Fri, Jun 28, 2019 - Page 3 News List

TV host accuses Tsai of canning show

PERSPECTIVE:The National Communications Commission said that it had received 14 complaints in June saying that the program had presented biased information

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

A political commentator yesterday accused of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of pressuring China Television Co’s (CTV) management to shut down her program, Late Night Punch (夜問打權).

Joyce Huang (黃智賢) said in an interview with the Chinese-language United Daily News that she was told by CTV’s management on Monday that her show would be canceled, adding that it was confirmed on Wednesday that today would be her last day on the job.

The person who informed her about the decision gave four reasons why her program was canceled, Huang said.

“First, I was critical of Tsai Ing-wen. Second, I was also too harsh in my criticisms of the US and Japan. Particularly, I only talked about the US-China trade dispute from the Chinese perspective,” she said. “Tokyo also protested, as I talked a lot about the history of the Japanese colonial era.”

“Third, I was the only political commentator who analyzed how passing Hong Kong’s Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters [Amendment] Bill would have none of the negative implications protesters had claimed,” she said.

“Fourth, I support China’s ‘one country, two systems’ policy and peaceful unification with China,” she said.

Huang said that someone else had told her that the TV station’s management decided to cancel the show because she described an amendment to the National Security Act (國家安全法) as “an evil law.”

The National Communications Commission could not find anything wrong with her comments on the anti-extradition law protests, Huang said, adding that the protests have been proven to be part of the anti-China movement.

As the commission could not punish the station for the content aired in the program, the Tsai administration then pressured it to cancel her program, she said.

The Tsai administration would definitely deny that it has oppressed media outlets, Huang said, adding that it could sue her if it thinks that she is not telling the truth.

Tsai said on Facebook that the report was erroneous and defied common sense.

“Taiwan is already a democratic nation, and it has taken the nation years to step out of the shadow of an authoritarian regime,” Tsai said. “It is impossible for the government [to do such a thing], nor would it stop any news broadcast and publication simply because it holds different positions from those of the government.”

“It was unfortunate that the media reported untruthful information without verifying the information and failed to observe the principle of balanced coverage,” Tsai said.

Presidential Office spokesman Ernesto Ting (丁允恭) demanded that the United Daily News apologize for spreading untrue information.

“The public is deeply concerned that China has infiltrated Taiwan’s media outlets, is spreading fake news and is causing social chaos. Most people think that democracy in Taiwan is harmed by certain media outlets kowtowing to Beijing and using the broadcast media to produce and disseminate disinformation,” Ting said.

The commission denied that it intervened in the production of Late Night Punch.

“We have received 14 complaints about the program from viewers on June 12, Jun 13, June 14 and June 16, who said that Huang and her guests presented untruthful and biased information about Hong Kong’s anti-extradition law protests in the episodes aired on June 10, June 11 and June 12,” the commission said in a statement.

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