Sunday, April 16, 2006

Victmizing Foreigners: Apple Daily Makes Up Another Story

A number of observers have commented on the way Apple Daily exploits sex and gore to sell papers, and appears to just make stuff up. In addition to generating sales through T&A, Apple Daily also appeals to is anti-foreigner prejudices.

A few months back Apple Daily burned ESWN with one of its made-up anti-foreigner stories, the famous "Macking in Taiwan" tale that resulted in the editor of the website being canned. More recently was this very typical bit of hate screed discussed over at Forumosa, "Foreigners only interested in sex". Now Writer's Block details a similar case in three posts on her blog in which an obvious hate crime is misreported by Apple Daily.......

Then he began to tell me that shortly after we'd danced, some men told him that he had to go i.e. leave the club. Some men took him outside and before he knew it there were three men beating him up with a baseball bat and baton. They hit him in the face, on his back, stomach, legs and knees. They told the American that a woman he'd danced with in the club was pressing charges of sexual harrassment; that she had gone crying to security claiming that he'd grabbed her breast. (*Not that, that could justify roughing someone up!) It was all mostly blur for him. At some point the police picked the American up and he made it to a police station where he reported the incident and made a statement with the help of a Taiwanese friend who translated for him. He also had to go to a hospital for treatment of his injuries. He was in pretty bad shape, his glasses were broken, face messed up, body bruised, head and body aching.

She then notes in her next post on the subject:

Got back from Korea today and Kaohsiung Boy passed along this article from the Apple Daily News, a publication which I'm sure many would agree is best described as being of the National Enquirer variety. Here's the article which gives a phony account of what happened at Dreams Club last Thursday, March 30:
A foreigner named Thomas was at the DREAMS pub last night, when an incident occurred around 1:50am. Thomas was grinding up against a hot-chick and subsquently irritated her male companion which resulted in the beating up of Thomas. When the police arrived, he was suffering from heavy bruises on his chest, face and arms and other parts of his body. His shirt was ripped off during the beating by the 2 to 3 people that took him outside and beat him up. Because he can't speak Chinese well, he was cussing when the cops arrived.

Of course, none of this is actually true. As Feli notes in her third post:

Funny thing is the "hot girl" mentioned in the Apple Daily News article, that he was grinding up at the club- ME was so NOT looking hot that night! I was dressed in long sleeve button down collared shirt and long pants, exposing the least amount of skin that I've ever exposed in a dance club! And my "male companion" Kaohsiung Boy most certainly did not order anyone to beat Thomas up that night.

Anti-foreigner prejudices run deep here, and sexual jealousies are just the ticket to bring them to the surface. Lots of foreigners out with their Taiwanese wives and girlfriends have bumped up against this problem. As Feli notes in her original description:

So the five of us ended up going to a local dance club, located behind the Sogo and Mitusoki Department Stores in downtown Kaohsiung. I haven't been there in about six months because I'd heard about a number of incidents involving Caucasian foreigners being beat up or hit over the head with a beer bottle for simply talking to, or dancing with a local Taiwanese woman.

I hope the poor victim of this incident gets justice, but somehow I just don't see it happening.


nosta said...

The problem with taking these kinds of reports seriously is that a) all of the individuals involved were most likely drunker than even they can remember, and b)they might have been beaten up simply for being drunk assholes, and not for being foreigners.

Which is not to say this guy wasn't the victim of a "hate crime." I'm sure that kinda thing happens; but the thing is, we'll just never know in this kind of case unless we were actually there...and sober enough to see what happened.

As for the misrepresentation of foreigners in Apple Daily, what're you gonna do--that's the kind of xenophobic hackwork that sells their papers.

Michael Turton said...

But there were the sexual complaints. And the previous pattern of people getting conked on the head.


Anonymous said...

Feli, there's a differenc between the English use of "hot" and the Chinese use of "hot". Hot in English has nothing to do with dress, unlike it's use in Chinese in Taiwan.

Anonymous said...

Sure, you can use it that way in English -- as a simple adjective:

That dress is hot.

As a grammatically incorrect colloquial adverb

She was dressed so hot.


MJ Klein said...

i have never had a single bit of trouble anywhere in Taiwan, walking around with women. however, i don't frequent Taipei.

Anonymous said...

Michael, is anonymous Michael you?

Hot has different meanings in different contexts:

"She's hot" or "[any person] is hot" means the person is sexually desirable and it doesn't mean dressed with very little.

"Not looking so hot" means you look like you might be sick or tired.

"That dress is hot" doesn't mean that it's revealing or is meant to enhance your sex appeal. It means roughly "good" or "cool".

"You look hot" means the way you appear, whether due to dress or a haircut or whatever, enhances your sexual appeal. I'm not sure even this means what it means in Chinese, though it is pretty close.

"She was dressed so hot" is a construction I'm not sure I've heard before, but I would probably take it to mean "she looks hot in that dress".

Red A said...

I had an Apple Daily reporter come to my house after I had been in some legal problems (long resolved.)

Needless to say, I was not happy to speak to here.

p.s. TAIWAN TOUCH YOUR HEART with a baseball bat.