President Ma Ying-jeou will lose the 2012 presidential elections because he has completely lost public confidence, newspapers quoted analysts at financial group CLSA as saying yesterday.But then the CLSA issued a denial, saying it thought Ma would win (China Times via Taiwan Today). Read closely:
The Hong Kong-based CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets brokerage and investment company is an independent subgroup of French bank Credit Agricole.
The Ma administration's handling of a wide range of issues, from last August's Typhoon Morakot disaster to the opening to imports of bone-in beef from the United States, has met with strong public dissatisfaction, senior analyst Bruce Warden said in a report titled "The KMT as its own worst enemy."
Now read these paragraphs from the Taipei Times carefully:
The issue came to a head after “The Liberty Times” ran a story March 24 in which “the 2012 Presidential election is the KMT’s to lose” was translated as “the KMT will lose the 2012 election.” The English-language CLSA report was cited by the newspaper as its source.
“The Ma administration’s [mainland] China policy has broad enough public support that it should be able to carry the 2012 election on its own merits,” the CLSA report read. “It would likely require some self-inflicted wound for the KMT to lose in 2012 and events of recent months highlight the ease with which this can happen.”
CLSA said the newspaper quoted its report without permission and in a manner differing substantially from the content. The company is exploring its legal options in response to the unauthorized distribution of its research reports and materials, which are compiled and distributed strictly for the benefit of its clients.
On Wednesday, the Liberty Times ran a front-page story titled “Ma would lose in 2012: CLSA” and cited the report as saying that while Ma’s China policy is the right direction, the Ma administration could lose the next presidential election because of “self-inflicted wounds.”Hang on...doesn't it sound like the UDN's report is an independent one, separate from the Liberty Times' report? But maybe it is not, as the China Times piece above avers:
Another Chinese-language newspaper, the United Daily News, on Thursday published a similar story with a headline that read “CLSA’s bold prediction: Ma to lose in 2012 re-election.”
“The Liberty Times” article was quoted by several media outlets in Taiwan, including “United Daily News.”UDN then corrected its own headline and slammed LT. The truth is like a character in Lost, constantly searching for a way back to our reality, and not finding it.
The CNA reported today that the Liberty Times wouldn't admit it had mistranslated. Some more material of the CLSA is there:
The CLSA report said: "We maintain the view we proposed last June, that the 2012 presidential election is the KMT's to lose. The Ma administration's China policy has broad enough public support that it should be able carry the 2012 election on its own merits." It went on to say: "However, we also believe that 'it would likely require some self-inflicted wound for the KMT to lose in 2012' and events of recent months highlight the ease with which this can happen." The headline of the Liberty Times' Wednesday front page read: "Ma will lose 2012 election: CLSA." By Wednesday night the story was reported and commented on by other local newspapers, Internet forums and television political talk shows, with opposition Democratic Party (DPP) citing the "prediction" while criticizing the Ma administration.The thing that struck me, after I erroneously through the Liberty Times had done its job and reported what it said on my blog, was that this IS NOT the first time a misreading of foreigner meanings has occurred at that paper in the context of Ma's re-election. I can show another instance, which no one really noticed. I blogged on it a week ago. Shortly after I ripped Shelly Rigger's piece on Ma's unpopularity, the Liberty Times wrote this train wreck which I duly panned. LT said:
KMT legislator Wu Yu-sheng told a press conference Thursday that the newspaper had mistranslated the analysis.
CLSA also issued a statement in Chinese and English Thursday correcting the Liberty Times story and said the newspaper "obtained and used this report without permission." "The view we proposed in our June 2009 report 'KMT in the driver's seat' is that the 2012 presidential election is the KMT's to lose. This means the report does not predict President Ma Ying-jeou will lose the election," the statement said.
The Chinese-language United Daily News daily ran a front-page story Friday headlined "CLSA misquoted by Liberty Times" although it had also carried a story on the CLSA analysis Thursday that was titled "CLSA's bold prediction: Ma to lose 2012 re-election." The Liberty Times published a story Friday in which it invited a university professor to review its translation and the CLSA analysis word by word, but did not admit it had made a translation error in its original report Wednesday.
Shelley Rigger, associate professor of political science at Davidson College in North Carolina, recently said Ma’s prospects for re-election look bleak because of his abysmal approval rating and public dissatisfaction with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).But that is not all what she said in that piece; in fact she said at a meeting later that same week that Ma's chances of losing in 2012 are remote. Rigger was trying (and failing completely) to understand why Ma, for whom half of DC appears to be nursing a man-crush, is so unpopular in Taiwan. Ma's 2012 chances are nowhere estimated in the piece.
I hope this is merely a blip and doesn't turn out to be a pattern. We don't need the major local Green paper developing a pattern of misreporting on such crucial topics as what foreigners think.
More Daily Links:
- China adding more missiles by Taiwan, says Navy commander. But aren't they all pragmatic and stuff?
- The Forgetful on the bike lane fiasco in Taipei.
- We are not the fewking Other China. No need to write that crap.
- Reason #310 Taichung is the best: the job market in Central Taiwan is better than elsewhere.
[Taiwan] Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!