Sat, Nov 29, 2003 - Page 3 News List

VCDs could harm green and blue camps

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

As the controversy surrounding the Special Report VCDs mounts, analysts have predicted that both the pan-blue and pan-green camps would find it increasingly difficult to escape their negative impact in the upcoming presidential elec-tion.

Special Report is a series of satirical VCDs that poke fun at Taiwan's politicians, especially pan-blue officials. The controversial contents and blatant language brought the series to nationwide attention, and a spate of lawsuits have been filed as a result of the VCDs' publication.

Chiu Hei-yuan (瞿海源), a political observer and sociology professor at National Taiwan University, said the controversy over Special Report has complicated the election plans of both the pan-green and pan-blue camps in the run-up to the presidential election in March.

The pan-green camp, who favors Taiwanese independence, consists of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and its political ally, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU).

The pro-unification Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People First Party (PFP) form the pan-blue camp.

"The controversial VCD series has created a complex situation with both positive and negative implications for the pan-green and pan-blue camps," Chiu said.

According to Chiu, one positive effect as far as the pan-green camp is concerned is the media breakthrough the very existence of the VCDs has created.

"Many supporters of the pan-green camp have long felt that the vast majority of Taiwanese media are biased against the pan-greens. [The VCDs] therefore appeared to score a breakthrough and provided an alternative outlet for pan-green supporters to speak out to counter the lunacy which they perceived in the pro-pan-blue media," Chiu said.

The uproar about the VCDs also had a negative impact on the pan-blue camp, he said.

"Given that various pan-blue politicians have lashed out so strongly against the VCDs, you know the content must have stepped on their sore spots in one way or another," Chiu said.

Lu Tung-long (盧統隆), head of Bi-sheng Broadcasting (必勝傳播公司), the company which produced the VCDs, said on Tuesday that the filming of the next 10 episodes in the Special Report series had been completed. The company will continue releasing the episodes in Taiwan.

Part I and II of the series are currently in wide circulation.

But the continued production of the series is not expected to have much of an effect on voters' opinions.

"To voters who have already sided with the DPP, the VCDs would just further consolidate their identification with the pan-green camp. Likewise, to those who already are strong pan-blue supporters, the VCDs would only deepen their dislike of the DPP," Chiu said.

Taking voters' psychological perspective into account, Chiu said the VCDs would probably have the greatest impact on the opinion of undecided voters.

Chiu said that undecided voters would most likely be put off by the series' "vulgar language" and agitation.

Ger Yeong-kuang (葛永光), a professor of political science at National Taiwan University, said the continued production of the Special Report series would draw undecided voters further away from supporting the DPP.

"The undecided voters are mostly younger, well-educated people. They appear to be more mature and more rational and thus the slanderous nature of the VCDs would only gross them out and prompt them to turn their back on the DPP," Ger said.

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