Saturday, December 09, 2006

China Times Weekly and Local Media Competence

How do we know the local media is incompetent? The China Times Weekly has a report this week on Chen Shui-bian's son, Chen Chih-chung, and his wife, Huang Rui-ching. The last paragraph of the first page conveys the following information about Huang Pai-lu, the father of Huang Rui-ching, who recently came under absurd accusations of immigrating to the US:

葉信村還說,黃百祿是個孤兒,小時候被過繼到黃家,長大後也沒有親戚。後來他跟吳麗華結婚,他的岳父吳東河對這個在坎坷環境中長大的女婿就特別照顧。

Ye Hsin-tsun added that Huang Pai-lu is an orphan, and when he was a child, he was adopted and raised by the Huang Family, and after growing up, he had no relatives. Eventually he married Wu Li-hua, and....

According to the paper, Ye Hsin-tsun is Huang's best friend. It is a common pattern in the local media reporting on personage X for the reporter to "cite" someone close to X, and then later, X's friend denies ever having talked to a reporter. In any given case one doesn't know what to believe, but with so many, the pattern is clear: reporters appear to be making up interviews.

What's the nonsense? Well, everything. You see, it just so happens that Huang Pai-lu is my wife's sixth uncle. Far from having no relatives, Huang comes from a family of eight brothers and three sisters, by two wives. He was not an orphan, but, in a longstanding local custom, was given by my wife's grandfather's second wife to her sister to foster and raise because that family had no son. He is well aware of what family he came from; my wife has met him, and many of her relatives attended the wedding of Huang's daughter and Chen's Shui-bian's son. Needless to say, all of this is a matter of public record, which the reporter was too incompetent to locate.

Oh, and yes, that's right In some ghostly way, I'm related to Chen Shui-bian. And, for that matter, Huang Pai-lu.

1 comment:

oooh said...

This is how it works...
They are never wrong,
until you prove them wrong.
Then they may admit not being
100% right, unless you have
earth breaking solid proves.
In that case, they will most
likely claim to being framed,
or misleaded intentionally.
Therefore, blame someone else.

people have the right to know
the truth, not stories made up
by incompetent reporters.