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Monday, September 11, 2006

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BBC gets Taiwan all wrong

Is it on purpose?

A reader of [my personal blog] sent me a link yesterday afternoon to a very one-sided BBC article about Shih Ming-teh's inane protest in Taipei. Writer Caroline Gluck, despite being stationed right there in the capital, got so many things so glaringly wrong, I couldn't help but compose a long comment to the article.

An e-mail to fellow blogger Michael Turton revealed that both he and Jason of Wandering to Tamshui had submitted similar comments there, and all of us had done so independently of each other.

None of our comments has been published. In fact, no comments at all have.

Action, reaction
So Michael blogged it, Jason restated his own submission in comments to Michael's post, and I'm now going to reprint my own comment here [with two typos corrected, some links added so that anyone can verify the facts of the matter, and a bit of formatting]:
What the people quoted in this article say isn't necessarily true, and Ms. Gluck, you leave too many distortions unchallenged.

When Shih says "This whole island is angry," he implies that everyone is angry at President Chen. The fact is that many people in Taiwan are angry at Shih himself, as his own ethics are questionable. Shih's current connection with Chen Yu-hao, who is wanted internationally after fleeing justice with hundreds of millions of NT$ NT$60 billion in debt and who now holds a Chinese passport, goes unmentioned.

When you tell readers about President Chen's "public approval ratings falling to all-time lows," you fail to tell them that the polls which say so were done by opposition newspapers like the United Daily News and the China Times which are known for telling obvious lies in their front page headlines. Also, you could point out that 80 - 90% of the news media in Taiwan is run by opponents of Chen Shui-bian, remnants of the KMT's party-state. Again, this is unfair and unbalanced "coverage" of a complex story.

Emile Sheng is constantly portrayed in the English-language media as a "neutral observer." He's given the space here to deceive readers with quotes like "We don't want any partisan support," but he's been anti-Chen for as long as I can remember. Sheng's employer, Soochow University, is curiously named after a place in China. Shih's movement has exactly the same goals as the unelected authoritarians in China: to use extralegal means get rid of the democratically-elected president of Taiwan. Taiwan, you might remind your readers, is an independent country where Chen's title doesn't need to be put in scare quotes the way it is in Xinhua reports.

You unquestioningly say that the red clothing demonstrates the protesters' "anger at corruption." Did you think to look behind the curtain and see if you could find evidence of China's connection to this event? Lin Cheng-chieh, the chairman of a pro-unification party who recently beat a Chen supporter on live TV, supports the movement, and he's connected to gang leaders in China such as Chang An-le. Why no mention of this?

You say that there will be "no noisy horns," yet you fail to mention how the event is disturbing patients at the nearby Taiwan University Hospital. Again, this favors Shih and fails to present a clear picture of what's really happening.

Why is there no mention of any of this?

As for the title of this article, these so-called sit-ins (in Mandarin, "jìng zuò" or "quiet sit") aren't "gaining ground" they're merely getting noisier.
No wonder Michael said at the end of his post, "I can name two dozen bloggers who could come up with a better piece than that."

For the records: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

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2 Comments:

At 8:15 AM, Blogger Taiwan Echo said...

Expecting Ms Gluck to even think of the possible connection between "red" and "red China" is probably too far-fetched ... Ms Gluck seems to present her article like a pan-blue propaganda on purpose ...

 
At 1:17 PM, Blogger Taiwan Echo said...

I just posted my own version here:

Pan-Blue's Propaganda on BBC

 

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