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Wednesday, September 13, 2006


BBC angers all who care about Taiwan

They sure look like they're doing it on purpose

On Monday afternoon, I blogged (on both INDIAC and Taiwan Matters!) about a very one-sided BBC article which failed to challenge several blatant falsehoods spoon-fed to them by purely partisan participants of Shih Ming-teh's absurd campaign in Taipei to "depose" the democratically-elected president of Taiwan, Chen Shui-bian. By unquestioningly dishing this poison back to its readers, the BBC has done a terrible disservice to the whole nation of Taiwan.

Let's look once more at one of the biggest spoonfuls:
"We don't want any partisan support. We try to keep this as pure as possible, as a movement of the people," said Emile Sheng, professor of politics at Soochow University, who has joined the protest camp as a media spokesman.
And let's look again and again at a photo from the actual event and see if we can spot any "partisan support" or anybody who looks excessively happy about getting such support lavished upon him:

Not a SPECK of green... except for all that friggin' envy
"We're not partisans,
we just play 'em in our roles
as chairmen of the anti-Chen parties"

Doh! It's PFP chairman James Soong
and KMT chairman Ma Ying-jeou
making a Shih Ming-teh sandwich!

Caught red-handed
I was but one among a throng of commenters who submitted our thoughts on the article, but strangely, none of our comments appeared below that post hours and even days later. The scenario grows worse below, but even at this relatively early stage, I knew that something was terribly amiss and that it was time for further action.
I submitted this feedback to the BBC:
I and several others have tried to add comments to the Caroline Gluck piece "Protests against Chen gain ground" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/5323466.stm], yet not a single comment has appeared. I submitted my own comment over 24 hours ago. According to the socialforce.org web site in Taiwan, there are many complaints about the inaccuracy of the article. [http://www.socialforce.org/phpBB/topic_15415.html] Please let me know something, as I strive for accuracy in my own writings.

Here's the reply I got from the BBC Tuesday night:
Thank you for contacting us about the article. We are sorry that readers' comments were not added at the time the article appeared, as they should have been. Please send any complaints about the article to this address, and they will be forwarded to the relevant editor.
This was far from being satisfactory. I wrote back immediately:
What does this mean?:
- - -
>[...] Please send any complaints about the article to
>this address, and they will be forwarded to the relevant editor.
- - -

Which "this address"? The one I just wrote to? I still don't see any comments below the article I complained about? Is something preventing you from doing so now? Better late than never, but if you don't put any of those comments there, the many already-disappointed readers will only become even more so.

Please forward my comments (quoted below) [above, in this post] to "the relevant editor" at least once, and let's see if you can do something to counter the perception that the BBC is participating in a coordinated media effort to smear the Chen Shui-bian government. You need someone who's outside of Taipei to tell you about the feelings of the average Taiwanese toward Shih Ming-teh. You need to understand the opposition parties' hold on the media in Taiwan and the way it affects the public's perception of events. The pan-blue media is a 24-hour-a-day Chen-smearing machine.

You also really need someone who can read Mandarin to look at this:

That's just a sampling of the people who are closely watching what you're writing.

They're "sorry that readers' comments were not added at the time the article appeared." Does that mean that they'll do it now? Better think again!

More than 12 hours after receiving that mail, not one comment has yet been published, and it's pretty certain they won't ever be. How can I be sure? The comment submission form has been completely removed from the page. (I'd be more than happy to be proven wrong on this. BBC?) Are you suspicious yet?

Your turn
Give 'em your feedback on both the article [URL] and on their handling of the comments. You know the routine. Keep it polite, but be direct. Present your case in your own words. Don't expect them to change, but for sure, make them aware that you're paying close attention, that you know what they're up to, and that you're not buying the crap for one moment.

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Cross-posted at It's Not Democracy, It's A Conspiracy!

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At 1:14 PM, Blogger Taiwan Echo said...

I just posted my own version here:

Pan-Blue's Propaganda on BBC

At 9:14 PM, Anonymous Davo said...

I thought the BBC would be more professional than this, rather than following what's reporting out of Taipei's mainstream anti-government media.

At 4:44 AM, Blogger Tim Maddog said...

Good post, Echo. I've linked to it twice already.

Tim Maddog


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