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

Saturday, August 12, 2006

China Post and the momentum of mendacity

Never letting sensibility get in the way of sensationalism

The Friday edition of the China Post, seen sprawled across a table at work, nearly made me laugh. Here's the lede to their headline story:
Movement to oust Chen gaining pace

A tumultuous political storm is brewing in Taiwan as former Chairman Shih Ming-teh of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will launch a nationwide campaign to unseat President Chen Shui-bian while other organizations are planning more violent measures if Chen continues to stay in power despite the scams allegedly involving the first family.

Shih and a group of former Chen supporters and representatives of other political stances will announce the establishment of an account soliciting donations of NT$100 from one million people at a gathering at the 228 Peace Memorial Park in Taipei on Saturday.
I think it's the imagination of the China Post's editors that's "gaining pace."

First, there's the meme of "former DPP chairman." I heard it applied yesterday (even by FTV) to both Shih and Hsu Hsin-liang. As factual as that may be, in both cases, these individuals are long since removed from any sort of "green" political identity. Shih was chairman ten years ago. Hsu, who got his political start in the KMT was chairman eight years ago. Just two years later, Hsu ran against Chen Shui-bian in the 2000 presidential election with a running mate from New Party on a platform of "reunification based on 'one country, two systems.'" Talk about a flip-flopper.

Even in 2002, Shih gained a mere 1.13% of the vote in the mayoral election in Kaohsiung when he ran as an "independent" against then-chairman of the DPP Frank Hsieh. Hsu got 0.63% of the vote in the 2000 presidential election. Does this really amount to "gaining pace," or is it merely wishful thinking on the part of the editors of the China Post?

Adopting the tactics of one's opponents
The idea of "voting" with one's money -- how very KMT of Shih! I wish I could ask him a few questions.

Are there any "rules" to this "campaign"? Could someone "vote" twice? Ten times? One hundred times? How can we know if this is the case, and would it matter to you? Does the fact that this "gathering" is being held at the 228 Peace Memorial Park somehow cancel out the undemocratic nature of the event? Do you really now identify more closely with those who jailed you for 25 years?

Just like with Fan Yun's "drop Chen" group, there's no way to vote "No" in Shih's campaign. Even if they collect more than one million "votes," it's not democracy -- it's motherfucking mendacity!

Nazi punks, fuck off!
Whoever is planning the "more violent measures" to protest someone who has only been convicted by a pro-blue media and not in a court of law has serious issues. If these people fall victim to their own violence (e.g., breaking a fingernail while getting arrested), they won't get any sympathy from me.

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