Sun, Jan 21, 2007 - Page 3 News List

DPP legislators angered by FTV show

POINTING THE FINGER Hong Chi-chang lashed out at a TV program which he said had made spurious accusations against him and the now disbanded New Tide faction

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Several members of the former New Tide faction of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday accused DPP Legislator Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) of pushing a TV news program to attack certain DPP politicians in a bid to affect their prospects of winning the party's legislative primary.

DPP Legislator Hong Chi-chang (洪其昌) told a press conference yesterday that the program The People Talk, aired weekdays on Formosa Television (FTV), had attacked him on four consecutive evenings starting on Tuesday.

The program also attacked the now disbanded New Tide faction as a whole and the Taiwan Economy and Industry Association, of which Hong was a member, without grounding its accusations, he said.

According to Hong, the program accused him of owning an extravagant residence and said that the association had lined the faction's pockets.

Hong and fellow legislators who are former members of the New Tide faction told the press conference they suspected that Chai, the founder of FTV, had been manipulating the program in an effort to attack Hong.

They said that Chai's motivation was that both he and Hong intended to run in the DPP's legislative primary this year.

Chai said last week that he no longer participated in FTV decision-making processes.

Calling the program's criticisms of him "murder" of his integrity, Hong said he would sue the manager of FTV's news department, Hu Wan-ling (胡婉玲), and the host of the program, Tung Chung-yan (童仲彥).

Showing the press a list of the names of FTV board members, DPP Legislator Shen Fa-hui (沈發惠) noted that Chai's wife, Tsai Li-jung (蔡麗蓉), was vice president of FTV, and Shen questioned Chai's influence on the station.

Shen also said that Chai should explain to the public why he still owned an office at FTV and used FTV's guesthouse to play host to friends if he claimed he had no influence at the station anymore, Shen added.

Former DPP Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) said that the legislators were "forcing Chai to be responsible for what had been said."

"Public figures have to take responsibility for their own words and behavior. We cannot allow senior party figures to try to cover up their relations with the media," he said, referring to the board member list and Chai's previous remarks claiming that he was no longer active in decision-making at FTV.

In response to the charges, Chai said yesterday that although he had connections with FTV, he had no influence over what issues news programs chose to bring up.

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