Photographer Passes On Faye Wong's Baby Photo

This news item (if you can call it that) belongs to the "Man Bites Dog" category because this is a stunning turn of events.  As background (see Rock Star versus Media), the most important entertainment news of the year is about the expectant Faye Wong.  Whoever gets the first photograph of Faye Wong's baby will have the biggest scoop of the year.  Meanwhile, the photographer Wang Xiaoyu (王小鱼) has just been interviewed by Bigstar (via Wenxue City) and he has an announcement.

Q: How many people are trying to secretly take photographs of Faye Wong's delivery?
A: In front of the apartment building, there are at least three to five media organizations waiting every day.  From tomorrow on, there will be two Hong Kong media organizations coming here just for this.  The truth is that since the end of April, there have been more than a dozen mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan media in this big news battle.  I think that the number of direct participants is almost 100.

Q: Why is photographing this event so important?
A: This will be the first photograph of the child of the queen of the Chinese-language entertainment world Faye Wong and the most controversial movie star Li Yapeng.  This has the same implication as when that German took the photograph of Madonna's baby in the United States.

Q: So this has become the top event in the entertainment world?
A: If any entertainment reporter says, "Faye Wong's baby has nothing to do with me," then I think that he must be crazy.

Q: Describe the situation at the scene right now.  The vehicles, people, equipment and so on ...
A: The Hong Kong and Taiwan media have the best teams.  For them, each media organization usually have several vehicles.  As for equipment, apart from the normal weapons, the high-powered lens and the button cameras will not be lacking ...

Q: Are you really so sure that you could get the first photograph of her child?
A: From the time when the news of her pregnancy came out, I began the preparations.  I have the advantage.  I know the precise time and place of birth.

Q:  Surprisingly, you have elected to give up!
A: Recently, a media organization promoted itself by saying: Humanity is strength.  These words touch me greatly.  I am pursuing a professional ideal.  When I heard that Li Yapeng wanted the baby delivered at home, I was concerned.  Faye Wong is a relatively old expectant mother, and it would not be a good thing to have an unsafe environment.  I thought about it, and I decided to give up this photo opportunity.

Q: Did you abandon this effort due to pressure from certain parties?
A: Absolutely not!

Q: So many people have waited for this opportunity in order to become famous overnight.  Do you think that you will be sorry later on?
A: I will be sorry!  The battle drums are sounding, but the warrior is staying home.  But we should respect the arrival of a new life.  People are the main thing.

Q: Why do you use stealth photographs to restore the truth?
A: In the environment of the entertainment circle, I think that only this method can allow the true sides of a star to be seen.  There are too many fake things in the entertainment circle.

Q: As far as the current entertainment news goes, stealth photography implies a method in which one abandons a self-respect.  Do you think that it is worth it?  Have you ever thought about giving up?
A: I think that "self-respect" is an appropriate term.  From the time that I became an entertainment reporter, no matter whether it is the movie stars or the reporters, whether it is about their work or their mental state, one cannot use "self-respect."  You go to a meeting, you accept a red envelop and you just copy the press release.  That is now treated as normal.  Stealth photographer may mean loss of self-respect.  But I feel that I am doing right by my camera, my printed story and my readers.  So I am not giving up, at least for now.

Q: When you take a successful stealth photograph, do you get high pay?
A: I don't know what is the standard of "high pay."  But I know that I don't earn as much as the many reporters who accept red envelops to publish press releases.

Q: Certain scandals and unhealthy lifestyles of stars get exposed as a result of stealth photographs, and so the stars are surrounded by negativity.  Apart from your sense of accomplishment, have you ever felt remorse about that?
A: Since these are scandals and unhealthy lifestyles, I won't apologize.  Movies stars are public figures and they need healthy lifestyles and moral principles as role models.  Like Pu Cunxi and Liu Huan.  Unfortunately, there are too few people like that.

Q: In Hong Kong, stealth photographers are called "doggie teams."  In the United States, stealth photographers are called "paparazzis" (拍拍垃圾) (Technical note: The Chinese translation is a phonetic transliteration, but it has the meaning of "Photograph garbage")  In mainland China, stealth photography is also a controversial thing.  Do you regret your career choice?  Have you thought about giving up this work?
A: What the mainland entertainment reporters do is the same form as how the doggie teams and paparazzis get their news.  But they are not doggie teams or paparazzis.  They are a group of mainland people who want to change the old methods to get some genuine news.

Well, do you believe Wang Xiaoyu?  Here is a hint: Wang told us that he was moved to abandon the Faye Wong baby photo project by the slogan from a media organization: Humanity is strength.  Hmmm ... the unnamed media organization is Beijing News, which was the principal subject in Rock Star versus Media.  If Beijing News apparently did not take that slogan seriously themselves, why would Wang Xiaoyu (who must know that)?  [Erratum: A reader has written in to say that the slogan belongs to Huaxia Times -- the newspaper that went into the Peking University dormitory to extract personal information about a student killed in an accident; see Comment 200605#012.  I should have known better, because the public knows full well that was a cause célèbre when Beijing News replaced its former slogan with a blank space in recognition that they apparently cannot adhere to anything ...).

Meanwhile, here is the latest Oriental Daily (Hong Kong) photograph of Li Yapeng and Faye Wong.  They had sneaked out of their apartment building in a different car and went to a BBQ restaurant in the neighborhood without being seen by the 50 reporters at the entrance.  But the Hong Kong reporters saw them in passing and laid seige.  The couple had to race back to their car.  During the chase, there was some jostling and a male reporter got a bloody cut on his hand.  There is a DV tape of the battle scene.