On September 3 in Chengdu, two journalists showed up unexpectedly at a university to investigate claims that East Star Airlines had engaged in illicit financial activities with the school. They were accosted by Gu Yingzhi, the school’s dean and also a CPPCC Standing Committee member of Meishan City, Sichuan province.
A man in a white shirt (unclear whether this is Gu, but that’d be my guess) says to them, “Let me see your ID.”
“We don’t need to show you our ID,” replies the cameraman.
The man in white gets up, and when he nears the cameraman, he suddenly realizes he’s being secretly filmed.
There are ethical problems with secretive filming, of course, but what the official does next will render those concerns insignificant. Instead of behaving as a rational person would, which is sit back down and “no comment” for the next five minutes, our dunderhead goes on a tirade, tries to confiscate the camera, and then — inexplicably — begins hitting the journalist and ordering his staffers do the same.
During the scuffle, the cameraman shouts, “I’m a journalist! I’m a journalist!”
There’s a bit of chaos, but when the camera is righted again, we see at least four men in camo — soldiers? staffers? — turn toward the camera, like in a horror movie, and approach. There is what appears to be the sound of fists hitting flesh, and then the cameraman tries to flee. He is pursued, captured, and dragged back in. (Into a school, mind you.) The two reporters’ documents were confiscated and they were placed under house arrest.
This two-minute, 14-second video was released on Monday and has attracted 775,000 views so far. We’re not sure how these reporters managed to save the footage, but it’s a good thing they did. Let this be another lesson, Party officials. In the digital age, you best not act like Neanderthals.
UPDATE: It appears the Youku video has been taken down.