Taking a break from my piece for HK Free Press…

…to highlight a report on how conservative media outlets accepted op-ed pieces by fake writers with Twitter accounts. (Middle East connection – not PR firm Consulum’s work by any chance?) Complete with an interesting Hong Kong angle that doesn’t reflect very well on the SCMP’s (mainly) awful op-ed pages. 

I assume that SCMP doesn’t pay for opinion pieces from non-staffers. At the same time (for Alibaba’s sake), editors have to avoid having too many spicy or punchy columns. So they’re particularly receptive to contributions that are both free and bland. Is there a better explanation for the Alice Wu ramblings, and the barrage of David Dodwell in the Business section?

But that’s the strangest part of this story, judging by phony contributions wisely rejected by HK Free Press: the phantom writers’ output – while pushing particular agendas – is so boring. Still, better the world has fake journalists than fake brain surgeons or airline pilots.

If you want to make one at home – here’s how.

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16 Responses to Taking a break from my piece for HK Free Press…

  1. where's my jet plane says:

    Ah! The verbose and geographically-challenged Dodwell. I finally decided he didn’t have a clue some years ago when he said, in print, that the Straits of Hormuz were the link between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean.
    His bio takes some believing too. The last time I looked he claimed an inordinately large numbers of meetings/conferences he attended or addressed. A quick arithmetical check showed he had on average three meetings a day in 365 days.
    Not an expert consultant I have any faith in…

  2. Joe Blow says:

    Hemlock, if you are being held hostage, wank three times with your left eye.

  3. Probably says:

    “Something by Kraftwerk”? Maybe “We Are the Robots” is the most approriate selection?

  4. Donkey says:

    When you outlaw public opinion, and you desecrate any transparent process that enables the public to be informed of what is truly happening in one’s city, then you end up with more chaos and more entropy than you had when you tried to control it and forbid it. I hope that people like Reactor #4 can realise that actually humanity does not need law and order. What it needs is a process that enables equilibrium. No powers that be who believe power rules over law are equipped to do such a thing. We are all worse off, not for voicing our opinions, but for being told to keep silent.

  5. Big Al says:

    National Security Law, Part 4, Article 29 (5) “provoking by unlawful means hatred among Hong Kong residents towards the Central People’s Government or the Government of the Region, which is likely to cause serious consequences”. Prior to Carrie Lam’s tenure as CE, I was ambivalent towards the Hong Kong government. But due to her mismanagement, arrogance, inability to listen and general ineptitude as a leader, she has provoked in me hatred towards the government. Therefore, I intend to seek her arrest under Article 29 (5) and, given the grave nature of her crimes, a sentence of life imprisonment. Anyone want to join me in a class action?

  6. Reactor #4 says:

    “Reactor #4 can realise that actually humanity does not need law and order.”

    Oh I realize it. I’m just a complete twat is all.

  7. Low Profile says:

    @Donkey – We already know that the government makes up its own reality (e.g. Carrie’s claim that most people are delighted by the new law), but it is going to be much harder to know what people are truly thinking in future. While opinion polls for the past year have consistently shown that close to 2/3 of the Hong Kong public detest the government, respondents are likely to be much more cautious in expressing opposition to the powers that be in future – rendering polls valueless as a transparent process for monitoring public opinion.

  8. Andrew Mountford says:

    > Probably,
    I was going to suggest The Robots too.

  9. Mary Melville says:

    Are these co-opted page filler musings that influential? The great unwashed avoid all rambling virtuous content while those who are prepared to read an article of more than three sentences are experts at discerning and eye glazing over propaganda.

  10. Stanley Lieber says:

    The CCP will discover that a city full of sullen people doesn’t do anybody any good.

  11. An SCMP op-ed writer says:

    The SCMP does pay for all op-eds, at a rate of HK$4/word.

  12. Reactor #4 says:

    If democracy were proven to work, I suspect it would be hard for President Xi and his colleagues to continue denying it HK and the Mainland as a method for choosing the SAR and national governments.

    The fundamental problem is, however, that it has no longevity. Within decades of its introduction it turns from a brilliant gift to a newly-free nation into a cynical popularity contest.

    The run up to a democratic election is now simply a case of undeliverable promises focused on free money and the possibility of each of us being each day given a one-gallon bucket of raspberry ripple ice-cream or something equally enticing.

    We should also remember that 49% of the people in any country have IQs that are below the national average. That’s why a former reality TV star is now in charge of the US (a country with a current Covid-19 infection rate of >60,000 people/day), and something spookily similar, quite possibly the love-child, running the UK.

    The Chinese are proud, intelligent people. I can assure you that they don’t want any of that.

  13. Donny Almond says:

    They would have to pay me $ 4- per word to read that drivel.

  14. Penny says:

    I’m starting to worry about Reactor #4 – silly me, I know!

  15. Henery says:

    Should Hemlock cancel Reactor? Deny him free speech? After all, that’s what he would have do to everyone (except himself and those who’s thoughts he slavishly follows)

    Him/he obviously because it does take a man to write such drivel

  16. Red Dragon says:

    Joe Blow

    Wank or wink?

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