Public Eye
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 February, 2014, 3:58am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 February, 2014, 4:12am

'Proof' of free media: talk show ex-host won't shut up


Michael Chugani is a Hong Kong-born American citizen who has worked for many years as a journalist in Hong Kong, the USA and London. Aside from being a South China Morning Post columnist he also hosts TVB’s Straight Talk show, a radio show and writes for two Chinese-language publications. He has published a number of books on politics which contain English and Chinese versions.

'Proof' of free media: talk show ex-host won't shut up

Is something true if you say you are 100 per cent sure it is but provide no proof? Yes, but only if the unproven truth comes from someone within the pan-democratic camp. That is the rule the camp wants us to kowtow to. But if it comes from outside their camp, then even truth with proof is a lie. It is now true that talk-show host Li Wei-ling's sacking was engineered by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, that Commercial Radio fired her to silence her fiery attacks against Leung so as to get its licence renewed, and that her firing is yet more proof of the government muzzling media freedom. And why is all this true? Because Li, the self-proclaimed hero of media freedom and darling of the pan-democratic camp, says she is 100 per cent sure it is. And why is Leung's denial not true? Why is Commercial Radio's explanation that she was fired for other than political reasons not true? Because truth comes only from the pan-democratic camp, proven or not. What's so comical is that even some lawyers in the camp, as well as former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang and the Hong Kong Journalists Association, are demanding that Leung and Commercial Radio prove Li was not fired for political reasons. Does not our common law system require the accuser to prove guilt rather than the accused to prove innocence? Are not journalists supposed to believe in only facts? Why is the association treating Li's unproven accusations as facts? Pan-democratic lawmakers are even pressing for a Legislative Council investigation - aiming, of course, to use the probe to heap guilt on Leung and Commercial Radio rather than to demand Li produce proof. These clowns are now constantly on radio and television and in the newspapers, sounding the death knell of media freedom in Hong Kong. That is the biggest joke of all. If media freedom were really dead, they would not be allowed on radio and television and in the newspapers to say it was dead. Li's unproven accusations would not have seen the light of day. But they were the lead item in most of the media, including the so-called pro-establishment media. Welcome to the new Hong Kong, or should we say, the circus.


Bowtie-gate probe: ICAC should tie it up or bow out

Slightly more than two years - that was how long the Watergate scandal lasted. It began on June 17, 1972, with the break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters, and ended on August 9, 1974, with the humiliating resignation of US president Richard Nixon. And how long has the investigation into "Bowtie-gate" lasted? Almost as long but with still no end in sight. ICAC boss Simon Peh Yun-lu says he understands people want to see results soon but appropriate steps have to be taken. An investigation of massive wrongdoings that brought down a US president took two years. But after nearly two years the Independent Commission Against Corruption still cannot establish if former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen was somehow corrupt in riding on the yachts and planes of tycoon friends? It is ridiculous. Charge the man or declare him innocent. It is not fair that he must live indefinitely under a cloud.


Michael Chugani is a columnist and TV show host.



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