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Sunday, August 31, 2008

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Media mendacity on Taiwan, August 31, 2008

President, mofo!

The BBC still refuses to call Taiwan's elected leaders "president" in their headlines:
Huge rally against Taiwan leader
I was there, and I agree that it was huge:

Jingfumen (景福門)
See a bird's-eye view of this location in this article
(Click thumbnail to enlarge)

But the caption beneath the BBC video on that page contains this serious underestimation:
Thousands of opposition supporters have taken to the streets [...]
"Thousands," as in "somewhere between 2,000 and 20,000? The speakers onstage at the event said that there were 300,000 people there, which -- even if it was 50% too high -- would mean the BBC is off by a factor of 100! The BBC should have said "hundreds of thousands."

Here she comes again
Hack BBC reporter Caroline Gluck gets the byline on an article with the same president-less headline in which she repeats the numerical disparagement and writes the following rubbish:
The protesters said he [Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九)] was moving too quickly to improve ties with Beijing.

China claims Taiwan as part of its territory, although they have been governed separately since 1949.

[...]

The president's office did not comment on the rally, but officials from the governing Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) said the public should not blame the current administration for the island's economic woes but the previous one, which held office for eight years.

They said the public should be protesting against Taiwan's former President, Chen Shui-bian, and his family, who are being investigated over fresh allegations of money laundering involving millions of dollars.
Who needs facts or evidence when you have Caroline Gluck? Let's dump that rubbish out in the sunshine where it can be examined more easily, shall we?

What dictionary are you using?
The protest wasn't about "improv[ing] ties" with Beijing. The protesters know far better than Gluck that the kind of "ties" that Ma wants to have with Beijing go far beyond economic ones and will only result in Taiwan's absorption by an authoritarian government that has no right to rule Taiwan.

Opposing annexation by China
These guys know clearly what Gluck fails to tell readers
(Click to enlarge)

There's also a big piece that Gluck left out about the Ma government brushing off China's multiple uses of the offensive and absolutely incorrect name "China, Taiwan" (中國台灣).

The part about "1949"? Again?! Fuck! Before 1949, Taiwan was ruled by Japan, so that sentence is a purely China-centric lie.

Next, the full name of the "Nationalist Party" -- as Gluck surely knows -- is the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). Given the context, it has more relevance than usual, but Gluck dutifully leaves the first nasty word off.

Finally, the "current administration" is being blamed for driving away foreign investment, relying almost exclusively on China to boost Taiwan's economy, and for failing to live up to the campaign promise of "633" (6% economic growth/year [now reduced to an unreachable 4.8% -- even though his own government estimates maybe reaching 4.3%], US$30,000 per capita income [ain't gonna happen], and less than 3% unemployment by 2012), the campaign claim of "We are ready" (我們準備好了!), and the campaign promise of "If Ma gets elected, things will be better right away" (「馬上就會好」). Plus, the "allegations" are being made by known liars, the "invesigat[ion]" is incomplete, and the evidence is absent without leave. Also, the economy was quite healthy during Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) administration, with a 6.06% growth rate occurring in the first quarter of 2008 during the last part of Chen's term.

By the way, the "island" that Gluck is referring to is Taiwan, and while most people here call it a "country," Gluck repeats that worn-out meme (the "mainland-island" dichotomy) which falsely implies that it is part of China.

So, just about everthing that Caroline Gluck said echoes KMT talking points, and that is the kind of rubbish off of which she makes her living.

For the benefit of your own lying eyes
Here are some more photos I shot on location:
Wall-to-wall protesters
Where was Gluck during this event -- under President Mr. Ma's desk?
"Thousands" of people passed by in just the 90 seconds following that shot,
and after that, they kept on comin'!
(Click to enlarge)

Taiwan, not China; Taiwan be Taiwan
If she wasn't under Ma's desk, she would certainly have seen things like this...
(Click to enlarge)

Criminalize unexplained assets
... and even though she could have talked to "thousands" of people like this,
there isn't a single quote in her article from any of the rally's participants.
I don't know if Gluck can read the sign, but it basically says the same thing as the next one below.
(Click to enlarge)

Sunshine Laws Now!
Sunshine Laws Now!
The DPP has never had the legislative majority required to enact such laws.
Ma's party, on the other hand, has had over half a century to do so.
WTF are they waiting for?
(Click to enlarge)

The stock market during Mr. Ma's first hundred days in office
The pan-blue media helped Ma during his presidential campaign to push the lie that the TAIEX would go up to 10,000 or even 20,000 points.
Instead, this is what happened starting the very day Ma took office.
(Click to enlarge)

Stop selling Taiwan out!
Stop selling Taiwan out!
(Click to enlarge)

The name is ''Taiwan,'' not ''China, Taiwan''
Feel the passion in their expressions.
They are from Taiwan!
(Click to enlarge)

Don't you forget about us
Here are some of my and Michael Turton's previous criticisms of the BBC's anti-Taiwan coverage:
1) BBC gets Taiwan all wrong
2) BBC angers all who care about Taiwan
3) BBC still not getting Taiwan right
4) BBC continues Taiwan deception
5) BBC strikes again
6) BBC Taiwan Coverage: Pathetically Biased
7) BBC cooks up more nonsense about Chen recall bid
8) Who will observe the Taiwan observers?
9) BBC has news about Taiwan totally backwards
10) BBC's Gluck dumps on changes to Taiwan's history books
11) Another distortion piece from the BBC
12) Sorry-ass BBC misreports Taiwan again
And then there were 13.

Even more reading
* Saturday, August 30, 2008, International Herald Tribune: Thousands rally against Taiwan's China policy
Tens of thousands of Taiwanese marched [...]

[...]

[...] Police said about 40,000 people participated in the rally.
Is it "Thousands" or "Tens of thousands"?!

* Saturday, August 30, 2008, Agence France-Presse (AFP): Tens of thousands rally against Taiwan's Ma
TAIPEI (AFP) — Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Taipei Saturday [...]

[...]

Peter Wang, the rally organiser, told AFP Ma's stance on China meant "Taiwan's sovereignty is being sacrificed."
At least they're consistent with the low numbers between the headline and the body text. OTOH, Peter Wang was merely one of the organizers.

* Sunday, August 31, 2008, Taipei Times: Rally targets Ma on 100th day in office:
Tens of thousands of protesters began their walk [...]

[...]

The Taiwan Society, which organized the rally, estimated that 300,000 people attended, while Taipei police said they would not provide an estimate.
Wait a minute! IHT said police gave them an estimate! And come on -- somebody has got to be able to do better than that "Tens of thousands" crap!

M&M's for the mind: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

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3 Comments:

At 2:49 AM, Blogger STOP Ma said...

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As I commented on A View:

In 2005, the Hong Kong based Bloomberg reporter severely underestimated the crowd of the 3/26 Anti-secession rally. When I emailed him and asked why his report was the only one to give this anaemic number (including such pro-blue rags as The China Times), he repeated the point that this is what the police told them.

I guess the police in Taiwan give different estimates according to the news organization. Being that he was in Hong Kong, naturally they would deflate the numbers as to not to upset "the mainland".
(/snark)
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At 3:50 AM, Blogger Tim Maddog said...

You aren't thinking about your own guest post on this very blog regarding Bloomberg's overestimation of the numbers of anti-Chen protesters in 2006, are you?

BTW, you should drop me an e-mail.

Tim Maddog

 
At 3:55 AM, Blogger STOP Ma said...

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D'oh!

I guess that is what I was thinking. Anyhow, same point. LOL!
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