“ESWN and Mao”

I am not saying another word. Just go read the post for yourself.

The Discussion: 76 Comments

It has been widely known that Chang’s book has zero academic value. I just do not understand why ESWN even bother to write on post on this propagandist.

Stupid Chang, silly Soong.

September 8, 2006 @ 9:57 pm | Comment

They are all pushing their own agendas. Roland has his own style of selective reporting, as does Jung Chang. I gave up on buying her her book after I spotted a mistake within seconds of picking it up. She captioned a photograph by Li Zhengseng of an execution during the cultural revolution as being of “dissidents in the bitter struggle”. If she had read his book Red Colour News Soldier, she would have learned they were not dissidents but hapless Harbin Party members accused of being Russian agents because they used the slogan “Look North” in their propaganda sheet. In the hysteria of the time this was enough evidence for them to be executed for treason.
But in Chang’s relentless anti-Mao screed, such details are ignored because they don’t fit her own agenda. Roland is also guilty of passing over the reports that don’t fit his own view.

September 9, 2006 @ 2:42 am | Comment

Just read both of Levitator’s posts and the ESWN posts that he linked to. I’m not sure I understand what the issue is. Is Levitator upset that ESWN ignored the letter by Jung Chang that he translated? How is that letter embarrassing or contradictory to anything in ESWN’s translation of the Duowei article? How is not translating that letter dishonest?

September 9, 2006 @ 4:24 am | Comment

愤洋? Seems every time ESWN is mentioned here these days something or other is being used as a pretext to pick a fight. Wouldn’t it be great to see the Chinese blogsphere become as divisive and polarized as America’s? Between Richard and Roland it’s easy to guess who would come off the Malkin, all this nitpicking and negativity.

September 9, 2006 @ 4:51 am | Comment

Feng, where am I nitpicking? I have heaped a lot of praise on Roland, and also some criticism recently. Meanwhile, Roland would never say anything petty or snide about my site. (Scroll down to #085). Check out the kind, sweet remarks of His Holiness.

Seriously, if you can find anything Malkin-like that I have ever written about Roland – something racist, or based on propaganda or designed to invite hysteria the way Malkin does – put it up. Tell us what the basis for your claim is. Again, it seems that to say anything about Roland that isn’t dripping with praise is petty and bad. Of course, I didn’t complain when he put up his uncalled-for swipe weeks ago – I let it go, only mentioning it here and in a long comment thread only after another commenter brought it up, never in a post, because I know that wasn’t the real Roland who wrote that. Roland is generally a decent, hard-working guy who believes very much in what he is doing, just as I believe in what I am doing. But sometimes he leaves out key information when he translates, and to point that out should not be seen as treason or Malkining. Go through this blog and look at the positive things I’ve said about eswn compared to the negative. Seriously – do it. Then tell me what you are basing your claim on. All I ask for is evidence. Malkin performs character assassination. Look at what Roland wrote/implied in the above-cited post, then find a similar example here and tell me who is being more Malkinesque. I’m waiting.

September 9, 2006 @ 5:08 am | Comment

Feng that was a really stupid comment to make about richard. I would say that really Roland is more partisan than Richard, as well as having a much larger head. Richard is generally a nice guy and normally doesn’t have anything nasty to say about anyone.

Given Roland’s attitude towards blogs like Peking Duck, I’m surprised he has anything nice to say at all.

September 9, 2006 @ 6:46 am | Comment

Today Roland puts up a push poll from the China Times in his Taiwan By the Numbers Column — without mentioning that the China Times is pro-KMT, and without mentioning that it is a push-poll (in fairness the analyst in Roland sometimes overcomes his obsessive, irrational hatred of Taiwan’s democracy, and then he does point out the more blatant push-polls):

– 72% do not believed that President Chen Shui-bian has yet to explain any of the corruption scandals clearly, but instead played various word games; 5% believe that he has explained everything clearly already.
– Among pan-greens, 46% do not believe that the president has explain everything clearly and 19% believe that he has explained clearly already.

That’s Roland.

