Thursday, March 20, 2014

Occupy the LY: Smear tactics and Taiwan’s compliant media

Efforts by the government to discredit the occupy the legislature movement are facilitated by media that have no problem with regurgitating the official line

As the occupation of Taiwan’s legislature by thousands of protesters enters its third day, the architecture of power on the island is once again resorting to the age-old tactic of slandering its opponents in order to discredit them with the public and an inattentive international community.

Immediately after approximately 300 activists, angered by a sudden decision by the ruling Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to bypass full review of a controversial cross-strait trade agreement, climbed over the poorly defended gate of the Legislative Yuan on March 17 and barricaded themselves inside the building, government authorities and compliant media began characterizing the protesters as “irrational” and “violent.” While witnesses at the scene, and those who watched the incident via live stream video, saw no shred of evidence to support such claims, word got out that the activists had “vandalized” and “destroyed” the legislature. Several Taiwanese journalists repeated the allegations on their Facebook pages, without first checking the facts or bothering to visit the site to see for themselves. 

My article, published today on the China Policy Institute Blog, University of Nottingham, continues here. (Photo by the author)

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