Friday, November 11, 2011

Unbelievable NY Times Opinion Piece

I'm traveling this weekend, but for your amusement, enjoy this piece on Taiwan from the NY Times. I've been reading about Taiwan for more than twenty years, living here for most of that time, and writing on Taiwan for nearly as long, and I can't ever recall seeing a piece whose understanding of Taiwan, its politics, and the international situation in Asia is so skewed, uninformed, lunatic, and inept. How did the NY Times ever let anything so comprehensively stupid see the light of day?
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24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this article, although, it's depressing to read.

:(

Can't help but wonder if this moment could be a turning point in history.

D said...

Definitely falls in the "have to see it to believe it" category.

Only rational explanation I can think of: by publishing something so "absurd" (the author's own word!) people will see how absurd it is. I mean, how many people could read this and say "oh, yeah, that sounds like a good idea"?

The headline ("ditch Taiwan") seems to contain some editorial comment.

Someone (you?) should write to the NYT ombudsman for an explanation. Is the NYT deliberately toying with its readers? If they publish this, what won't they publish?

J said...

Wow. I was going to post a snarky comment about how you have way too much faith in the NYT, but wow.

Jenna Cody said...

Wow. Just...wow.

Anonymous said...

that op-ed piece is shocking. it said that the writer was in the military and served in iraq but his op-ed sounds like it was written by some left-wing, anti-war radical hippie. i'm very disappointed that it was published in the ny times considering it's my all-time favorite newspaper. but then not surprising considering the paper does tend to lean left-of center. they used to have a lot of reporting about taiwan but really has reduced taiwanese coverage last couple of years and been focusing more on china. just following the global trends i guess.

michael, i found paul vane's facebook. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Paul-V-Kane/114489801900038
please post a really good reply to his op-ed since you're so good at writing and defending taiwan.

Anonymous said...

Explain?

ALX said...

Ha! Wishful thinking.

Unknown said...

Paul V. Kane really seems to have no idea of Taiwan. What a dreadful opinion...

rmbout said...

Paul V. Kane clearly has no idea of Taiwan or the Taiwanese at all. I really wonder how he came up with this opinion of his as it makes next to no sense

Anonymous said...

The NY Times a few years ago put forth in an editorial that Taiwan
was ruled by the Nationalist party (this during DPP's administration).

A good summary of what has become of the NY Times is offered by PJ O'Rourke:
" the New York Times became a dotty old aunt... still, she has our fond regard, and we visit her regularly in her nursing home otherwise known as Arts and Leisure and the Book Review. Or we did until... she began spouting obscenities and exposing herself"

Anonymous said...

The NYT is a liberal paper with a capital L. The NYT ceased to be an objective voice of journalism for many years, the death knell came in 2008. In 2008 its "journalists" actively cheered for Obama's run for the presidency, failing to scrutinize Obama's secretive background and paper thin accomplishments for a man running for president.

I know it may come as a shock for many liberals, but liberals are the most China-friendly people in the U.S.. They're on the side of China taking over Taiwan. These people have no historical context of the China/ Taiwan situation, but as long as China is involved in the discussion, they will always back China. I'm in academia as is my sister in law who studied in Beijing. She and her fellow liberal friends never cease to amaze me with their blind support of China.

---Jane

Anonymous said...

...and at the top of the article, the ad that comes up for me is for the Confucius Institute. Hmmm, I do wonder why the NY Times published this article.

SY said...

Wow! So, Taiwan is the key to saving the US economy. What a genius!

Now, Americans can continue with the consumption binge; two 4x4s each family, re-fi your home to the max, sub-prime, ... all, no problem; we've got a Taiwan to 'sump, oops, to dump.

Ben Bank'can'kick can stop kicking the can and go to sleep.

Too bad that the Euro-zone does not have such a goodie as Taiwan. Maybe they can consider dumping Greece to China?

Wait, but the Euro-zone does not owe anything to Greece while the US owes Taiwan debt, which totals one eighth of that the US owes to China.

How does that work out after the US dumps Taiwan? Will Taiwan dump its US treasury holdings? And, what about the debts to Japan, Saudi Arabia and Russia?

paul said...

responses are starting to roll in!

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/11/is-this-nyt-op-ed-a-joke-selling-taiwan-to-the-bankers-of-beijing/248356/


including really fast and funny animation response from next media!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uNWzzt-n3s&feature=player_embedded

Marc said...

James Fallows rebuts (actually, he mocks) Kane in Atlantic article

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/11/is-this-nyt-op-ed-a-joke-selling-taiwan-to-the-bankers-of-beijing/248356/

cephaloless said...

yup, speechless

frozengarlic said...

"I can't ever recall seeing a piece whose understanding of Taiwan, its politics, and the international situation in Asia is so skewed, uninformed, lunatic, and inept."

Sometimes this blog can indulge in hyperbole. This is not one of those times. In fact, you might be too kind to him. He doesn't have any clue about international finance either.

Americans, especially military supporters, love to say that freedom isn't free. It saddens me to see that one ex-Marine thinks that freedom has a concrete price, and that price is 1.4 trillion. Can you imagine any democratically elected politician accepting the idea that our core values can just be crassly auctioned off?

FOARP said...

Americans defer to soldiers way too much on foreign policy. The military's expertise is in warfare, not so much diplomacy, still less economics - as this article shows in spades.

Anonymous said...

Taiwan is politically and geographically in a strategic position. There are many ways to justify whatever way that should be taken, and all are controversial and conditional.

Traditionally, a sort of balance is kept like walking on a tightrope, but since most international organizations and countries expressed concern about Taiwan relations with China as conditions for closer relationships and cooperation, this is precisely the objective that the Government in the recent years have taken, and thus increase the number of countries we can visit without first getting a Visa.

However, this also creates concern if the balanced situation between the western and PRC influence can be maintained or not. Thus other means to prevent PRC influence to expand too quickly needs to be in place to maintain the balance in a different way. This is where lots of different ideas spur, and many of which may not have been well thought out.

George

Anonymous said...

Paul Kane's wretched piece in the NYTimes, a comprehensive failure of both writer and editor?

There was no editor!

Anonymous said...

Kane was once on staff of Senator Ted Kennedy.....true!

Anonymous said...

The author seems like the kind of guy who would get shot by his own troops in combat.

Anonymous said...

I saw other very skewed articles in the NYT OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR column.
My understanding was that it was because the articles were "contributed" (from outside the NYT).

But this article also shows how little people in the US understand Taiwan and people live there.

That is maybe the reality in the US. And that is my opinion "contributed" to this comment board.

paul said...

paul kane responds to his op-ed responses. now he is saying that it was meant to be "swiftian". if that's the case - and big IF - he failed in his objective because i dont think it was obvious to most readers that it was satirical. if it truly was meant to be satirical, then the ny times definitely should not have published it. this kind of piece belongs in the onion, huffington post, or daily kos NOT ny times!!

and why even joke about something so serious a topic in that manner? especially when it is most definitely realistic that the u.s. might sell out taiwan to china. the rest of the world already has! and obama sure hasnt seemed very supportive of taiwan at all.

i would love to see if an article touting that the u.s. should abandon israel and leave her fend for herself in the mideast get published in the ny times (highly unlikely what with jewish owners). let's see if jewish-americans find that funny!

http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/11/17/ditch_taiwan_to_save_america_author_responds

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/11/selling-taiwan-to-mainland-china-the-author-explains-his-swiftian-intent/248637/