Sat, Jan 13, 2001 - Page 8 News List


Where's the proof?

In your recent article ("Lack of evidence flusters magazine," Jan. 9, page 1), doesn't convention have it that one is presumed innocent until proven otherwise?

Isn't it true that People First Party Legislator Chin Huei-chu (秦惠珠), in accusing President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) of being in league with China, has on multiple occasions provided the "evidence" to attempt to convince the general public. I am thus somewhat bewildered by the report that The Journalist(新新聞) says it lacks proof to back up its story that Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) was spreading rumors of an affair in the Presidential Office and trying to undermine Chen. Could it be that the "credibility gap" between Yang Chao (楊照) of The Journalist and Chin is so vast that Yang can automatically be exempted from the burden of proof in providing some sort of material evidence? It seems only fair to presume that the vice president is innocent unless The Journalist can demonstrate otherwise.

Chang Tien-hsien

Columbus, Ohio

The cable TV vacuum

It seems that cable TV presents particularly large problems in Taiwan. After three years here, I have come across many of these, especially each Jan. 1.

I have never understood why the cable companies need to change all the channels each year, sometimes several times per week. This year, in the Ta-an area (大安) for example, they changed once on Jan. 1, and again on Jan. 9. My roommate tells me they will probably change again before the end of January.

If we didn't care about illegal ads, or those small yellow messages at the top of the screen, it may be that we could say that cable TV isn't so bad in Taiwan after all. But there is another problem. Why is CNN the only foreign news channel? Where is BBC World, Australia TV, Deutsche Welle or the French TV5? Is it so hard to put them on the air? In Ta-an there are 20 vacant channels. If Taiwan wishes to enter the third millennium like a member of the international community, if Taiwanese people want to open up to other cultures, other ways of life, I think cable companies need to understand this problem. It is incredible that a person can go to Manila or Bangkok and watch all the international TV channels, but that Taiwan should be so poor in this respect.

Jerome Chaussard


Who used whom?

Though it glossed over the significance of his Aboriginal roots, Rick Chu's piece on former Olympian Yang Chuan-kuang (楊傳廣) was fascinating ("Yang Chuan-kuang deserves better," Jan. 10, page 9).

I was intrigued by Chu's assertion that the DPP "used him in turn, degrading him and turning the Iron Man into a spirit medium and so dispensed with him." Whether it is fair to imply that working as a spirit medium is the degraded outcome of disenchantment is for the reader to decide. But on the eve of the presidential election, Yang was on stage at the Chungshan Soccer Stadium, surrounded by pro-DPP Aborigines from around Taiwan, exhorting voters to support A-bian. And backstage, most of the Aborigines [at least] seemed to know who he was and were taking photos with him. This is not entirely consistent with being thrown away "like an old shoe." Things might be a little more complex than they first appear. After years of frustration with the KMT, my guess is that Yang is no fool and still had an agenda that evening, even in the face of the DPP's brittle record on Aboriginal affairs and the fact that Aboriginal voters firmly backed James Soong (宋楚瑜).

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