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

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Topsy-turvy Taiwan

Pan-blue media outlets to one another: "I've got your back" *

In the wake of recent accusations by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators that Taiwan's TVBS is funded entirely with Chinese capital, there have been some rather unsettling developments.

TVBS has been slapped on the wrist with a fine of NT$1,000,000 (US$29,660.39 at the current exchange rate), or about one pubic hair for each person in China that wants to take over Taiwan. In other words, TVBS might as well say out loud, "What are you tryin' to do, tickle me (and my Chinese capital)?" [UPDATE LINK 1*]

A little bit of a "lesson" in "moral relativism"
Another not-so-funny thing that happened on the way to the "Chinese Bank" was that threats were made against the lives of both Government Information Office (GIO) Minister, Pasuya Yao, and Premier Frank Hsieh (both DPP) -- as well as their families -- multiple times in recent days, in fact, after KMT lawmakers Hung Hsiu-chu and Kuo Su-chun publicized Yao's and Hsieh's home and office telephone numbers as retribution for the charges made against TVBS. In both cases, suspects were apprehended.

In the case of the GIO minister, a retired school teacher (one of those who would be affected by the DPP's plan to cut the 18% interest rate benefits given to such people) admitted to having made "intimidat[ing]" calls, though not having threatened Yao's life. In TV reports I saw about this, he used the excuse that he was "inebriated" (Mandarin: zuì) and was angered after watching the news about TVBS. Being a "teacher," he wanted to "teach Yao a lesson" about "correct" ideas.

If he thinks being zuì ("drunk") lessens his zuì (homophone for "guilty") by even an iota, he's shamelessly wrong and needs a lesson in how the legal system works.

In Hsieh's case, the perpetrator was a poet who goes by the nom de plume of Tu Shih-san ("Thirteen" Tu) -- née Huang Jen-ho. Huang also admitted to having made such a call, also blaming it on drinking alcohol and on having had his emotions inflamed by watching... TVBS!

Here's what the China Post tells us about the case:
The 55-year-old poet, who published his anthology entitled "Hidden Stars" in November last year, said over the phone he sentenced the premier to death.

He said his non-existent organization "Taiwan Liberation Alliance," would carry out the execution in one week.

"Your family will be executed along with you," Huang was quoted as saying in the recorded phone call.
Bú kè qì
In both of the above cases, the people who had their lives threatened declined to press charges. I must ask again, what the fuck does the DPP think this will accomplish? Are they afraid of the pan-blues accusing them of ""White Terror" tactics? Are they not afraid that this will encourage others to do the same?

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it
The pan-blue media -- for example, Tuesday's United Daily News -- is already making Huang out as a "hero."

Just take a look at some of what the UDN published about this on Tuesday [all in Big-5 Chinese encoding, translations of titles mine]:
* Unhappy with current gov't, Tu Shih-san threatens Premier Hsieh
* Art world says: "Threat"? No, it's "performance art"!
* Tu Shih-san: I was just drunk, not speaking from a political standpoint
* Sometimes, the pen has no power
Look! Another one claiming he did it because he was drunk. How unoriginal can you get?

PLA? TLA? Just a typo (via telephone)?
By the way, my wife tells me the meaning of Huang's "Taiwan Liberation Alliance," according to the original wording in Chinese, implies that he wants to "liberate Taiwan from itself" (sorta like the US is doing in Iraq -- "inciting" freedom?) and give it to China! (Think "People's Liberation Army" or "PLA.") While being an insane concept, it doesn't sound like something slipping easily off the tongue of a drunk. If evidence came up that he or other pan-blue supporters had previously used this phrase, I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised.

This also sounds a lot like what happened after the "rice bomber" and "gas bomber" were caught. I know I said this before, but it bears repeating: Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

DPP to their supporters: "Threats to our existence are like water off a duck's back" (?)
To me, this sure looks like the DPP is doing nothing to even discourage such nonsense. I wouldn't mind seeing the UDN claiming a DPP "dictatorship" and "White Terror" if the DPP were actually clamping down on pan-blue politicians, media, and followers, but it's absolutely untrue.

