20 October 2016
Robert Chow (inset) and his pro-Beijing allies are having none of TVMost's anniversary show. They want advertisers to keep off it or risk being boycotted. Photos: HKEJ, 100Most/Facebook
Robert Chow (inset) and his pro-Beijing allies are having none of TVMost's anniversary show. They want advertisers to keep off it or risk being boycotted. Photos: HKEJ, 100Most/Facebook

Here’s to satire: Why we like to make fun of Beijing loyalists

We thought we knew everything about pro-Beijing loyalists until we learned that they’re also a poor sport.

Put a check mark on it in their tick box and the others, too.

They can’t be satirized (check), lampooned (check), made fun of (check), ridiculed (check), all of the above (check). 

And be warned: if you’re an advertiser, you can’t displease them or you’ll risk being boycotted.

Boy, are we glad we’re not Bankee Kwan.

The owner of Pricerite is in the sights of Beijing loyalists after the home decor retailer agreed to sponsor the anniversary show of TVMost, the online TV offspring of satirical weekly magazine 100Most.

The show is scheduled for May to mark TVMost’s first birthday.

But Beijing loyalists would have none of it.

They despise TVMost and its irreverent parent for poking fun at Beijing and its surrogates in Hong Kong over everything from politics to official foibles and shenanigans.

Never mind that the two new media companies have a pro-democracy stance. That should be acceptable.

But satire has no place in the loyalists’ louvered view of the realities in Hong Kong and in the mainland as if they have never heard of it.

For their benefit, here’s how Oxford (wait a minute, isn’t that a satirical dictionary?) defines it, word for word: [noun] The use of humour, irony, exaggeration or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.   

So we we thought Robert Chow wasn’t fibbing when his HKGPao website ran a story that Beijing loyalists will boycott Pricerite for associating itself with such a horrendous enterprise.

And there’s more.

“Advertisers will be our target if any advertising firms or brand owners want to [sponsor TVMost]. Politics is politics and business is business,” the report said.

“Let’s see who wants to challenge us.”

Naturally, the report was unsourced and the comments anonymous because it’s Chow himself talking.

Incidentally, HKGPao calls TVMost a “yellow-ribbon media” in reference to its support of the 2014 Occupy Central protests.

Funny enough, Chow’s target is a businessman who is as pro-Beijing as it gets.

In fact, Kwan serves as a Shanghai deputy to the standing committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the country’s highest political advisory body.

The difference is that Kwan understands the notion of “politics is politics and business is business”.

Kwan repositioned the Pricerite brand last year toward younger consumers.

He began using singer-songwriter Ivanna Wong in his commercials and by all accounts, the strategy is working.

This year, Pricerite partnered with 100Most to refresh its catalogue, evidently to be make the 2016 edition attractive to the younger market.

Pricerite’s sponsorship of TVMost’s anniversary show is an extension of that partnership.

Then again, Chow and his cohorts are not above petty politics.

They have been trying to get advertisers off Next Media, Jimmy Lai’s outspoken publishing group which puts out Apple Daily.

Despite the loyalists’ best efforts, Next Media is still around, its editorial views unchanged.

What makes them think they can kill satire by chasing an advertiser to the showers?

What a joke.

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EJ Insight writer

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