Miss Fu（福小姐）And Hearsay
Update (8/18/07): Tim Maddog pointed out that I associated "Miss Fu" with a wrong event. I have made some corrections. The point that I wanted to make before the correction remains. Thx a lot, Tim. I apologize for mixing up "Miss Fu" and "Little Nurse" (see below). But maybe I deserve a pardon -- pan-bluers have practiced "evidence cooking" on every chance they got. It's hard for me to keep track of their shows.
Thomas Huang, a Junior Physics & Political Science major in Iowa, posted some comments on Michael's blog article Ma: Acquitted.
In response to his comments, I have some of my own that seems to get too long for a comment. So I put them here. I'll invite Thomas over for further interactions.
Thomas: A deep-green Taiwanese poli-sci professor I knew, who was President Chen's close adviser, once said to me that Ma's case is indeed kind of a revenge from the DPP, whose President Chen was troubled by corruption charges initiated by blue politicians.
This is not a convincing way of establishing an arguments. Thomas is trying to give his arguments based on an extremely damaging hearsay that is not verifiable. It is not different from spreading a rumor.
If you watch Taiwan politics for some time, you would have found that it is the way pan-blue commonly used to launch their attacks. For example, in the infamous Ear-Licking Scandal (舔耳案，then PFP whip Diane Lee [x] (李慶安) vs. the acting director-general of the Department of Health (DOH) Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲)) in 2002. Li set up a press conference to introduce a senior schoolmate of Twu's who claimed to be with Twu and witnessed Twu when the so-called sex scandal happened. It later turned out that there wasn't such a schoolmate of Twu's and the entire witness show was a setup by Li just to incriminate Twu.
Another example happened on March 19, 2004, after two bullets were fired at DPP presidential candidate pair Chen and Lu during their campaign. Sisy Chen (陳文茜, an advisor to KMT's president candidate Lien-Chan)[x] held a press conference, in which [x] she said (ref,ref) that an "anonymous nurse" had seen Chen's people faked the event and the doctors in the hospital tampered the medical records to conspire with Chen's story. The "anonymous nurse" never showed up, and the accusation of conspiracy was quickly dismissed by the hospital.
Not long after the "Little Nurse in Chi-Mei" show, pan-blue's legislator Chou Hsi-Wei(周錫瑋) put up another one. Another anonymous witness, Miss Fu (福小姐), with her face half-covered and unrecognizable, was introduced in Chou's press conference to claim that she has a video proving that the 319 shooting was a conspiracy. Her accusation was later dismissed by forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee(李昌鈺博士).
Since then the term "Little Nurse" (小護士) or "Little Nurse in Chi-Mei" (奇美小護士; "Chi-Mei" is the name of the hospital), as well as "Miss Fu" (福小姐) have become the symbols of pan-blue's imaginary witness or cooked up evidence.[x] If you visit pan-green forums and mention these terms, every frequent poster knows what you are talking about.
More examples can be drawn from those so-called-scandal exposing press conferences held by pan-blue's legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅). Most of his accusations on so-called DPP scandals are base-less, unverifiable hearsay that was cooked up by you-know-whom. If there's a chance for these accusations to go to the court of law, the so-called witness or evidence will be either no where to be found or discarded by the court. I believe deep down Chu Yi knows that, and that's why he held press conferences before the investigation such that by the time the investigation starts, the public is already brainwashed by his false accusations. As I pointed out last year ( Society-breaking conspiracy in Taiwan and here), this is the formula pan-blue follows to paralyze the society:
(pan-bluers)... exaggerating the suspicions, adding up all circumstantial evidences and making it look guilty. This process provokes the public. Then, a looked-guilty, people-outraged case is investigated. If it ends up with not-guilty charges, Chiu then has the outraged people to support him to ramp the court.
If he goes legal way, all those circumstantial suspicions will have no chance to be manipulated. Only by provoking public first, by which he can tag those suspicions with his own judgement, can he turn doubts into something more.
You can easily spot this pattern on almost every attempt pan-blue work their way to attack pan-green.
I am not saying that Thomas intended to spread cooked-up information to pollute the society like that. Obviously I have no way to determine that, for one thing the story is not verifiable. It's just that this sort of hearsay won't help on building any solid argument, and certainly will hurt your credibility seriously, especially when it becomes a routine --- in another comment on the same page, Thomas did it again:
Thomas: Earlier, a high-rank official from the Clinton administration told me that he once tried to help the two sides negotiate a treaty of "maintaining the status-quo." Contrary to public perception of greedy Communists, Beijing was very interested in the plan and agreed that Taiwan can be given more room of international visibility under the treaty (even participation in WHO and UN, etc). President Chen, on the contrary, was lukewarm about the idea. To him the NAME of independence matters more because of elections. So in some cases, the more you fight, the less you get.
The way Thomas described both stories bears the similar characteristics of 福小姐:
(1) Authority - came directly from top or whom close to the power center;
(2) Covert - secrets you can hear from nowhere but me;
(3) Damaging - so damaging such that it renders the target defenseless;
(4) Non-traceable - readers have no way to verify its credibility.
This kind of "hearsay spreading"[x] has huge negative impact on the society. It is a fortune that most Taiwan-politics-related English blog articles are free of this sort of hearsay-spreading style talking. But if you visit some Taiwan forums (in Chinese language) long enough, you can spot these sort of hearsay frequently. People grow up in that environment would certainly pick up those "hobbies". But that doesn't justify the act. IMO, whoever intends to put up such an "unverifiable hearsay" should assume responsibility and think more on what kind of negative impact those hearsay could bring to the society.
I applaud "A Bit about My Viewpoints" on the front page of Thomas' blog:
Just like Beijing's cornering Taiwan only alienates people from their already dwindling tie with China, unfair or unfounded criticism to the PRC also helps it justify its isolation of Chinese people from outside.
My studies tell me that engagement always works more effectively than containment; peaceful penetration always works more efficiently than armed confrontation (haven't you had enough for Iraq?) - and less costly.
Listen carefully, watch thoughtfully, and speak reasonably; back up a little bit, calm down, and things will work much better...
I also welcome Thomas' attempt for interactions. Unlike most participants in the circle of Taiwan-politics-related English blogs (should we come up with a term like TPREB?), Thomas seems to represent more on the pro-china side of Taiwan political spectrum. The interactions Thomas initiated are much needed for healing and mutual understanding and will contribute significantly to the future of Taiwan. But it will achieve nothing if we turn the interactions into "hearsay competitions."