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Oct 1, 2008

RTI follow up

After the GIO dismissed the Liberty Times claims of Ma administration interference in RTI programming based on lack of evidence, The paper has it back by finding something. Or at least, an anonymous source's description of something.

An unnamed 'key person' at RTI told the paper that Albert Lin (林清修), deputy minister of the Government Information Office, once sent a fax to former RTI board chairman Cheng You (鄭優). The fax in question cited an article in the Global Times (环球时报), a PRC paper published by and affiliated with the CCP mouthpiece People's Daily (人民日报). The exact report was titled Taiwan independence faction uses the Voice of Taiwan to attack Ma Ying-jeou 「獨派掌台灣之音轟馬英九」. The 'key person' claims portion of the article were highlighted for Cheng You to see. Specifically, the article noted the repeated appearance of Green talking heads Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) and Jin Heng-wei (金恆煒) on RTI political and cross-strait programs.

The anonymous source claims Albert Lin asked Cheng You to "make improvements" in the reporting, as if the measure of bias is whether a People's Daily publication likes your reporting or not. The source claims the order was coming down from GIO Minister Vanessa Shih (史亞平), only passing through deputy minister Lin.

Albert Lin says he "does not remember clearly" facts related to any such fax. Cheng You confirms there was fax recieved from the GIO (without elaborating much on content), stressed it was a difference in opinion of how to run the operation that caused him to leave, and dryly suggested terms for RTI officials be altered to coincide with the President's term to avoid such incidents in the future.

The source claims there were several further such discussions of bias between Albert Lin and Cheng You, both in person and by phone.

Vanessa Shih said the GIO has never told RTI they could not do certain programing or couldn't do certain contents in the programing.

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