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Sunday, November 12, 2006

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BBC cooks up more nonsense about Chen recall bid

Babble without a byline

In a BBC article of Friday, November 10, 2006 titled "New recall bill tabled in Taiwan," someone (since there's no byline, we don't know who) was paid to cook up this dreck and pass it off as reporting:
Legislators in Taiwan have set the date for a third vote on a recall bill aimed at ousting President Chen Shui-bian.

The vote is scheduled for 24 November, and if the motion passes it will trigger a national referendum on whether to get rid of the president.

Mr Chen has survived two such votes before, and looks likely to again.
If it doesn't look like dreck, you're either not looking carefully enough, or you don't have the proper knowledge. You might also think that in three one-sentence paragraphs there couldn't be too many foul-ups there, huh? Not so fast! Let's see how many I can extract.

1) While all of the "[l]egislators" did indeed set the date for the recall vote, the ones who tabled it in the first place just happen to be comprised entirely of opposition legislators. Both the DPP and the TSU have said they'd back President Chen. Did the BBC not know this, or are they only reporting what CTiTV feeds them? Either way would reflect negatively on their trustworthiness.

2) Such a referendum would most certainly not read "Do you want to 'get rid of' President Chen?" (If you think that I'm being picky, thank your bleedin' lucky stars I'm ignoring the lack of a subjunctive case in that conditional crap.)

3) As Michael Turton has pointed out previously, Chen didn't merely "survive" the first two recalls. The fact is that both of those attempts failed miserably to reach the two-thirds majority necessary to make it past the legislature before a public referendum could even be held on the matter.

We've only just begun
Pushing forward, let's see what other muck the unidentified chef has thrown into the pot.
But this time the challenge will be tougher, in the light of prosecutors' claims that they have enough evidence to charge him with corruption.

Mr Chen cannot be prosecuted while in office, as he is protected by presidential immunity, but his wife, Wu Shu-chen, and three ex-aides have already been charged with the misuse of state funds.

Opposition supporters are continuing their demands for Mr Chen to step down over the crisis.
Three more one-sentence paragraphs, and I see at least as many distortions. Follow along, and see how hollow those words are.

4) Let's talk about "claims" first. Some people claim to be messiahs. A claim isn't necessarily the truth and shouldn't be judged as being so just because it comes from someone with the title of "prosecutor." I bet it would be pretty easy to track down someone to find a balancing quote. Oh, bugger! There's nobody available in the CTiTV studios? Darn. Maybe next time.

5) By the way, these claims have nothing to do with whether or not it will "be tougher" for Chen to avoid being recalled. Could it be the BBC's unstated goal to make it "tougher"?

6) President Chen said he would waive immunity and step down immediately if his wife, Wu Shu-jen (alternate spelling above) were found guilty. Don't forget that the prosecutor had agreed to do another interview of Wu on November 5 to allow her to clarify some things, but he went ahead with the indictment anyway before that date; thus the interview never happened.

7) Liars, thieves, and convicted criminals are among those leading the "[o]pposition supporters." Not surprisingly, some anti-Chen people in Hong Kong and China can hardly be distinguished from those oxymoronically-named folks.

Keeping up appearances of truthiness
Whoever is writing this finally gets around to mentioning some of the things that should have been presented simultaneously with the information above, but it does little to make up for the damage. Here we have a dash of subheading and five more scant paragraphs, only one of which exceeds a single sentence:
Keeping up the pressure

The opposition parties, which have a small majority in parliament, will need at least 14 ruling party members to back the recall motion in order for it to succeed.

The last two attempts - in June and October - failed as all Mr Chen's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) colleagues stood by him.

Analysts say the big question now is whether the prosecutors' conclusions last Friday will cause some DPP lawmakers to lose faith in their leader and vote in favour of the recall motion.

So far, correspondents say, it appears likely that the vote will again fail. Most DPP members seem to be loyal to their leader, and the party has said it will punish any legislators who vote against Mr Chen.

"The chances of [the bill] [<-that's the BBC's] passing are low," admitted opposition Nationalist Party legislator Tsai Cheng-yuan, but he added that even if it did not pass, his party would still keep up the pressure against Mr Chen.
Before you even think about taking even a tiny bite of what has just been served up, here are my closing arguments.

8) The chance of 14 DPP members voting for the recall is slim to none. If any do, it could only be people like Lin Cho-shui or Tuan Yi-kang who should have been kicked out of the DPP long ago for repeatedly kicking the party from within while it's being attacked from without. Those people seem to be in it for other reasons (spies?) and should probably not be painted as ever having had faith in Chen.

9) It wasn't just the DPP who "stood by" Chen. The TSU also showed their disapproval of the motion by casting null ballots in both the first and second votes. Although there is some strong disagreement between those two parties, both of them stand strongly for democracy.

10) "Analysts say..." (insert any claim here). Finish that with "the big question now is..." and what I see is a magician saying "Look at my hands!" Are you watching closely? Which analysts? Can the BBC name even one or tell the readers who they're affiliated with? Could these "analysts" be from places like CTiTV or TVBS? Perhaps it's Emile Sheng yet again. (Am I close?!) As I've mentioned, the DPP and TSU have already made formal statements saying they would oppose this recall motion. Can you feel the bullshit vapors wafting upward toward your nostrils yet?

11) "[C]orrespondents say..." (insert any claim here). Maddog says, "Bollocks!" You might as well type, "I'm making this up." Could this be "Caroline Gluck, distorting from Taipei"? Why do "[m]ost DPP members" merely "seem" to support "their leader." (Note to Ms. Gluck and everybody at the BBC: He's the democratically-elected president, not just a "leader." Stick that someplace where you can easily copy and paste it.)

12) The full name of the "Nationalist Party" to which our fully-unnamed writer refers is the "Chinese Nationalist Party," also known as the KMT or Kuomintang. Trying to make it harder to Google up their long history of murder and oppression, eh? Nice try.

Where do we go from here?
They distort, you decide. Is this the work of Caroline Gluck? Hers has been the only name appearing on any of the recent articles from Taiwan which do have a byline. Why no byline on this article and so many others (some of which contain Gluck's name within), and does this lack of bylines have anything to do with Michael's and my deconstruction of her so-called "journalism"? Could she be farming out the work to local pan-blue hacks? Is the BBC biased against Taiwan and/or Chen Shui-bian and/or the pan-greens?

Sound off!
If your thinking is anything like mine, drop them a line (via either e-mail or online form), and tell them why.

Pieces of the puzzle: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

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