It’s easy to spot Roland’s bias. Just think of all the progressive and liberal blogs you know. How many of them have as many naked women as ESWN does? Outside of progressive blogs that focus on alternative sexuality, putting up naked women has only three possible functions — inviting others to join in appreciation of them, showing that you’re a manly man conservative and not a leftist poofter, or using the sex lives of others to validate one’s own moral superiority. Which is Roland?

Fact is, ESWN is a tabloid, and like all tabloids, is pro-Establishment, always rushing to the defense of the authorities, who in this case are the CCP — which is why he looks like a CCP shill, though he is not (he’s an Establishment shill — if the Emperor still ruled China, ESWN would be a monarchist). Like all tabloids, he slyly mocks the ignorance of its readers by loudly proclaiming to be a non-partisan muckraker and moralist. As a consequence, like all tabloids, he has plenty of sex and stories about official corruption — those don’t challenge Establishment political values; they validate them — and is highly suspicious, even contemptuous, of democracy.

You only have to look at his particular selectiveness to spot this. A good example of an ESWN special occurred last week. As most of you know, former democracy activist and DPP party Chairman Shih Ming-te, who went over to the anti-democracy side in late 1990s and allied himself with another former DPP Chairman, Hsu Hsin-liang, in attacking the DPP, is running a campaign to force the President to resign by hosting a revolving sit-in in front of the Presidential Palace in Taipei. That day there were several stories associated with this, along with other events associated with Taiwan politics in the major English and Chinese papers. Here’s a sample I linked to at Taiwan Matters in the
Daily Links:

*Mayor Ma of Taipei came under fire from his right for sitting on fence and not supporting Shih more loudly.
*Shih says DPP worse than CCP.
*Shih denies asking DPP for government position.
*Former AIT Chairman Nat Bellocchi had a pro-democracy commentary in the Taipei Times. *President Chen slams limelight hound Sissy Chen’s remarks that he is fleeing into exile.
*DPP legislator Wang Shih-cheng, moralist and exposer, was caught between the sheets with an assistant.

The first story is by far the most important, since it reveals some of the complexity of Ma’s position, as well as crosscurrents in the KMT that are regular news stories in Taiwan in both the Green and Blue media. Anyone who wanted their readers to have the real flavor of Taiwan’s complex politics would have selected that story. Nat Bellocchi’s commentary neatly summarizes the pro-democracy position and would also have been worthy of a comment or at least a pointer. But I think if you know ESWN, it is easy to predict
which of the many stories in the media that day he chose to link to: that’s right, the DPP legislator
caught in bed with his assistant. That one had two ESWN telltales — anti-DPP, and illicit sex. For
Roland, it doesn’t get any better than that.

I wish Jeremy Goldkorn and Rebecca Mackinnon would wake up. ESWN is a faux progressive, thoroughly pro-Establishment, who is running a tabloid that has entirely too much influence, given its essentially anti-democracy, pro-China, pro-establishment viewpoint.

Michael

September 9, 2006 @ 7:24 am | Comment

ESWN is now viewed by some as an authority/window on what’s happening in the Chinese blogosphere. So it’s worth looking at what his own agenda is. He seems to run a lot of negative stories from Apple Daily about the democrats in Taiwan. A bit like a British blogger trying to explain the UK to Chinese readers by translating articles only from the Sun. To understand ESWN you have to be aware of what he is not translating.

September 9, 2006 @ 9:09 am | Comment

Michael, that was an awesome comment. Thank you.

Raj, there’s a myth out there that I am a wild-eyed China-hating fiend. I ask people like Feng to simply document this, and they cannot.The way some people talk about me, it’s as though I have a blood-lust for smearing Roland, which I do not. To the contrary, I often have nice things to say about Roland. He often provides a wonderful service. Myths have a way of taking root and sticking. Such as the myth of Roland being a one-stop shop offering everything a journalist needs to get their snapshot of China. Roland himself says this is not the case (and I give him credit for that). And there’s this myth that I run an LGF-style hate site, which falls apart under closer examination. I love China, and I believe Roland does, as well. Where we differ, I believe, is that I am very clear in my prejudice against the CCP and state it without shame – it’s a prejudice that developed over time, based on lots of personal experience and that I can justify, at least to my own satisfaction. Roland, I believe, is less up-front about where his sympathies lie and it takes a trained eye to spot them. And those who go to his site can easily be led to believe it is not an opinionated blog like my own, but a translation site offering the broad picture. And therein lies the danger. The cult status he has developed and of which he frequently points to with pride (not unjustified) further perpetuates the myth and obfuscates the reality.

