Hong Kong/China (1/1). Plenty theoretical work about the Fake News industry was written but little is known about the actors, the mechanism and tools of the trade. The Hong Kong riots, the targeting of Hong Kong businesses and the structured efforts to demonize the Hong Kong Police force.
A bizarre set of Americans, so called reporters are surfacing in the new radical Mecca or radical rioters that is packed with Euro leftist extremists’ members of the black bloc, Australians, Germans, French and UK anarchists. It’s the usual gaggle of fellow travelers that descend on the corpse of Hong Kong ravaged by the black terror to tell whatever agenda it attracts the bloodhounds.
The rants of Michael Yon and his merry band of brigands raises the eyebrows among many. Critics argue the role of the “foreign black hand” has never be proven but the open agitation from Yon stands out of him serving a master in the dark.
In his latest rant he curses a British born Bradley Wright serving with the Hong Kong police who tries to calm down the screaming Michael Yon. Yon curses the “sell-out” police officer as a “traitor” and working “for the communist”. Yon’s doxxing of Wright was making quickly the rounds on social media. Yon has moved from unbiased reporter to provocateur.
Yon responding to a former police officer Martin Purbrick in fact admitted that Yon is not a journalist. This poses the question who is Michael Yon?
If truth what we seek and walk the streets of Hong Kong the head shaking reality of destruction of Hong Kong stands in contrast to the claims made by Yon. In similar riots in Jakarta about eight people were killed. Yon bends the truth of not mentioning the killing of an elderly by black bloc thugs. The police reaction is justified. The doxxing of the police officer by Yon is not.
If democracy is according to Yon destroyed villages and countries, bombed cities, bloodied corpses of kids as a result of “friendly fire”, drug abuse, broken roads, obesity, racial riots, white power, a collapsing government, a corrupt president, and corporate abuse Yon may report from the US instead of living the expat life in Thailand. Or look his American experience in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. But this is not about choices of him but his doxxing of a police officer.
Michael Yon, an #American writer and photographer, had a little conflict with Bradley Wright, a #British #HongKong Police commander, when Yon was covering the news at #MongKok on #NewYearEve.
Guess no translation needed.
— Nikki😷 (@nikki_miumiu) January 3, 2020
Michael Yon exploits the Hong Kong Police non-aggressive training not causing any consequence because he is dressed like a reporter but acts like the old colonialist in the exact manner that many of us in Asia get fed up with the white men. But Michael Yon is not a reporter. He has crossed the line from journalist to paid propagandist. And he has admitted doing so.
Yon, more like the eccentric character Daniel Dravot out of Kipling, is not without critics. His history is packed with anecdotes and controversies. His spats with the military command in both Afghanistan and Iraq are legendary. Yon, a former U.S. Special Forces member, once in the docks for killing a man, was one of the embed journalist in Iraq and Afghanistan has a history of controversies on the battlefield.
But so are his inaccuracies. His repeated live stream claims of Hong Kong police shootings (which did not appear), Chinese army interference (nope did not happen) police brutality and his taunting of police calling them “Chinazis” for Chinese Nazis, is going beyond the journalistic integrity.
Besides his claims turned out to be fake, Yon’s suggestive narratives like the “suspected” killing and disappearances at the Mong Kok police station are straight out of the 198-tactics of Gene Sharp. Yon and fellow travelers are not innocent bystanders but “conveniently” run into the members of this network on the streets to give an appearance of credibility.
There we have a Canadian, an American living in Australia, Merchant marine acting as a medical first aid provider (wondering if this does not require a medical certification), showing up in of an opposition party press conference (!) and Yon’s comments of “being careful not appearing too often with some of his compadres”.
The problem is amplified by the absence of credible clarification by the government or the Hong Kong police. Hence the fake news becomes disinformation. Michael Yon in The Epoch Times continue to regurgitate the narrative.
He and his fellow sidekick Eric Fok, a former food and beverage worker, cum translator, now pseudo local reporter and a few others illustrate how the network of biased narratives “fighting for the movement”.
Michael Yon appears on a pro-US, anti-China, and anti-Hong Kong publication. This includes to the Falun Gong propaganda arm of The Epoch Times, and the Himalayan International Workstation, consisting of a online YouTube channel and a English language twitter account only active since May 2019. The German version of the Epoch Times is interestingly linked to the extremist far right-wing AfD.
The Himalaya Global fake narratives include a video allegation against the police, recycled from BLdaily claiming four policemen stomping an arrested protester and his girlfriend watching her being tied to a pole and raped by a sex toy. Hong Kong Police, like any other police forces separates female and male custodial detainees. A bunch of raping police officers is more out of a Japanese male fantasy manga comic than reality. Then there is the comical.
The protester wearing an out of the box gas mask with the factory white paper protective cover. He really can not see out beyond his own blackness, regardless if he wears a minion yellow helmet. It is clever, even entertaining but nevertheless fake.
Yon qualifies more of an agent provocateur with personal agenda than reporting. His rants on the social media and commentaries are ferment anti-communist and his narrative are linked to the Polish cold war resistance, to agitate Taiwan and, of course, Tibet. His uncontrolled outbursts are poorly staged acting. His terminology of “liberation fighters”, “liberators”, are missing the point of the leftist Black bloc are at work.
And no, setting fire to anyone who disagrees, doxxing cops, calling them names violating pretty much most of the accepted journalistic standards. It is the small minor linguistic giveaways that Michael Yon and his network display that makes the glint of propaganda so obvious.
The Hong Kong Police had no comment about the incident involving Michael Yon but is “investigating” if the American is violating his immigration and employment status.
A more serious charge of sedition could send a strong signal to actors like him. After all, it is the laws of the British Crown, which today govern Hong Kong. As a former colony, Yon could experience the laws of Great Britain and turn his anger towards his former colonial masters Great Britain rather than mouthing off.
Many of us reporters can attest if Yon would display this behavior in the U.S., France or even Germany he would be arrested, tasered and or worse case, like in the US, shot. In comparison to Hong Kong police elsewhere are less tolerant.
But Michael Yon is not just eccentric, but reporting shows the connection between fake narratives, social media circulation and a structured use of foreign propaganda live on Facebook.
But as the old saying goes, in war the first victim is the truth, Yon the propagandist should don a yellow helmet and join the rebels at least he would be more truthful.