Examining Taiwan's Pan-Blue Media Rag Spin

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Friday March 07, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

"The China Post," an English paper in Taiwan is often referred to by ex-pats as the local Pan-Blue Rag, and that is on good days. Is the title deserved? Well let's take a look. An article on March 5th dealt with Lee Teng-hui's recent interview in Japan. When asked about Taiwan's upcoming presidential elections Lee stated that if Frank Hsieh did not win, Taiwan's democracy would be set back twenty years. Hsieh's main opponent of course is the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Ma Ying-jeou; so what might one guess would be the headline for an article featuring Lee's belief that a defeat of Hsieh by Ma would set back democracy twenty years.

Here it is, "Lee Teng-hui hesitates to endorse Hsieh." Is there some logic here? Is something missing? If a defeat of Hsieh would set democracy back twenty years, is that hesitation? You gotta love that rag. But there is more. Immediately after the headline, the first line of the article qualifies it, adding the word seems. "Former President Lee Teng-hui seems to hesitate to endorse Democratic Progressive Party standard bearer Frank Hsieh." So what is it? Does he hesitate or seem to hesitate in saying that Hsieh's defeat by Ma would set democracy back twenty years? There is of course an explanation. Headlines are an editorial prerogative, but to have the headline immediately followed by the same statement with adding the word seems does leave the writer hung out to dry.