UK's attack on YouTubers is misguided

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 18 Jan 2021

The Barrett family in Shenzhen and other popular local YouTubers were shocked by a full-page article in the UK's The Times titled, "Beijing funds British YouTubers to further its propaganda war."

What? The "evidence" was that they'd occasionally done a tourist show with the Chinese equivalent of the BBC. The accusation that this is paid propaganda "was absolutely, totally, 100 percent untrue," said Lee Barrett on Friday.

The YouTubers' real crime, of course, is to show China as it really is, instead of as the giant prison The Times desperately wants it to be.

Another man named and shamed in the article, Matt Galat, said that not only is he not a paid propagandist, he isn't even British.

* * *

A family of cats living on the rocks in the sea near the Golden Bauhinia statue in Wan Chai have become celebrities among the many strollers there - and one kindly passer-by made a cardboard home for them during the cold spell.

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Reader Susannah Kwok said her husband picked up a copy of The Other Side of the Story, this columnist's book on the 2019 protests. As he stood in Bookazine looking at it, a man sidled over and showed him a "yellow camp" book on the same topic. "This one's more interesting," the man said. I wonder if he spends all day doing that, and whether there are teams of them posted at the bookshops?

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Reader Johan Olausson imagined how the disturbance in Washington DC last week would be written up if it happened in an Asian country. We'd read about "a storming of the national legislature by radical guerrilla factions allied to Trump" support by "radicalized elements from radical groups such as the so-called QAnon cult."

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On a related topic, individual US states said yesterday they will stop issuing permits for rallies, as a preemptive step against civil unrest. That's funny. When Hong Kong became reluctant to hand out permits for rallies [after scores of them turned violent] our community was dubbed "a police state" and sanctioned by the international community.

* * *

Be nice to people in suits in Central. The financial services industry is cementing its lead as the main reason Hong Kong is so rich, new statistics showed. More than 21 percent of our GDP now comes from that one sector, the Census and Statistics Department revealed in a new analysis. And what news of its rival, the tourism sector? Don't ask.

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Eighteen months ago, The New York Times poured scorn on claims that there was foreign interference in Hong Kong's domestic unrest.

And this weekend, what is The New York Times warning about, with regard to its home country? "Foreign interference that may be masked as domestic unrest is another point of concern," the newspaper says.

Naah, that never happens.

* * *

A top medical professor slammed the international media for focusing on China's early errors in dealing with Covid while virtually ignoring the life-saving news about how China successfully fought the pathogen. Harvard's William Haseltine, writing in Forbes on Friday, said: "It is wilful disregard of an important public health achievement that we should all be learning from." Interesting point. Mainstream media bias kills.

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Too bad they cancelled all the marathons around the world this year. I was planning to run many of them.

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