The Vietnamese agency in charge of overseeing mass media content has decided to fine three news outlets for publishing stories in favor of an entertainer convicted of child molestation in the U.S. late last year.
The news sites, kenh14.vn, soha.vn and baomoi.com, have been fined VND80 million (US$3,571) for running articles that “promoted inappropriate content” about comedian Minh Beo, according to three separate directives issued on December 26 by the Administration of Radio, Television and Electronic Information.
kenh14.vn and soha.vn, both powered by Hanoi-based VC Corp, were subject to a fine of VND30 million ($1,339) each, whereas baomoi.com, an ePi Technologies platform that aggregates stories from different sources, was charged VND20 million ($893).
Minh Beo, born Hong Quang Minh, was deported from the U.S. after serving half of an 18-month jail term for sexually assaulting a young boy and attempting to commit a lewd act upon a fictitious minor impersonated by undercover police.
The 38-year-old arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on December 21, appearing as if he was a victor coming home, despite his conviction for child molestation.
The three media outlets were sanctioned for publishing stories that celebrated the homecoming of the child sex offender, creating a false impression that Minh Beo was indeed coming back from the U.S. after achieving considerable feats there, and that he deserved to be welcome back to show business.
Besides the imprisonment sentence, Minh Beo was also given a mandatory court order to list himself on the lifetime sex offender registry in California.
On December 21, upon his home arrival, Minh Beo took to Facebook to tell fans that he was “in good health” and thanked them for their support.
The Facebook update was posted along with several photos showing him in the U.S., at the airport, and at home, offending many with his seeming nonchalant smile, ‘thumbs-up’ gesture, and posing next to a car.