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

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

CNN: Scum of the cable news industry?

Seeking to fuck shit up for Taiwan?

I'll admit right off that Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) is not who I want to be Taiwan's next president, but CNN was way off base with a headline reading "Taiwan's 'scum of the nation' runs for president." Take a look at the nastiness for yourself:

The offensive phrase is a quote from China's state-owned media from way back in 2000, but the quotation marks in CNN's headline did little to take away from its declarative nature which, in the context of the terrible reporting on Taiwan, demeans the country as well.

They apparently changed the headline later. By the time I read the article, it bore the title "Lu seeks to be first Taiwan woman president." I wonder if they'll change that awkward one soon, too. (Quick! Who was the "first Taiwan man president"?)

The article also contains this obnoxious meme:
Taiwan has been ruled separately from China since the Communists won a civil war and took over the mainland in 1949. Beijing insists Taiwan must unify eventually or face a devastating war.
The fact is that Taiwan has been ruled "separately from China" since the end of the Qing Dynasty in 1896, and don't you forget it.

Questions to ask yourself:
* What kind of person would immediately think of a 7-year-old "scum of the nation" quote for a headline?
* Are there any similarities between Xinhua (新華) and this CNN piece?
* 1 + 1 = ?
Pre-completion update: I'm told this story was written by Hong Kong-based AP reporter Lee Ming (ph) (李明). According to Presidential Office spokesperson David Lee (李南陽), quoted in today's Taipei Times, "the AP told him that CNN, which is an AP subscriber, had changed its original headline to make it sound more sensational" and that "the office would contact CNN to gain a clearer understanding of the situation." Please contact CNN about this and express your disapproval. [Edit: I've changed the link to the one you get when you follow "Send general comments" from their "dotcom" Feedback page.]

Second pre-completion update: I'm now getting a blank page where the original article was. Not even a "404" error -- just a white cat in a snowstorm.

Requiring rectification: , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!
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