Tue, Feb 21, 2012 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTERS ]

Media ‘Linsanity’ excessive

Recent media hype in Taiwan over “Linsanity” has gone ballistic and has once again revealed the extreme to which the media here are obsessed with entertainment and sensationalization, rather than simply reporting.

For the past two weeks, Jeremy Lin (林書豪) has been the lead story practically every night on TV newscasts and has been splashed across the front pages of newspaper and magazine to such an extent that it almost makes one wonder if the rest of the world has suddenly stopped.

As if all this hero worship of Lin were not enough, a TV “news report” on Sunday night even went so far as to take on the role of matchmaker by speculating which young single ladies might be suitable candidates to be Lin’s girlfriend or potential wife.

That is not “news” by any stretch of the imagination. That is nothing more than tabloid gossip and the news managers and editors responsible for such irresponsible “journalism” ought to be ashamed of peddling this hyper-sensationalism as “news.”

It is disgusting to see the media here salivate like Pavlov’s dogs and their behavior is an insult to ethical and professional journalism.

As an English teacher who has been teaching a course on journalistic English the past several years, I readily recognize that there is a proper balance between the people’s “right to know” and the “right to privacy” in journalism, but the media here by and large have this dichotomy way off balance.

Apparently Lin thinks so too, as on Sunday night he pleaded with Taiwanese media to back off from his family and personal life. As he stated concerning his Taiwanese family, “I want people to respect their privacy.”

Get it, Taiwanese media? Lin is not a god, no matter how hard you are trying to turn him into one.

Yes, his talent and accomplishments have been eye-catching and he deserves credit and recognition for them, but above all, Lin is human. Treat him and his family humanely.

Wayne Schams

Pingtung

Ads from criminals

As an avid fan and regular reader of the Taipei Times, I was surprised to see a paid advertisement on page 4 of Sunday’s paper that made lunatic religious claims.

Tossing my own non-religious bias aside, what disturbed me the most is that the claims made in the advertisement come from Warren Jeffs, the former president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS).

If the name is not familiar to any of your readers, Jeffs was on the US FBI’s 10 most-wanted list in 2006 and is now serving life plus 20 years in US prison for the sexual assault of both a 12 and a 15-year-old girl.

During the sentencing phase of his court case last year, Jeffs’ nephew testified to having been raped since he was five years old and his niece testified to having been raped since she was seven.

The lurid details of Jeffs’ actions can be easily accessed by a simple Google search, which will return descriptions of some of the most heinous acts of child abuse ever documented.

That the Taipei Times printed an advertisement carrying a message from such a person is unfathomable.

As “penitence,” I suggest both an apology to readers and a feature article on what Warren Jeffs and the FLDS Church have done to children in the name of religion.

Martin Robinson

Taipei

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