Monday, July 16, 2012

Should Pham Phu Thien Giao Resign?

The controversy at Nguoi-Viet Daily is taking an uglier turn as newspapers after newspapers in OC are furiously attacking Nguoi-Viet Daily.   The often fragmented anti-communist activists are united and will have demonstrations this week to protest.

Phan Huy Dat, the CEO and Publisher, sent out a letter of apologies on behalf of the newspaper, declaring that the publisher and editor will be reprimand by the Board of Directors.   Also, the letter stated that the  individual responsible will be terminated.

It is no secret that it was Vu Qui Hao Nhien, the assistant publisher, who decided to let this defaming op-ed piece to be published.   Many also believed that the piece was written with such blatant attack on the community and what its stand - freedom and democracy against the oppressive communist regime, that it could have been written by Vu Qui Hao Nhien himself. 

The incriminating thing was  Vu Qui Hao Nhien did not show up for work on Monday, the day after the Sunday paper was on the stand.    So he knew what he had done.   

The anti-communist crowd is now demanding that Pham Phu Thien Giao (the editor-in-chief and Vu's boss) should resign.  So who is Pham Phu Thien Giao? 

As the editor-in-chief of the Nguoi Viet Daily, the largest Vietnamese-American newspaper in OC, Pham Phu Thien Giao, has been keeping a low profile since taken over the position in 2009. He was hired to replace Do Bao Anh, the daughter of the principal founder, Do Ngoc Yen. She stepped down from the position during the turbulence period of the release of the infamous pictures of her father meeting with the many high level communist officials in 1998 and the foot-bath pan controversy.

At the time of accepting the job as editor-in-chief, Giao had little experience in journalism or managing a newspaper. So the speculations in Little Saigon were rampant. He got the job because they were having a hard time finding anybody at that time and he is the nephew of one of the original founding members of Nguoi Viet.  In addition, the shareholders of Nguoi Viet (mostly old men who were friends of Do Ngoc Yen) wanted somebody they could trust to continue to carry the message to " the right " (The staunch anti-communist reporting) and not taking the newspaper to " the left ".    Apparently, Giao is their man for he does not have a rebellious streak (he grew up and schooled in Vietnam) and has always willing to accomodate their wishes.

Giao considers himself to be an intellectual and  dabbles in writing about his correspondences with some of the contemporary Vietnamese authors.  Vu Qui Hao Nhien is even teaching him how to play jazz with the trombone.   But for most part, he keeps the paper out of the controversial issues that would divide the community, specifically local community politics. However, he recently had taken a keen interest in supporting of the controversial Tyler Diep for state assembly in 2012 using Nguoi Viet media.   This was short lived of course since Diep decided not to run.  

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