China's most famous stand-up comedian, Guo Degang, has been under fire for labeling one of his apprentices a "national hero" for beating up a Beijing Television (BTV) reporter.
Guo was also criticized for calling BTV -- which broadcast many of Guo's shows and was regarded a major promoter of Guo's career -- "dirty" in the middle of a show at a theater on Sunday.
"Guo may have the advantage verbally, but he has crossed the line of civility and morality. When he shows no respect, he also loses respect from the public," a commentary in the Xinhua Daily Telegraph said Thursday.
The commentary went on to say that using the stage to vent one's personal rage is "a very improper behavior."
Similar commentaries were run in other Chinese newspapers.
According to a senior official with the BTV who required anonymity, the BTV had been "exercising restraint" over Sunday's hitting, lest Guo "take advantage of the incident to gain more fame."
Zhou Wenfu, a BTV reporter, was repeatedly punched Sunday when attempting to interview Guo's family, according to clips of the beating that have been widely circulated on the Internet and broadcast on BTV.