The quality of Ming Pao has gone downhil since the thug Yu Pinghai took control. Though it had since recovered when Yu left, it was never able to reclaim the ground lost to Apple Daily. I thought commentator Qin Sheng has been really good. But I am really disappointed by today's editorial on Bus Uncle
- [ 明報 ]若借醜聞發達 應停發綜援
2. Ming Pao went on to compare this to the "Chen Kin Hong scandal" of Apple Daily and questioned if AD did this again. AD might have succumbed to Bus Uncle's ransom, but paying someone to buy a story that has already happened and probing about his perspectives is very different from paying someone to create a story.
3. MP is apparently worried about the interviewee would exaggerate if the interview is paid for. They worried too much. a) People would exaggerate whether there is economic incentive or not. b) As long as the reporters are faithful and use 'quotes', we should leave the readers to judge for themselves, not the editor. Next did a decent job in using 'quotes' and leaving subjective judgment aside.
4. Lastly, (this is what I really want to talk about), if Bus Uncle (or anyone) is able to earn a living for himself and release himself from the safety net of social welfare, shouldn't this be encouraged? Why Bus Uncle cannot take opportunity of his 3 week fame to make a few bucks? If the media can profit from an event, why the person in question is not allowed to? Why, is the selling of (fabricated) Lady Di's secret love story more acceptable than (hypothetically) if Lady Di sells her own interview? Why is it okay for Clinton or Greenspan to charge US$200k per appearance/lecture, but no okay for Chen Yuet-tung to charge HK$100k for an interview?
p.s. IMHO Bus Uncle is full of sh1t (why? see this) and he does not deserve my sympathy. But my precise point is that such personal view should not alter our answers to the questions above.