Wednesday, May 04, 2011


Taiwan falls in the Freedom House (Taipei Times) world rankings five places since 2008. Taipei Times reports:
In the Asia-Pacific region, Taiwan now ranks seventh, behind Palau, New Zealand, the Marshall Islands, Australia, Japan and Micronesia. As recently as 2007, it was ranked fourth in the region.

“Some journalists [in Taiwan] voiced fears that press freedom was backsliding in 2010,” the report said.

“A growing trend of marketing disguised as news reports, a proposed legal amendment that would limit descriptions of crime and violence in the media, and licensing obstacles all contributed to these concerns,” it said.
The Chinese language media is reporting a newly manufactured controversy (here, here, Min Shih and here). Apparently some reporters from local media organs were at a job fair and wanted some shots of someone applying for a job. So a local restaurant chain, Ding Tai Feng, helpfully had one of their current employees act out the role of jobseeker for the foreign media. President Ma and the Deputy Minister for Labor Affairs had stopped by the stand as the little roleplay was being enacted and were unaware that the whole thing was just a playlet for the media standing around.

Apparently Someone was Embarrassed and so it was decided to lash out at SET-TV, one of the pan-Green media, claiming that the whole thing was SET-TVs idea. The usual KMT legislators and media piled on. According to some other reports in the media, SET-TV's reporter was not present at the scene, though most other local media were. The National Communications Commission (NCC), a "watchdog" originally set up as the lapdog of A Certain Party (here for some of the story) of course weighed in to demand an accounting from SET-TV. Quite a coincidence that only a pan-Green station was singled out for this treatment, eh?

Yes, sure is hard to see why we might be falling in the Freedom House rankings.
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Kitchenboy said...

Hi Michael! Thanks for the visit to Kitchenboy and the link. Much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

glad to see Dennis Engbarth writing for IPS, that leftwing progressive intl wire service, good for him, esp after the Taiwan News went kaput!

-- Trevor, old Blighty hand

Anonymous said...

Guess which newspaper wrote this today? re the SET affair?

A look at the recent act put on by Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) Minister Jennifer Wang (王如玄) in the presence of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), however, has taken it to a new level, as the public played witness to a blatant show of brown-nosing that appears to be prevalent among government officials in the Ma administration.

Putting aside for the moment the controversy over who allegedly asked an employee of the Din Tai Fung restaurant to pose as a job seeker at a CLA-sponsored job fair on May Day, the exchanges between Ma, Wang and the “job seeker” were jaw-dropping.

Let’s revisit the dialogue:

Ma: “Do you have a job?”

Job seeker: “I am looking for a job now.”

Wang (standing next to Ma): “Mr President, this [job seeker] is outstanding, [she] faces danger, but does not panic [臨危不亂].”

Wang (looking at recruitment officials, beaming): “She has to be accepted, yeah!”

Wang (clapping and giving two thumbs up): “Oh, she’s been accepted already? Great!”

The over-the-top eagerness put on by Wang was simply revolting.

Is Taiwan still in the Middle Ages where subjects need to be treated as stupid clowns in order to please those who are supposedly superior?

Not to mention the utter inappropriateness of Wang abusing her position as a member of the Cabinet. Her remarks to the recruitment officials were tantamount to an act of coercion, pressuring them into hiring the “job seeker.”

good on ya, Taipei Times

Trevor Cornwallish, UK