The Dui Hua Foundation, an influential San Francisco-based human rights organization with an office in Hong Kong, recently announced on its website that it is cutting all connections with South China Morning Post after its Chief News Editor, Yonden Lhatoo, made “ill-tempered and sexist rant” in one of his articles.
The foundation, in its post on February 5, Monday, accused the SCMP Chief News Editor of “vicious personal attacks” against Angela Gui, the daughter of Hong Kong bookseller Gui Minhai, who was snatched by Chinese authorities on a train to Beijing in January, Shanghaiist via Medium reported.
In Lhatoo’s article published on January 27 titled “Before you cry ‘fake news’ make sure you’re not a fake yourself,” the editor claimed that SCMP once quoted Gui’s former publishing associate, Woo Chih-wai, stating that he recalled how the latter spoke to Angela after her father’s release from prison in October. Angela, meanwhile, took to Twitter to deny that she had a connection with Woo.
“I’ve never spoken to this dude Woo Chih-wai. Didn’t even know who he was until this morning. SCMP, latest purveyor of fake news?” the 23-year-old wrote in her social media post on January 24.
Interesting choice of source, @SCMP_News — I’ve never spoken to this dude Woo Chih-wai. Didn’t even know who he was until this morning. SCMP, latest purveyor of fake news? #fakenewsscmp #guiminhai https://t.co/zB2hPoxrL0
— Angela Gui (@angelagui_) January 24, 2018
“Let’s just take a step back here to grasp the irony of it all,” Lhatoo wrote in his article. “This 115-year-old media institution is being accused of purveying fake news by a woman whose one and only claim to fame is that she is the daughter of a man whose only claim to fame is getting into trouble for – this is rich – peddling fake news.”
Aside from listing down the achievements and academic honors that Angela received the past few years such as being admitted to Cambridge University on a Bill and Melinda Gates Fellowship and hosting her own radio program in Sweden, the foundation also pointed out another unsettling article that the editor posted.
Over a week after the sudden shocking demise of SHINee’s lead singer Kim Jonghyun from an apparent suicide, Lhatoo posted an article with the rather controversial headline “K-pop is an infectious disease, not a cultural export to be proud of.”
The publication’s Chief News Editor wrote how “all of South Korea’s prettiest and shiniest humanoid cultural exports look and sound exactly the same. I can’t tell them apart.”
“Publication of racist and sexist opinions by a leading member of the Post’s editorial team is inconsistent with the values of a great newspaper,” the foundation wrote.
Dui Hua, a foundation founded by former American business and Human Rights activist, John Kamm, in April 1999, strongly implied in its post that it will never have anything to do with SCMP until Lhatoo officially offers an apology to victims of his “sexist and racist attacks.”
Furthermore, Dui Hua has removed all of the journalists who are working for the publication from its distribution list, and that it will no longer offer comments or interviews to the newspaper.