I'm not suggesting that the pan-greens make "blacklists" like the ones the KMT used during Taiwan's real "White Terror" period -- you know, the kind of list you could get placed on if your kid spoke Taiwanese in school and which could result in the police taking you away in the middle of the night, never to be seen again. I'm simply talking about applying the law equally [UPDATE LINK 2*] and actually prosecuting real crimes. Libel isn't good for society, especially when its goal is to destroy Taiwan and its people.

Please go back and read my "A LAUNDRY LIST OF PAN-BLUE VIOLENCE" if you have any doubts about how serious I am.

Too many "locals"
Monday, I also learned that Wang Pen-hu's shows, Taiwan Talking and Taiwan Ji Pó will be cancelled as of December 4, 2005. That's pretty depressing, as the pan-blues simply saturate the media with their constant bullshit.

The reason being given for the cancellation, according to Wang himself, is that his shows are too "local." That's right, they're simply "too damned Taiwanese." My ever-so-helpful wife says that according to Chinese-language media, claims are being made that this is the result of a "change in leadership" at Era Broadcasting and that they simply want to get rid of "political" shows and replace them with "entertainment."

Like what? Even more suicidal tendency-inducing Qing Dynasty soap operas? (read: "Chinese agitprop") More crap like the "183 Club" who think that speaking Taiwanese is "low class"? (read: "Chinese agitprop")

Balanced (minus) honesty (does not equal) good
As someone who supports democracy, I support a media that exposes corruption on all sides, as long as it tells the truth, makes a sincere effort to verify the facts before reporting, and makes prompt corrections of errors -- not necessarily "balanced" -- and I support it 100%.

On the other hand, TVBS, having been fined an amount which is equivalent to plucking a single hair from the hindquarters of an overweight panda -- or a single filament on the tailfeather of a duck, to continue that metaphor -- and still crying "unfair" is ridiculous, especially when someone who wants to help the people of Taiwan is simultaneously being shut down. Can you imagine what TVBS would be doing if the full force of democratic law had been applied?

Really, can you imagine what would ensue?

Unrelated news -- or is it?
Tuesday's Taiwan News has reported that more than 6,000 DVDs about the investigation of the election eve shooting of President Chen Shui-bian and V-P Annette Lu will be given away by the Prosecutor's Office in Tainan, the southern Taiwan city where the March 19, 2004 shooting by a pan-blue supporter occurred.

How could this possibly be related to the TVBS fiasco? Consider that the main "suspect," Chen Yi-hsiung once appeared on TVBS' "2100 Speaking Your Mind" (2100 Quan Min Kai Jiang) show and tried to attack pan-green supporters, you might be able to make the connection.

If you can't get a copy of the DVD, just go back and read some of what I wrote about "Bulletgate." If anybody does get their "lucky ducky" hands on a copy, I'd sure be interested in knowing how it compares with my examination of the subject.

* UPDATED 11/9/2005 ~11:45 PM, for clarity, phrasing, text coloring, punctuation, and the addition of links to Wednesday's news reports as well as the following details.

UPDATE LINK 1 gives details on TVBS' fine.

UPDATE LINK 2 is an editorial discussing equal application of the law and interpreting the "spirit" of the law.

UPDATE LINK 3 has KMT legislator Su Chi making shit up about the Taipei Times while the newspaper points readers to the truth which they can verify for themselves. "Poor, poor, pitiful, oppressed" pan-blue crybaby Su Chi (Lien Chan's chief international policy advisor) is caught lying through his fucking teeth.

Did I also neglect (to mention) Li Ao?
My wife also suggested that Li Ao's recent behavior displays more pan-blue hypocrisy, but I couldn't find any information on it last night, so I didn't include it in the original post. What follows are some of the details I dug up Wednesday evening.

Li Ao is an "independent" legislator (formerly of the New Party, and most definitely in the pan-blue end of the political spectrum) with strong unificationist leanings. In the past couple of days, he is said to have received a package containing something strange. He reported this to the Central Police Bureau which assigned two Taipei City police officers to "protect" him. Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou (KMT) took away one of the officers, causing Li to complain that Ma was being "stingy."

Following the "logic" of this article in Tuesday's United Daily News, Li should view the package as "performance art," and as a letter to the editor printed in Wednesday's Liberty Times implies, he should just chill out about all of this.

My own reading of the letter reveals a more serious message: When a threat is treated by the media as "performance art" or as a "lesson," professionalism has been thrown out with the bathwater, and all hope is lost.

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