Time for bed.

September 9, 2006 @ 11:43 am | Comment

richard, I have a massive amount of time for you, which is saying a lot considering the number of jerk-wads on the internet these days. In fact I always come here before ESWN – I don’t go there that often these days.

As Goebbels once said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Sadly smearing does work often – try not to let it bother you. Leave it to your mates to tell people what the real story is. ๐Ÿ˜‰

September 9, 2006 @ 12:19 pm | Comment

Buried in all this back-and-forth sniping is an interesting problem: are bloggers responsible for making sure that their readers are fully informed?

Richard’s last comment says that they are; I would say ‘not necessarily.’ It comes down to audiences, I believe. Because it’s published on the web and open for anyone to read, does that mean that my blog must be written so that everyone can understand? Or if the “ideal audience” for my blog is made up of people who are already familiar with the background and context, can I avoid some of the off-putting redundancy and just assume that my readers will view with a critical eye those things that deserve it?

There’s nothing that mandates the sort of AP-style that leads to cliched epithets like “the muckracking Caijing”, “the state-owned Jiefang Daily”, or “the unlinkable SCMP” – my readers may be familiar with these identities. Sure, you could argue that someone just surfing in and reading my site casually may be misled, but the benefits of spelling things out explicitly are not guaranteed – it takes time to run cross-references, to explain acronyms, to link to homepages, and to comb the web for other views. It happens here, too – I’ve run across several American pundits in posts here on PD with whom I was unfamiliar, and it took me several posts to get up to speed on who MM and AC were and why they mattered – but I could always have simply searched the web.

Suppose that I’m a blogger who started out writing stuff for my own amusement, to an audience I imagine to be rather like myself, but who perhaps doesn’t read as widely in certain areas. I write based on my own interests – politics, perhaps, and literature, and once in a while a juicy tabloid nugget. If for some reason my popularity explodes, do I then have the responsibility to adjust my publishing habits? Must I ‘sell out’ as they’d call it in another media sector, and cater to the tastes and level of awareness of a less-specialized audience? Or can I continue to write with my own biases and idiosyncracies and trust that long-time readers will have the context to judge, and that new readers will gradually become familiar with my individual style?

Besides, the explosion of blogs has made it easy for anyone to put up a competing viewpoint. There seems to be a generaly consensus in this thread and elsewhere that ESWN is biased in certain ways. How was this consensus arrived at if not by reading his posts with a critical eye? What is the fear, who is it that ESWN is in danger of misleading? Journalists? Do we have such a low opinion of China correspondents that we think they won’t pick up on any biases (um, maybe that’s not such a good question)? MacKinnon and Goldkorn, who should “wake up”? Perhaps they are entirely aware of the slant of what they read – must we all wear our biases on our sleeves and announce to all that we’ve seen through everything? The general public? They’re coming in on the sex and tabloid stuff – how many people, really, are going to get their Taiwan news from ESWN only? This is how the web works – there is no monopoly on information, and the fact that this discussion exists is a case in point.

Another similar issue: do bloggers have a reponsibility to make sure that their readers get the joke? I often get the sense that there’s quite a bit of deadpan humor that flies completely under the radar of much of the blog readership. But this probably can wait to be discussed at a later date.

September 9, 2006 @ 6:32 pm | Comment

Roland may have his own biase.

But levitator’s charge is simply baseless. There isn’t much merit in translating Chang’s own defense.
Roland deal with the Taiwan publication issue in an earlier post. Chang’s defense does not offer any more fact than Roland’s psot already discussed about. Chang simply recounted the story (which is basically the same as Roland’s) and went on to say Yuan Liu is not not defending “freedom of speech”.

I thought Richard said he is not saying another word?

September 9, 2006 @ 8:03 pm | Comment

What is the fear, who is it that ESWN is in danger of misleading? Journalists? Do we have such a low opinion of China correspondents that we think they won’t pick up on any biases (um, maybe that’s not such a good question)?

