Politics

"F--k You, Pay the Road Bribes"

In the English language at least, you very seldom see articles such as "F--k You, Pay the Road Bribes" coming out of Vietnam.

In fact, Vietnam produces very little quality journalism period. A government-imposed repressive media climate makes sure of that.

"F--k You, Pay the Road Bribes" is not exactly the Watergate series. But it is daring.

The outlet, Tuoi Tre News, embedded journalist Hoang Khuong inside undocumented long-haul trucks to see the depth of police corruption firsthand.

He emerged with such quips as “F..k you! I will smash up your face. What a dog!” along with accounts of extortion. He even named cops by name.

Now he's in prison and his journalistic license has been suspended. The police have Khuong, known for his crusading against traffic cops, accused of -- wait for it -- bribing a traffic cop.

Traffic cop bribery is endemic in Southeast Asia, so Khuong's pieces are hardly relevatory.

But they are brave in viewing authorities as accountable and shining a light on their worst behavior, such as demanding cash on the spot AND punching drivers in the face.

It now appears unlikely, however, that Khuong will be permitted to continue his crusade.