Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ma the Bumbler Media Storm

The Economist's Ma the Bumbler article has generated a storm in Taiwan, with international media coverage by AFP:
"How can a 'bumbler' get a doctorate from Harvard?" said Wang Chien-shien, president of the Control Yuan, a branch of Taiwan's government in charge of monitoring the others, according to the Taipei-based daily China Times Sunday.

Ma, who received his doctorate in juridical sciences at Harvard in the early 1980s, was the target of a "biased" report, Finance Minister Chang Sheng-ford was quoted as saying by the Central News Agency.

Diplomatically isolated Taiwan is highly conscious of its image abroad, with the local press often reporting at length if the island is mentioned in international media, even if it is as part of the weather forecast.
Cooler was DPP Chairman Su's response, showing the man's graciousness and class, in the China Post:
“At this time, the entire nation, including the DPP, should work together to help the government,” he said.
...but both former Presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen, who sounded mostly exasperated, and Su called for the government to convene a national affairs conference about the many pressing issues facing the nation. The China Post also has the Presidential Office response. FocusTaiwan has the rundown of the local media responses. Perhaps the most sensible comment came from longtime Deep Blue diplomat Loh I-cheng:
Asked how Ma should respond to the British weekly's comment, Loh I-cheng, a retired diplomat, said the president should just laugh off the criticism.

"National leaders should always push themselves to do things that will not leave them with any sense of guilt.
Exactly. But laughing things off is simply not how things are done here. Sending out the diplomats to rebut a magazine article really ought to be beneath the dignity of the ostensible President of China.

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Anonymous said...

"How can a 'bumbler' get a doctorate from Harvard?" said Wang Chien-shien

Another example of why we need to keep teaching critical thinking in Taiwan's universities.

Anonymous said...

Reports are now saying the cyclist who dies was not a foreigner. He simply had long hair and a beard.

Readin said...

""How can a 'bumbler' get a doctorate from Harvard?"

Didn't Bush the Younger and Obama the Unready both get advanced degrees from either Harvard or Yale? I'm pretty sure 99% of Americans consider at least one of those guys to be a bumbler (and a significant fraction probably consider them both bumblers).