Wed, Nov 09, 2005 - Page 1 News List

English-language press not reporting KRTC scandal: KMT

SUPPRESSING NEWS?The KMT caucus claimed that international media and local English outlets were bowing to pressure from the government

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday accused the international media and local English-language media, including the Taipei Times, of succumbing to pressure from President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) administration by deliberately suppressing news about the Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corp (KRTC) scandal.

The accusations came at a news conference called by the caucus to address the issue of press freedom.

"Speaking from my own long-term reading experience, the reason that the international community knows so little about Taiwan is because they obtain their information from the three local English-language newspapers," KMT Legislator Su Chi (蘇起) said. "As far as I know, the Chen administration controls at least two of them."

Su singled out the Taipei Times, saying that it is the main source of information about Taiwan for Western governments, think tanks and media outlets.

`Inconsistent' reports

However, he said, some Taipei Times reports are "inconsistent with the actual situation," supplying the international community with knowledge about Taiwan that "deviates from the facts."

Citing one example, Su said the Taipei Times failed to cover the news of the arrest of Tu Shi-san (杜十三). The news ran on page 3 of yesterday's paper.

Tu, whose real name is Huang Jen-ho (黃人和), is a writer and poet who confessed to having threatened to kill every member of Premier Frank Hsieh's (謝長廷) family.

Su also accused the Taipei Times of failing to run "extensive coverage" on the KRTC scandal as well as the controversy surrounding Taiwan High-Speed Rail Corp (THSRC) until the president came out to offer an apology.

When confronted by the Taipei Times reporter at the legislature, Su first said that his "impression" about the Tu case was that the paper did not run the story.

He later said he was willing to withdraw his remarks if he has made a mistake in his allegations.

`You can quote me'

The Taipei Times reporter pointed out to Su that the paper has been reporting on the KRTC scandal since day one and there was even a full-page special report about the controversy in Monday's paper.

Su then criticized the paper for having a "clearly pro-green" tinge and that he feels sorry about its overt political stance.

"Everybody, including the US government, knows it for a fact that your paper runs stories putting the pan-green parties in a good light and runs very little or even unfriendly stories about the pan-blues," he said. "You can quote me on this or use it as a headline. I'm not afraid."

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip William Lai (賴清德) yesterday called on Su to exercise prudence when accusing the media and to produce accurate information when making allegations.

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