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Monday, December 19, 2005

So. Korean media gets it

Having learned that Hwang Woo Suk had fabricated results of his world-famous research into cloned stem cells, South Koreans were disconsolate and angry--at the TV station whose documentary exposed discrepancies and outright falsification in the former veterinarian's reports. (This is the same doctor that claimed to have cloned an Afghan dog earlier this year.)
"I feel like crying," said Park Mi Young, a 44-year-old office worker who was chatting with her equally glum friends at a subway entrance. "I can't bring myself to watch the television news."

Hwang not only enjoyed financial support from the government, he had a virtual cheering squad in 44 million South Koreans. On an Internet site called "I love Hwang Woo Suk," a fan wrote that not since the exploits of a 16th century military hero, Adm. Yi Sun Shin, had people been "so proud to be Korean."

Insoo Hyun, a bioethicist at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, worked with Hwang and his researchers in South Korea over the summer. "They're like the Beatles," he said. "If we would go to a restaurant, we'd get mobbed. [Hwang] would joke to me, 'I'm like the Korean president or the Korean Elvis.' "
Hwang and his work were a great source of national pride and though they knew the audience resented him being exposed, Song Weon Geun, director of international relations for [TV station] MBC said, "We felt that scientific truth should be placed ahead of nationalism. There will be some people who blame us for bringing down a national hero. But we think national credibility is improved because this was the work of Korean journalists and not from the outside."

With all the efforts to hide news to save face or to maintain confidence backfiring big time on one of So. Korea's neighbors lately (not naming names here) that'd be a good point for any government and journalistic establishment to note.

For story see Cloning Scandal Pains South Korea

// posted by Ellen @  02:45   //Permalink// 
Ellen says hey
Mainer, New Yawka, Beijinger, Californian, points between. News, views and ballyhoos that piqued my interest and caused me to sigh, cry, chuckle, groan or throw something.


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