"Pay close attention to that man behind the curtain!"

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Spin cycle for the brainwashed

The day after 326

Here's a look at some of the pan-blue spin on yesterday's march along with some counterspin. Let's play "Spot the Difference." (I'll even give you some clues. UPDATE: Hideous colors fixed.)

The numbers
Here's how The China Post spins 'em:
Quoting figures from Taipei police, leading international news agencies estimated the crowd at just over 240,000 [...]
The Taipei Times unspins that (times four) by actually specifying a source:
According to the Associated Press, about 1 million people took part in the march [...]
Taipei City Mayor Ma Ying-jeou, spinning again on TV earlier: "275,000," according to the number of tour buses.

The Taiwan News does the unspinning this time:
People at the assembly points for most of the 10 lines of marches were still just starting their march when the front of their column arrived at Ketagalan Boulevard.


[DPP Culture and Information director] Cheng [Wen-tsan] said that registered persons transported into Taipei from locations across the island by tourist buses alon[e] topped 250,000 and added that the turnout from people in Taipei City and Taipei County was huge and reflected in the extremely heavy use of the city's mass transit system.
Ma's figures don't include people like me and my wife. We arrived in Taipei via train, took the MRT toward our destination, and walked the remaining distance. His figures don't include the residents of Taipei City and County who took the MRT either.

Take a look at this awesome photo. Notice that there are people all the way to the edges of the frame. I was there, and I can tell you that people extended far beyond that. (Note that the street seen at the top center of this photo is the same one that extends past the lower left corner of the "awesome photo" linked above.) I can also tell you that many people who couldn't make it any closer left early and probably weren't included in any of the figures.

One of the lies I noted in the previous post was ETTV's on-air complaints about traffic. Their proof was a couple of "random" interviews with motorcyclists who may have just as well been friends of the reporter. After all, the routes had been reported by the news at least 3 days before the event.

The Taipei Times gives both statistics and sources:
Despite the 2,800 tour buses rushing into Taipei City and hundreds of thousands of protesters marching on the streets yesterday, Taipei police and transportation officials reported smooth traffic after they took steps to avert chaos.


The Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation also reported an unprecedented load of up to half a million passengers by 4pm yesterday, a figure that is about 120,000 passengers more than usual holiday traffic.


Meanwhile, railway authorities said five additional express trains took 5,000 people from the south to Taipei yesterday.
Compare them there apples with the spin I reported in the previous post and with Ma's report of numbers above.

Random smears
CTI's "entertainment" channel featured impressionist Kuo Tsu-chien today doing an imitation of Taiwanese actor Chen Sung-yung. One thing Kuo said in relation to yesterday's rally was, "Don't believe politicians. Don't be their dogs." While I agree with the statement entirely, yesterday was not the day to be the pan-blues' "sleeping Pekingese."

Also, I should remind readers that the pan-blues often offer cash and use free food to get people to participate in their violent demonstrations. My wife has had to talk her mother out of taking money that was offered by the pan-blues to add her voice to a protest she knew nothing about.

Contrast this with yesterday's rally, to which my wife donated money to help cover the costs. (Note: The DPP doesn't have the same kind of party assets as the KMT, which was at one time the world's richest political party.) And since Kuo took money from a pan-blue TV station to say the things he said, that would make him a true blue whore.

Era News reported at least 2 news stories today conflating arrestees with yesterday's rally. One story involved a raid on an orgy in which some of the young participants were said to have AIDS. The reporter said that they had told their parents they were going to the 326 rally as an excuse. Another report of a Kaohsiung lawyer arrested on drunk driving charges had to throw in a mention of the rally as well.

Pan-blue spokesmonkey Chou "The-VP-shot-Chen-Shui-bian" Hsi-wei mocked yesterday's event for being like a "carnival." (Never mind that the organizers themselves described it as a "democratic carnival.") While we weren't throwing Molotov cocktails at police like Chou's party did after losing last year's presidential election (after all, yesterday's rally was about "peace"), some people were supposedly "moved to tears" by the event. He's just jealous.

KMT chairman and crybaby sore loser Lien Chan expressed his "disapproval" of yesterday's rally, being paraphrased as saying that "the DPP, which controls lots of administrative resources, could have done something more meaningful to express its unhappiness with the law than mobilizing people to take to the streets." To this, I can only say to read the paragraphs about the spokesmonkey and about my wife's donation again. What would Lien have done -- prostrated himself before Hu Jintao in Tiananmen Square?
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