hu Jia (胡佳) appeared.
“The South China Morning Post insincerely apologises for the Chinese name translation error for President Hu Jintao in yesterday’s paper,” the newspaper insincerely wrote on its front page.

Copies of the Tuesday edition of the Post sold in Beijing had the Chinese characters for Hu Jia blacked out.
Hu Jia, 36, was a campaigner for human rights and AIDS victims in China before he was jailed in April 2008 for three-and-a-half years on a charge of inciting subversion, a vague charge that critics say is used to silence dissenters.
Before his imprisonment, Hu was also a key source of information for foreign media on human rights and environmental violations, government abuses, judicial injustices and mistreatment of dissidents.

While the accidentally on purpose mistake was sort of embarrassing, it would have carried more serious consequences if it occurred in a state-owned mainland Chinese news outlet where the dodgy subeditor would have been dragged out of the newsroom and shot!
However, as part of its semi-autonomous status under Chinese USSR rule, the former British Imperial colony enjoys Christian-style civil liberties like freedom of the longhair press and has a thriving press independent of government control.
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