A reporter from a state-owned news website has been suspended from journalism "indefinitely" for fabricating a news report about an unusual sex incident that drew a great deal of public attention last month.
According to a report on the news website of the national radio Voice of Vietnam (VOV) on Wednesday, its reporter, Nguyen Chu Trinh, had been assigned to another job for his wrongdoing.
Pham Manh Hung, editor-in-chief of the news website, was also disciplined for publishing the story, it said.
On September 18, the VOV site published an article reporting that a 58-year-old man and his daughter-in-law were hospitalized after his penis got stuck in her vagina while they were having sex at their home in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang.
It said the couple was admitted to the Tien Giang General Hospital in a compromising position, according to the story.
It also said they were later transferred a central hospital in Ho Chi Minh City because the provincial clinic could not handle the case.
The 36-year-old woman was diagnosed as suffering from vaginismus vaginal tightness usually caused by anxiety, according to the article.
The accident happened when the man's son was away on business in Ho Chi Minh City, it said.
After it was published, the story caught public attention and was re-published by numerous websites and blogs. Some gossip websites even made up more details to get more page views.
Many residents in Go Cong Town, where the couple was reported to live, photocopied the article and sold it for VND1,000 per copy.
However, Dr. Ta Van Tram, deputy director of the Tien Giang Hospital, who was quoted by Trinh as the only source for whole story, denied that he had provided such information to the reporter.
Tram made the denial when contacted by reporters from other newspapers.
Trinh later said that he wrote the story based on what his relative told him. The relative had overheard Tram and some officials talking about sexual incidents during a class break at the Tien Giang Political School.
On September 20, the VOV news website retracted the story.
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