Sat, Dec 30, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Johnny Neihu's NewsWatch: Prizes don't get bloodier than this

It's the season for silly prizes. Announcing the inaugural Neihu Awards — for journalism and media hijinks so soiled that they're worth another look (bring your own gas mask). Who will take the Golden Neihu? The winner (cough, wheeze) is....

By Johnny Neihu 強尼內湖

My gal Cathy Pacific's younger sister, Asia, was complaining to me on Wednesday about the frustrating TV coverage of Tuesday night's earthquakes. I couldn't agree with her more.

The "coverage" reminded us that we are held hostage by egomaniacal talkshow hosts who couldn't stand to be upstaged by live crosses to the disaster zone -- and that was for the stations who bothered sending out cameras. So they continued banging on about stupid political stuff. And this was after a quake that triggered a tsunami alert.

But what really got my goat was Thursday's spectacle of a child -- whose mother was killed and home destroyed by the quake -- being harassed by reporters from SET, ETTV, CTI, CTV and ERA (there may have been others), asking: "Where is your home? Where is your home? Where is your home?"

The child, needless to say, was upset and mute throughout.

When I see reporters harassing a bereaved minor in this way I think of Thomas Hobbes. Yep, Hobbes of "state of nature" fame. If these turd reporters are so bereft of professional responsibility that they would add to a child's suffering, then they enter the State of Nature. The Law of the Jungle. They and their studio supervisors, I submit, should have no complaint if a Taiwanese Leviathan appears from nowhere and beats the living shit out of them.

And don't come blubbing to Johnny about press freedom, my friends, because each and every one of you just lost the right to call yourselves journalists.

I am therefore proud to bestow upon this group of leeches with microphones the first of this year's Neihu Awards honoring manipulation of and by the media: the Abu Ghraib Prize for unconscionable behavior in the field.

Gallup Taiwan almost won the WhoseTube Award for most brazen theft of media intellectual property. But the winner is a dark horse: the Shanghai Commercial and Savings Bank promotions unit, whose cartoon pig character Pukii looks like the bastard offspring of the popular Taiwan Life Insurance hippo-dragon. I wonder why? The cutesy jingle for the ad was even more obviously a steal, though it was replaced fairly quickly. Either way, the sight of anorexic women in mini-skirts and men in suits dancing and grinning like mentally ill children in front of a blushing pig with a revolving beer gut was enough to make me Pukii all over my television.

The From Little Things Big Things Grow Award for best seduction of media hacks by political progeny goes to Lien Sheng-wen (連勝文), who follows in a long line of Liens who until now have proved more creepy than competent. This dynasty started with shyster historian, Japanese shill and opium apologist Lien Heng (連橫), then Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) shill Lien Chen-tung (連震東), then perennial loser, Chinese Communist Party shill and honorary KMT whatsit Lien Chan (連戰). Now there's Lien Jr, whose unearned wealth, lack of military service and superior air make him a worthy inheritor of the family name.

The media is going berserk over the "Divine Pig" marrying the gorgeous Tsai Yi-shan (蔡依珊), who herself belongs to a filthy rich family. Damn that's smooth. Lien Jr was quoted by Big Red (the Lien-friendly online People's Daily) on May 29 as saying that Tsai is his "lucky star." Oh crap, now I've Pukiied all over my computer screen as well.

Anyway, guys, in all seriousness, if you do decide to have children, for pity's sake make sure they are girls.

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