Monday, May 09, 2005

Washington Post Article Blasts Chen

The Washington Post, that paragon of journalistic perspicacity that once labeled James Soong a democratic reformer, came out with an article today on Chen Shui-bian, gleefully claiming that the President's status in local opinion polls is falling. It also repeats attacks on Chen for having no principles.
"People are fed up with the stalemate and the tension," said Antonio Chiang, a former National Security Council official in Chen's government. Chen "has never been for independence for ideological purposes. He just played the issue for the election. Basically, he's very pragmatic."
Anybody on the island for more than 15 minutes knows that Taiwanese are reflexively critical, and that polls reflect merely the last 5 minutes of political events. The Post also says that Chen will sell the island out:
Analysts and party leaders say Chen's shift reflects his calculation that independence is a lost cause. Taiwanese increasingly eschew the idea of confrontation with China, and the Bush administration has chastised Chen for provoking the Beijing government, raising doubts about whether the United States would come to the island's aid in a war. That leaves Chen with only one way of securing a significant place in history: reaching out to China.
I don't know where Post writer Peter Goodman has been for the last 5 years of the Chen Administration, but A-bian has stated repeatedly that he would be delighted to talk to China. It is China, not A-bian, that has cut off negotiations. The Post ends on a dismal note:
As Wang, the ruling party legislator, sat in his office here greeting disenchanted constituents, he heard little warmth expressed toward the president.
Note to Goodman: there's nothing new here. The national sport is bitching about Chen Shui-bian. Get some perspective, eh?


1 comment:

Jason said...

Yeah, i saw that in today's early-bird and blew coffee out my nose. Between this Goodman guy and Beijing-bound Phillip Pan, the WaPo's Taiwan articles definitely skew Blue (if they're printed at all).

It seems like there's some sort of common connection between the WaPo's International editorial staff and the ever-risk averse middle management of the State Dept because both try to sound as upbeat about China and downplay Taiwan as possible.

The fact that none of the big papers or news networks outside of the BBC have full-time reporters in Taiwan speaks volumes about how accurate their reporting is. Most just parachute in when a big story breaks, look up the same connections their editorial staff has always had, file the story and go back to Beijing or Hong Kong (an excellent example of this is Mike "I'm supposedly fluent in Mandarin but still pronounce it Tai-CHUNG" Chinoy who only stayed long enough in Taipei after the 921 earthquake to report for a week that it was impossible to get into central Taiwan...bullshit, I took the Fei-Gou down 3 days after and they still had the wherewithall to show "Star Kid" on the bus during the trip).

As much as I hate to admit it, as far as Washington papers go, the right-wing Washington Times hate-rag is the one who is more than happy to hear Taiwan's side, although that mostly has to do with being anti-China than pro-Taiwan. The Baltimore Sun is doing some interesting stuff, and hopefully soon US News and World Report will start paying attention.