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Oct 2, 2008

RTI continues

More on the RTI situation.

First, today's Liberty Times article has more details on the KMT's press conference yesterday.

Second, four members of the board of directors did resign in protest yesterday at the board meeting. They are Cheng You (鄭優), who apparently was only planning to resign since last Saturday and had not actually left, Luo Chi-cheng (羅致政), Chu Tai-hsiang (朱台翔), Dong Li-wen (董立文) and Liao Chin-kui (廖錦桂).


At yesterday's press conference, KMT legislator Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) brought up some examples of extreme green-bias in the RTI reporting, though apparently no tapes. She said her research people had for some time been closely monitoring Mandarin broadcasts on RTI, and that these programs were slandering the Ma government.

Hung said program content included phrases like "Ma Ying-jeou is just a pawn of the Americans," "The KMT is destroying the Republic of China," and that hosts (not just guests) continually referred to President Ma with a number of disrespectful names including "Stupid Ma," "Liar Ma," "Taiwan-destroying Ma" and a contraction of "President Ma" which is a homonym with "toilet." (「馬笨、馬騙、馬亡台、馬統」)

(A-gu: Again, not the inconsistent position between these legislative claims and GIO claims that no pressure of any kind was exerted on the RTI to alter programing (presumably because it was reasonably fair)).

Hong's claims go beyond even the accusations documents in the fax the Liberty Times reported on yestereday.


That fax was in fact presented during the mass resignation during yesterday's board meeting, and the resigning members used this as evidence to protest GIO director Vanessa Shih's (史亞平) denials of pressure on the RTI.

Cheng You apparently was fighting off tears as he left the board meeting.


My guess is that both the KMT legislators and the RTI board members are at least partially right. I can imagine how programming on RTI grew Greener over the last eight years, though the accuastions of bias are still heresay without any verifiable evidence; and no doubt the RTI board is correct that the GIO put pressure on them to alter programming.

So the GIO is the one who really screwed this one up. If there were real problems with bias, it should have been carefully documented and presented to the board for correction. It should never have taken any articles from PRC mouthpieces and faxed them to the RTI board to "encourage improvement." It should have never denied putting on pressure on the RTI to alter programming, since it apparently did, but should have cautiously documented all such incidents. It should not have acted stupidly enough to cause a mass resignation. And perhaps most importantly, it should not be trying to wipe off green-leaning commentors or critical commentary on Ma initiatives from the airwaves.

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