Wed, May 09, 2007 - Page 4 News List

KMT slams SET-TV over documentary

SHOOTING CONTROVERSY The party said footage from an execution during the Chinese civil war was portrayed as that of a Taiwanese during the 228 Incident

By Flora Wang and Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim, second right, wipes away tears at a press conference yesterday. Hsiao, who was defeated in Taipei's first district by Wang Shih-cheng in Sunday's primary, is joined by fellow DPP legislators Yeh Yi-chin, far left, and Tang Bi-a, right, and Council of Hakka Affairs Vice Minister Chiu Yi-ying.

PHOTO: SUNG CHIH-HSIUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

The SET-TV network came under fire yesterday after the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) accused it of doctoring footage and distorting the role the party had played in its special report on the 228 Incident.

The 228 Incident refers to a local uprising beginning on Feb. 27, 1947, against the KMT regime, which crushed the uprising by killing tens of thousands of civilians.

From March 3 through March 7, SET-TV broadcast a series of special reports on the history of the 228 Incident to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the massacre.

KMT lawmakers yesterday claimed the TV station had doctored an image by passing off an image of a KMT officer executing a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) member in Shanghai in 1948 as that of a Taiwanese being killed by the KMT regime during the 228 Incident. The lawmakers made the claim following a report by the Chinese-language United Daily News yesterday on the matter.

The KMT argues that the 228 Incident was the result of poor governance rather than ethnic conflict.

In a written statement, KMT Culture and Communications Committee Chairman Yang Tu (楊渡) accused SET-TV of damaging the party's reputation and misleading viewers, threatening to sue the station for slander.

"SET-TV used video clips from the Chinese Civil War and passed them off as belonging to the 228 Incident. It inspired hatred and violated news ethics," the statement said.

SET-TV spokeswoman Chang Cheng-fen (張正芬) said the network had not put a caption "228 Incident" on the clips from the civil war, nor had it written that it depicted a Taiwanese being executed by the regime.

SET-TV news chief editor Chen Ya-lin (陳雅琳), who anchored the program in which the special report was shown, told a press conference last night that the footage had been provided by the Juan Chao-jih Memorial Hall and made by Juan Mei-shu (阮美姝), the daughter a 228 Incident victim.

"We didn't fabricate the special report. We didn't know the clip was about the civil war between the KMT and the CCP. There was no indication on the master tape, and Juan didn't inform us of the fact. Nor did she write it in the letter of authorization," Chen said.

But Chen's comments were dismissed by Juan, who said she had told SET-TV the truth upon loaning them the tape, adding that SET-TV had willfully used the footage in a misleading way.

The National Communications Commission (NCC) later demanded that SET-TV explain its handling of the issue and sent statements to all TV stations to remind them of proper procedures in handling videos that simulate historic events.

"SET-TV's handling of the historical documents did not follow professional journalism procedures," NCC Vice Commissioner Howard Shyr (石世豪) said. "NCC will send the content to the Programs and Advertisements Consultation Committee for further examination."

In related news, DPP Legislator Lin Yu-sheng (林育生), who worked as spokesman for Premier Su Tseng-chang's (蘇貞昌) presidential campaign office, yesterday accused SET-TV of failing to remain impartial during the DPP's legislative and presidential primary.

Lin said SET-TV had paved the way for a certain candidate in the primary by making comments favoring former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and discrediting the DPP's defunct New Tide faction -- which Su was considered close to.

"Whether or not SET TV is an impartial medium or a mouthpiece is for the public to decide," Lin said, referring to a political talk show hosted by Cheng Hung-yi (鄭弘儀), which airs in the evening.

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