AP Apologizes to Taiwan’s VP Over “scum” Article

March 8, 2007 at 12:12 pm | Posted in China, News, Politics, Taiwan, Uncategorized, 台灣, 台湾, 政治, 新聞, 新闻, 中国, 中國 | Leave a comment

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Mar. 8 2007 Playfuls.com/DPA

The US-based Associated Press (AP) news agency has apologized to Taiwan’s Vice President Annette Lu for a controversial article by offering to conduct an interview with her, the Government Information Office (GIO) said on Thursday.

“AP has agreed to make balanced reporting by conducting an interview with the vice president,” GIO Director-General Cheng Wen-tsan told reporters…

According Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA), AP’s editor-in-chief for international news said that AP only wanted to state that Lu was one of the candidates in the 2008 presidential election, but he regretted that the US cable TV channel CNN used “Taiwan’s ‘scum of the nation’ runs for president” as the headline on CNN.com, which used the AP story…

The controversy erupted on Tuesday when Lu held a news conference to declare she would run for president in the 2008 election. AP filed a story on Lu’s candidacy, saying in the lead that Lu was branded by China as “insane” and “the scum of the nation,” and said in the third paragraph that Lu’s chances of winning were slim. CNN carried the entire AP story on its website, but used its own headline “Taiwan’s ‘scum of the nation’ runs for president,” triggering an immediate protest from Lu’s office.

Lu said the CNN story had insulted her and the Taiwan people. She demanded an apology and correction and would not rule out seeking damage. CNN later changed its headline to “Lu seeks to be first Taiwan woman president,” but has not apologized yet.

When Lu carefully read the CNN story, she realized the root of the issue was AP, so she sent a protest letter to AP on Wednesday, demanding an apology and correction within 48 hours. In an interview with the cable TV channel TVBS on Wednesday, Lu said she could not understand why AP was using words which China used to blast her in 2002…

What were the editors at CNN thinking? They might as well form a partnership with Xinhua News Agency (mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party) and change their official name to the “Communist News Network.” According to the latest 2006 Reporters Without Borders Report, China was ranked 163th out of 168 countries for its press freedom. With that in mind, common sense dictates that you out to scrutinize news from sources within the Great Firewall of China, if not disregard them completely.

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