Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Bang a Gong Pt. II
The mysterious Fanlungong has struck another blow against the mighty Shenzhen Press Group. Early Tuesday morning, an alert distributor dropping off copies of a sister publication, Daily Sunshine, discovered that an entire page had been subbed out and replaced by FLG material. Authorities were alerted, papers destroyed, the page was remade and unlike the previous, recent offending photo in the Shenzhen Evening News which hit print and caused the News editor to lose his job, no heads have rolled - yet.
But as foreign barbarian coworker says: "There are no accidents in China. Someone always has to be blamed."
As with the photo incident, no one seems to know exactly how it happened - whether someone hacked into the Sunshine's system or if there's an FLG mole buried in the Press Tower or printing plant which sits behind the tower.
It's caused quite a stir throughout the building, the SZ Daily included. A last-minute meeting was convened Tuesday afternoon by our Editor-in-Chief to warn the staff to be on guard, though foreign barbarian coworker Jeff and were the only employees who were excluded.
Initially we were puzzled about the reason for the meeting and a bit offended at our exclusion, until I recalled what I'd heard about the Sunshine page earlier today and told him.
"That's got to be it," he said.
Indeed it was. And I got my licks in.
The staff streamed back into the newsroom talking excitedly among themselves and I innocently asked what was up.
Jeff and I missed you guys, I said. We were worried.
"It is a mystery and we cannot say," said one.
"It wouldn't be anything about Fanlungong and the Daily Sunshine would it?"
Heh. I live for moments like that. Stunned silence followed by a torrent of questions.
"How do you know? How can you know? Are you a spy?"
"A good journalist never reveals his sources," I smirked.
But I must confess it has disturbed me a little. In the unlikely event that the FLG successfully messed with the SZ Daily, the paper could conceivably be shut down, no questions asked. Heads would wobble and some might roll.
And I'd hate to see any of my coworkers - even Evil Anti-American Paul - in jail or unemployed.
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