Posted by: zhwj at September 9, 2006 06:32 PM

Why isn’t that a good question? Isn’t it’s obvious that most journalists/blog readers are a bit lazy when looking for a story and cross-checking them.

When ESWN says “Chinese netizens are <insert bombastic emotion> about <insert latest tabloidish scandal>”, how many of his readers go off to check secondary sources to see whether there is such a response.

reading his posts with a critical eye?

See the flame above about the Chinese blogosphere becoming like the US political blogosphere, if people in the Chinese blogosphere start reading and posting critically of one another. Seems more like some thrive on the lack of critical reading skills and a critical eye in the Chinese blogosphere and do their best to dissuade others from pursuing such skills.

And then there is the dominance among many Western journalists for the Nury Vitachi style of foreign culture reporting. How many of you knew that Hong Kong’s English-language The Standard picked up the Bus Uncle video story after the US’ Associated Press? Or that the Hong Kong Apple Daily picked up the story after the English-language The Standard? For an allegedly popular sensation in the Chinese-language population of Hong Kong, that order of publications should be ringing alarm bells about lazy journalists hyping stories they’ve never cross-checked.

September 9, 2006 @ 8:10 pm | Comment

Roland writes today:

I have been mumbling about this, but at some point the Hong Kong blogosphere is ready to take on the Hong Kong mainstream media in commentary. The only question is when that moment has arrived. So let me be the person who declares that it has arrived.

Of course, who else? I do believe he sees himself in a role somewhat different and somewhat greater than your average blogger. I think he sees himself as a setter of agendas. Which is fine. I just want to be sure everyone knows what the agenda is, and that maybe those selections that get translated are designed to serve that agenda.

Just woke up, more thoughts to follow.

September 9, 2006 @ 9:05 pm | Comment

I thought Richard said he is not saying another word?

I meant in the post, smartass. I didn’t mean for eternity.

September 9, 2006 @ 10:17 pm | Comment

Michael,

Do you mention that the Taipei Times is a DPP mouthpiece each and every time when you quote it?

September 9, 2006 @ 11:49 pm | Comment

A-ha! Smartass brought up the “et****” word? ๐Ÿ™‚

One would think not another word in “this post’s comment”, not “et*****”. How does one say another word in a finished post anyway?

September 9, 2006 @ 11:53 pm | Comment

Michael,

Do you mention that the Taipei Times is a DPP mouthpiece each and every time when you quote it?

Posted by: LfC at September 9, 2006 11:49 PM

No, because (1) it isn’t a DPP mouthpiece and (2) I am not pretending to be non-partisan. I am a passsionately pro-Taiwan, pro-democacy blogger. My biases in favor of democracy and independence are plain and obvious to all my readers. Roland on the other hand, pretends to be non-partisan, while quoting only the anti-democracy side. It’s obvious what Roland is, if you stop paying attention to what he says about himself, and instead look at what his sources are, and most importantly, what he doesn’t use. The key to understanding Roland’s tabloid, pro-Establishment style is knowing what isn’t in Roland.

Michael

September 10, 2006 @ 12:59 am | Comment

+++++
MacKinnon and Goldkorn, who should “wake up”? Perhaps they are entirely aware of the slant of what they read.
++++++

I doubt it, or they would have more equivocal opinions about ESWN.

Michael

September 10, 2006 @ 1:17 am | Comment

Now that I think about it, I realize The Peking Duck isn’t even part of the Chinese blogsphere but an extension of the American, and it all makes more sense to me now.

September 10, 2006 @ 1:26 am | Comment

Mmmm, popcorn! (munch munch)

I’m stayin’ out of this, lest my comments become a lightning rod.

It’ll be interesting to watch how these threads develop with my energies withdrawn from them for a while.

September 10, 2006 @ 1:49 am | Comment

I think Richard and some others are put off by ESWN because although he is an intelligent and thoughtful commenter on China, he does not share Richard’s self-declared stances on China.

Emotional lefties often assume that most people who disagree with them are stupid, except for those who paplably are not stupid — these instead must be classified as “bad”.

