It’s all about the Lin

Jeremy Lin: Influential and snobby? Photos by Elton Lugay

By Elton Lugay

New York Knicks’ point guard Jeremy Lin may be Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential, but to the Chinese media covering the gala, he’s nothing but a “snob.”

“I felt discriminated,” a Taiwanese journalist was steaming at the red carpet arrivals for the press. “I cannot believe he went straight to the center and left us as if we didn’t exist.”

She was not the only one furious. Many others in the Chinese media were upset that Lin – whose parents are Taiwanese immigrants — did not even acknowledge their presence. Not even with a smile and a wave.

Unlike the Knicks player, Victor Cruz of the New York Giants, gave interviews to anyone with a camera and a mic, and gamely danced on the red carpet.

The Time 100 gathering is “so unique,” said Dr. Mehmet Oz, not only because the magazine packs a luxurious hall with presidents, celebrities, achievers, head-turners and breakouts. Anyone from R&B artist Rihanna to book author E.L. James whose “Fifty Shades of Gray” was a literary smash and made erotic fiction sassy and respectable.

“You get to meet people who are very different from you but who are the best in their areas,” Oz told The FilAm. “You meet leaders, musicians, artists in different categories, scientists like me—and all of us have tips to the trade that we use. Working together, we can take it to a whole different level. The conversation is stimulating.”

Also, the primetime surgeon added, his boys “are excited to meet Jeremy Lin.”

Thoughtfully, he continued: “Lin didn’t make the list because he’s a basketball player. He made it because he’s a smart guy who broke into the NBA and broke stereotypes.”

Amy Chua

Amy Chua, controversial author of the “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” said her inclusion in the list is “just luck.”

“I don’t even deserve to be here,” she said almost dismissively as she walked the red carpet.

Manal al-Sharif, a women’s rights activist from Saudi Arabia who launched a campaign that would give women the right to drive a vehicle, brushed aside any reference to being a “role model.”

“I’m still an outcast in society,” she said. “People say horrible things about me. I’m just a normal person who stood up for what I believe in.”

“It’s not about being liked, it’s about being influential,” said Savannah Guthrie, journalist, lawyer and friend of honoree Matt Lauer. “I’m proud of my colleague Matt Lauer.”

Matt Lauer

This year’s list also included President Barack Obama, actress Viola Davis, Adele, Kate and Pippa Middleton and Republican presidential aspirant Mitt Romney. But for one more night the obsession with Lin was an all-time high. “Everybody loves Lin,” said TIME editor Richard Stengel.

Tell that to the Chinese press.

More photos are available here.

One Comment

  1. Name * wrote:

    Actually, if I were to guess, I think I know the reason why Jeremy Lin ignored the Chinese press. It is because the Chinese media loves to ask personal questions as though a “Jeremy Lin’show” is being conducted instead of something professional but not too serious or funny but not embarrassing type of Q&A interview. It is the culture difference that might have caused Jeremy Lin to stay away from the Chinese media. Invading privacy isn’t much of a deal in Chinese culture. You are a public icon? You owe us your life including who you are dating, who you might be dating, and who had you dated in the past. 🙂 The media earned the reputations in the past by asking irrelevant or embarrassing questions to Jeremy Lin as though the game he fought hard didn’t really matter at all. Chinese media definitely loves Jeremy Lin and the love chokes Jeremy Lin as well. My 2nd guess is that Knicks PR doesn’t want Jeremy Lin to respond to the Asian press. Any reason should tell the Chinese media to look at themselves before feeling upset. They should do their homework before asking professional questions and also respect the interviewee’s privacy. Hopefully Jeremy Lin also learns how to deal with the seemingly odd questions by laughing at them instead of taking them too seriously. 🙂

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