Wednesday, October 24, 2012

US political ad uses wrong ‘Taiwan’ flag

A still from Doheny's TV ad
Congressional candidate Matt Doheny’s new ad snipes at Congressman Bill Owens over a visit to Taiwan last year, but used the Chinese flag as a backdrop 

Taiwan has become the object of a US congressional battle, with a Republican candidate accusing his Democrat opponent in a new TV ad of violating house rules by having lobbyists pay for a US$22,000 trip to Taiwan last year — except there’s a problem: the ad shows the Chinese flag as a backdrop. 

The ad, paid for by Republican congressional candidate Matt Doheny, has led to some head scratching in the US and accusations that the “inflammatory” error could mislead the US public. At one point, the ad shows a composite image of New York Congressman Bill Owens on the left-hand side of the screen, holding a blown-up picture of a first-class airline ticket. President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) stands in mid-screen, also holding the airline ticket. In the background is a supine white island in the shape of Taiwan, with the word “Taiwan” inscribed on it in black, while the right-hand side of the screen displays two yellow stars on a red background, in what is clearly the flag of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). 

My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

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