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Old revolutionary hookers and hypocritical hacks

It is clear that nothing excites reporters as much as a good prostitute story, especially one that manages to provide equal measures of titillation and indignation. Of course, it is usually the role of Western hacks to interpret the blossoming red light districts in China's cities in terms of the tired old "Chairman Mao will be turning in his grave" motif, but this week, Chinese journalists have been at it too, leading to no end of ridicule on the nation's online bulletin boards.

The brouhaha, says the unerringly salacious Sichuan Online, arose from a number of media reports about prostitutes in the country's "old revolutionary base" of Linyi in Shandong. Apparently, a team of journalists were visiting Linyi, a "model city in the war of resistance against Japan", and were "embarrassed" by a number of unsavoury goings-on there.

The BBS responses were generally very dismissive of these "over-delicate" hacks coughing into their handkerchiefs as they came across the sort of massage parlour, KTV joint and hairdressing salon that are, of course, quite typical of mid-tier cities like Linyi. "These reporters aren't stupid, so they are just hypocritical," said one reader. Another accused the reporters of "violating the privacy of the prostitutes".

Curiously, the original article seems to have been taken down from all of China's mainstream news websites. The bulletin boards continue to buzz, however.

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