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Monday, September 11, 2006


The WaPo gets it wrong, too

The hoary Washington Post has never been known to get it right on Taiwan, often basing entire articles on hearsay and innuendo gleaned from blatantly partisan sources. I’m sorry to say that it happened again yesterday, as the usually excellent Jane Rickards fails to point out that this weekends rallies were anything but nonpartisan.
The rally, one of the first not to be sponsored by either Chen's party or the opposition, was led by Shih Ming-teh, former chairman of Chen's ruling Democratic Progressive Party. Shih, a former mentor of Chen's, was a prisoner for more than two decades for opposing the authoritarian rule of the Nationalist Party, or Kuomintang [KMT].

Instead of wasting time explaining the delicious irony that was the sight of Shih sharing his soapbox with The Devilishly Handsome KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou and the Increasingly Amphibian-like PFP Chairman James Soong, I’ll just go ahead and show it to you and let you decide which person in the picture looks happiest with his present company:

Not sponsored by the opposition, indeed.

The piece ends on another ironic note, as an employee at a state-run enterprise harangues the president for “corruption.”
"We hope our president can step down," said Lee Huang-ming... "He is corrupt, and his family is corrupt. He is not suited to our times."

And now is the time that we once again ask ourselves: have investigators found any evidence that Chen himself is guilty of malfeasance yet? Any at all? Is it not a little bit presumptuous to declare him “corrupt” before the prosecutor’s office hands down an indictment, or a court of law finds him guilty? And just what exactly is meant by “not suited to our times?” Buddy, if we want to talk about being behind the times, let’s take a long, hard look at the outdated concept of government-owned enterprises, shall we?

Sadly, this article is one of many cookie-cutter pieces designed to “fit” a narrative that editors seem to have already written: the “Mad Chen”, frustrated by his inability to plunge Taiwan into a war of independence with China, turns to corruption with the help of his Lady MacBeth while the rest of the country suffers in silence. Meanwhile, the selfless freedom fighter Shih returns from the political wilderness to valiantly fight on against his now-fallen student for the good of the Republic. Shit, if this story ends with Chen wearing a menacing black suit and helmet, I’m going to demand my money back.

Let’s keep the cart behind the Horse and wait for the prosecutor's findings and follow the law if the president is found guilty of wrongdoing. And for God’s sake let’s stop pretending that this “Depose Chen” business is just a non-partisan grassroots call for clean government, because it’s not. The presence of Taiwan’s biggest convicted tax-evader at the weekend’s rally is proof enough of that.

Cross-posted at Wandering to Tamshui


At 11:30 AM, Blogger Michael Turton said...

Wow! That Rickards article is really a hatchet job! Did you catch this doozy?

The months-old allegations that his wife, other relatives and key aides exploited their positions for illegal financial gain have weakened his leadership. The situation has raised questions about whether Chen will have the confidence to push for formal independence for the self-ruled island of 23 million, a move China has threatened to oppose with military force.

ROFL! Does anyone seriously think that Chen is going to push for independence now? A lame duck president facing a legislature controlled by the opposition, and the necessary constitutional amendments requiring a public referendum? How DUMB can you fucking be?

I have to write the WaPo Asian editor. This is unconscionable.



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