The Zhaotong earthquake on August 3 has left 391 people dead so far and many more homeless. Those that survived desperately need support from agencies like the Red Cross, but the organization is still struggling to overcome a corruption scandal involving a woman named Guo Meimei from three years ago. In a series of recent Weibo posts, the Chinese Red Cross has appealed for the public’s support in spite of the scandal, reports China News, but so far the appeals aren’t working.
Guo ignited a firestorm of netizen fury after she posted pictures of her wealth online in June 2011 while asserting she was a general manager for the Red Cross. The controversy sparked a backlash against the Red Cross and prompted some Chinese to disavow the organization.
The Red Cross admitted that “three years of rumors and complaining may not be enough to clear the debt”, but still appealed to the virtuous nature of the public:
During this late night we have some colleagues who are packing up their bags to rush over to the earthquake disaster zone in Zhaotong, other colleagues have spent the entire night organizing more relief supplies, while other colleagues deep in the plains of Inner Mongolia to screen impoverished children for heart disease are getting ready to go… with so many people and places that we need to focus on, let’s look at the real facts and take a breath. Please forget her; we need to get operational again.
As if there was a concerted, organized effort to do the exact opposite, Guo Meimei is back in the news. On the official Weibo account for CCTV News, there were nine posts regarding Guo Meimei in a 30 minute time frame after midnight (12:03, 12:10, 12:21, 12:23, 12:24, 12:25, 12:27, 12:30, 12:33) dealing with her being arrested for gambling and prostitution-related crimes.
Here are two of those posts. This one is from 12:03 this morning:
Gambling, flaunting of wealth, sex trade.
Beijing police have stated as the result of an investigation that Guo opened a gambling parlor and has earned hundreds of thousands of yuan. In 2010, 19 year-old Guo Meimei established herself as a kept woman for Wang Jun. After their relationship ended, Guo engaged in prostitution with contacts made over the internet and in person with each transaction worth several tens of thousands of yuan. An assistant for Guo stated, “There was a period of time when she would bring a new man home with her and wanted me to keep count.
This CCTV News post is the fifth out of nine such posts, published at 12:24 am:
How did Guo Meimei get involved with the Red Cross?
“A friend named Weng had purchased a Bo’ai company, and I invested five million and got 10 percent in stock.” As promised by the “godfather” to Guo Meimei, Mr Wang, Guo would become the company’s CEO. In order to better flaunt her money, Guo had her Weibo account show her occupation had changed from “singer and actress” to “China Red Cross business general manager”.
With constant reminders of Guo’s involvement with the Chinese Red Cross, it’s not surprising netizens aren’t in a mood to forget her, or forgive the Red Cross.
You’re letting her take all the blame and be your patsy.. Hehe
Please allow me to ask a question: if the all the allegations against the Red Cross are false, then why didn’t the Red Cross report her that year? Why hasn’t the police arrested her? Why is her Sina account is authenticated by the Red Cross? Can all of these questions be explained?
Does CCTV have a lack of prostitutes?
Too funny, are you trying to insult the IQ of the public? Mr Wang didn’t know (Guo was) a CEO? Guo Meimei didn’t know about the Red Cross? There’s no comparison between the two?
In three years, the Red Cross hasn’t been able to prove the innocence of one little prostitute?
*Falls off chair* Please tell me CCTV, what’s the point of all these updates? I’d like to trouble you to please focus upon the earthquake in Yunnan and other important affairs affecting the county. [sweat.emo]