Mon, Aug 03, 2009 - Page 8 News List


Facts and razzamatazz

The owners of a newspaper are free to voice their opinions in the form of an editorial framing their interpretation of the events of the day.

Readers may agree or disagree with this editorial line, but what all readers would expect from a newspaper is an unswerving adherence to the facts, that is, finding out the truth of a particular matter, while refusing column inches to any statements that contradict facts.

It is therefore regrettable that you continued to give column inches last week to Lu I-ming’s (呂一銘) dubious claim that “The [World] Games ... made Taiwan a focus of worldwide attention” and that as there was “substantial coverage by international media ... the Games brought international recognition for Taiwan” (“Kaohsiung showed the nation’s true face,” July 28, page 8).

As I stated earlier (Letters, July 27, page 8), where are the facts to support this claim? Where are the figures for worldwide TV audiences? TV contracts? Countries in which the Games were televised?

What about newspapers? In the US, there was a minor article on Kaohsiung’s new stadium in the Architecture Review section of the New York Times on July 15. The word “Taiwan” rather than “ROC” or “Chinese Taipei” was used — once. In the UK, there was no mention of the Games in either the Telegraph or the Times (the two most popular broadsheets). In Germany, Der Spiegel contained not one mention of the Games, while in France, Le Monde had nothing to say whatsoever.

So, are Democratic Progressive Party supporters willing to lie both to themselves and to the people of Taiwan? (Because, let’s face it, the World Games was nothing more than a bit of razzamatazz for the Taiwanese nationalist movement.)

Apparently they are. Consider the response to my letter by one Charles Hong: “But Fagan should accept the fact that the World Games raised Taiwan’s international profile” (Letters, July 30, page 8).

To which I can only reply: Where are the facts that support this contention? Are they to be found in my dog-eared copy of Nineteen Eighty-Four, perhaps?

It is high time that the people of Taiwan recognize the fact that their country is known as “Taiwan” throughout the world — regardless of Beijing’s newspeak efforts — because of Taiwan’s history of trade.

If members of Taiwan’s political class and their supporters are willing to tell such barefaced lies to the public — and lies that are easily shown to be such — then what else are they capable of?

The only thing that can “raise Taiwan’s international profile” is continuing and expanding international trade. It is of vital importance to civilized life on this island that Taiwanese fight to free international trade to and from Taiwan from both the manipulation of political forces in Beijing and Taipei.



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