Sun, Aug 15, 2004 - Page 2 News List

TV host spurs new controversy

POLITICAL MACHINATIONS When a popular talk-show host resigned after the first airing of his new program, media organizations saw a multitude of motives at work


Local Chinese-language media reported yesterday that conflict is intensifying between TV talk-show host Wang Ben-hu (汪笨湖) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Shen Fu-hsiung (沈富雄) over Wang's resignation as host of the new political talk show Taiwan Advancement (台灣起動).

According to the reports, the DPP is trying to calm things down in order not to aggravate conflict within the green camp.

It was also alleged that DPP legislative caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) has said that he would be willing to mediate between Wang and Shen, while DPP Deputy Secretary-General Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) reportedly said he would meet with Wang and China Television System (中華電視公司, CTS) President Chiang Hsia (江霞) to gain an understanding of the situation.

According to the reports, Lee said the cause for the conflict between Wang and Shen was that Wang on the show's first installment encouraged the audience to vote for Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) legislative candidate Huang Shih-chuo (黃適卓) in the year-end elections. Huang and Shen are running for election in the same electoral district.

The report went on to say that DPP opinion was divided over what effect the conflict is having on Shen, but that at least some people are secretly happy that Shen is in trouble.

TSU Legislator Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘) was quoted as saying that Wang is strengthening his position by resigning.

The rationale for this view is that Wang is positioning himself as a common person being trampled upon by a powerful legislator, and that this is influencing the public perception of Shen.

At the same time, this course of action associates Shen with independent pan-blue Legislator Sisi Chen (陳文茜), who also has demanded Wang's resignation from the show.

The report claimed that some people in the party believe Shen is going down the same road as a previous DPP chairman, Shih Ming-teh (施明德), by becoming too high-handed to remain popular.

A CTS programming manager, Hsu Yung-teh (許永德), was quoted as saying that the broadcaster would try to persuade Wang to remain as program host.

The report said that CTS President Chiang Hsia travelled to southern Taiwan on Friday, where she and CTS Chairman Yu Fu (魚夫) were to try to persuade Wang not to resign.

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