It is ten-hour-old news now that a Youtube video journalist was thrown onto the sidewalk while trying to show Hong Kong riot police handcuffing a protester in the Mong Kok district. The journalist, woozy after his head hit the concrete, was hospitalized with multiple injuries.
That journalist’s name is James Bang, and he is a 28-year-old digital strategies consultant. Bang had taken his live-streaming set-up consisting of a HTC One smartphone, external mic and battery packs to the Mong Kok section of Hong Kong shortly before sun-up Friday as the HK police conducted a blitzkrieg-like raid on a Occupy Central student protesters’ encampment just after 6 a.m.
Bang  quipped to anyone who happened to be listening in the wee hours of the morning that he kept running into the same police officers and that at times he was jostled and surrounded by multiple officers who seemed to be assigned to shadow and disrupt his activities as he moved about the city’s barricaded protest bases.
Just before the shit hit the fan, Bang told of a reporter for Fashion One magazine walking up to him and cautioning him to “be very careful.”
A Hong Kong-born ethnic Korean, Bang had seemingly been singled-out by HK authorities as a “troublesome journalist” as a result of his earlier live feeds of the student-led pan-democratic civil disobedience that had embarrassed the Beijing-appointed government for the past three weeks.
The fact that a TVB news crew on Thursday had captured footage of plainclothes cops taking a handcuffed protester around a dark corner of a building to beat and kick him had further frustrated the powers that be.
In response they began a concerted media censorship campaign, which included blocking the BBC’s website. There’s yet no evidence the government also decided to look for the solo journalist who had been featured in The New Yorker magazine’s Oct. 8 article by Louisa Lim entitled: THE THUGS OF MAINLAND CHINA. And that journalist’s name is James Bang.

Remember that name, because I doubt whether Reporters Without Borders or some such other mainstream media organization will be making a cause célèbre out of the beat down of an uncredentialed citizen correspondent broadcasting what he sees with only a smartphone and using the bandwidth of the weird-sounding, Bitcoin-pimping World Crypto Network. To me, like the amazing protest movement he was reporting on, James Bang, the unaffiliated outsider, has become a part of a new heroic tradition now unfolding on the streets of  Hong Kong.

As Tupac told us:

Change, shit
I guess change is good for any of us
Whatever it take for any of y’all niggaz to get up out the hood
Shit, I’m wit cha, I ain’t mad at cha
Got nuttin but love for ya, do your thing boy

Jeremy’s Spoken

February 17, 2012

The world is yours, as well as ours, but in the last analysis, it is yours. You young people, full of vigour and vitality, are in the bloom of life, like the sun at eight or nine in the morning. Our hope is placed on you.

—Mao Zedong, 1957


Nearly a month after their release from North Korean custody, Current TV reporters Euna Lee and Laura Ling issued their first public account of events that led to their 140-day custody in North Korea. A sometimes rambling 1900-word, co-bylined story appeared first on the Los Angeles Times and Current TV websites Tuesday evening and later in the Opinion section of the Wednesday edition of the Times and other publications.

The biggest revelation in the piece is that Lee and Ling say that after briefly entering North Korea, they had run back across the Chinese border and were “violently dragged” back to North Korea by border guards. The article also responds to criticism of their journalistic professionalism and ethics.

In their Op-Ed piece, Lee and Ling wrote:

  • They willingly followed a Korean-Chinese guide across the frozen Tumen River into North Korea.
  • They spent less than a minute in North Korea and were headed back to China when they encountered armed North Korean border guards.
  • “We were firmly back inside China when the soldiers apprehended us. Producer Mitch Koss and our guide were both able to outrun the border guards.”
  • Their guide seemed “cautious and responsible.”
  • Lee and Ling say they were surprised that their main contact Rev. Chun Ki-won spoke with reporters after their arrest.
  • “Chun claimed that he had warned us not to go to the river,” but Lee and Ling say “he never suggested we shouldn’t go.”
  • “We carefully followed Chun’s directions so as to not endanger anyone in this underground world.”
  • Lee and Ling tried to swallow their notes and destroy their videotapes.
  • They underwent rigorous, daily interrogations.
  • Lee and Ling say the Op-Ed piece is “all we are prepared to talk about — the psychological wounds of imprisonment are slow to heal.”
  • Lee is now listed as a producer for Current TV’s elite Vanguard Journalism unit. Ling is vice president of Vanguard.

Read Hostages of the Hermit Kingdom by Euna Lee and Laura Ling.

BEIJING—The North Korean government has confirmed that it is holding two American journalists, and CNN, quoting South Korean sources, is reporting that Asian Americans Laura Ling and Euna Lee may have in fact been in North Korea when arrested March 17.

CNN correspondent John Vause said Ling and Lee, on assignment for cable channel Current TV, were seen running back toward the Chinese border when arrested by North Korean border guards.

Meanwhile, former U.S. vice president and Current TV founder Al Gore has reportedly reached out to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to secure the release of the two Northern California-based journalists.

Yoko Ono marked John Lennon’s 67th birthday Tuesday by dedicating the Lennon Imagine Peace Tower in Reykjavik, Iceland ♥ Falun Gong activists crash Tournament of Roses garden party ♥ NYPD’s Gregory Chin hailed as hero ♥ The joke’s on Masi Oka.



Shane Kim, head man at Microsoft’s Game Studio, struck back at critics Tuesday. Redmond is banking that Kim’s much-ballyhooed release this week of the final iteration of its hit FPS, Halo 3, will drive four of its shaky business units into profitability.

A massive invasion of Asian-made androids overran WIRED’s L.A. NextFest Sept. 13-16. Chinese, Japanese and Korean robotics manufacturers left the crowds and media buzzing. The Zou Ren Ti android clone was disturbingly well done as was Kiyomori, Waseda University’s smooth-striding samurai bot.


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