This them or us attitude, which may be the prevalent make-up of US politics, probably explains why much blog argument is simply shouting established views rather than exchange.

It smacks of Communism, it smacks of Bushism — if you’re not with us you’re against us.

Anyway, poor old ESWN.

I would say the obvious bias of his that I can detect is a preference to emphasise things that much of his readership would find a bit uncomfortable:

ie yes, democracy is probably a good thing but have you seen some of the demagoguery that masquerades as democracy in …. Or, the communists in china aren’t 100% bad because ….

it’s valuable to have your assumptions challenged. I’m just reading a book about all the experts who warned the Bush administration that although toppling Saddam would be easy, the occupation of Iraq would be very difficult and need many many more men than were in fact sent. but of course their views were disregarded — inconvenient truths, to coin a phrase.

PS hope all is well in Taiwan Richard.

September 10, 2006 @ 5:00 am | Comment

I think Richard and some others are put off by ESWN because although he is an intelligent and thoughtful commenter on China, he does not share Richard’s self-declared stances on China.

It’s funny. No matter how many times you carefully explain something……

That is not what Richard cares about. That is not I care about. I do not know anyone concerned about ESWN — and I know several — who has that position. Do you think that me or Tom consulted Richard before we independently developed our similar critiques of Roland?

Michael

September 10, 2006 @ 5:59 am | Comment

Emotional lefties. Ha. Have you ever seen the stories ESWN links to – lots of Daily Kos and the Nation – more to the left than I have ever been. He and I are both lefties. So are Jeremy and Rebecca. So are all smart people I know. Back to the drawing board on that one. KLS is the only non-lefty I know of on this thread. So take everything he says with a big grain of sea salt. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m only put off by eswn for his self-aggrandizing, amid a nimbus of self-deprecation and effusive humility, and for his long-cited pattern of cjherry picking stories while maintaining an aura of impartiality. Aside from that, I love him to death, give hiom the No. 1 spot on my blogroll, link to him more often than any other single source, have enjoyed friendly emails back and forth with him and try to be extremely fair in all I say.

And no, Michael and Tom and Levitator and many others here came to their own conclusions about eswn all by themselves.

And Feng, I’m still waiting for you to back up your charges of Malkinism. Instead, all you’ve said is I’m not really a China blog, I’m an American blog. You criticized ne for not being in harmony with the CHina blogosphere – but the sad news is, I don’t think the China blogosphere should be Roland playing on the guitar while the rest of us sit around the campfire holding hands and singing Kumbaya. I’ve got news for you, I’m not a China blog, I’m not an America blog (whatever that may be), I am just a blog, one that focuses mainly on China and the US. and even though I am really terrible and everything I write is stupid and bad, everyone wants a link from me – including you. You were singing a much sweeter tune when you approached me to link to Dongxi magazine. All that sweetnesss disappeared when I posted a remark by a fellow blogger that you weren’t making good on your promise to pay them, Ever since them, you’ve been all piss and vingear. Wonder why… ๐Ÿ™‚

September 10, 2006 @ 6:32 am | Comment

okay okay so ESWN likes to claim more objectivity than may be provable but surely anyone with a bit of a brain is going to be aware that if he is selecting things to translate, that selection cannot be completely neutral.

I mean, I can understand stunt shows on TV carrying a warning to children not to try these things at home, but in this day and age do people over 18 (or over 21 in the US) really need similar hand-holding when they read someone’s blog?

and in fact over the last six months or so when ESWN has been increasingly happy to identify himself and subsequently publicise some of his activities, this makes it more obvious that it is a person writing his stuff, rather than a balanced committee of the great and the good.

I read ESWN because it’s interesting, because I can barely read Chinese, and because he provides a rare alternative to the established wisdoms of the English-language China-bloggers.

no wonder he ruffles feathers.

September 10, 2006 @ 6:36 am | Comment

well that’s a telling comment, Richard:

All the smart people you know are lefties.

… were you being ironic?

September 10, 2006 @ 6:41 am | Comment

Yes, a tad ironic – thus the smilie.

I read eswn too, every day, because I enjoy his writing and his translations and often his point of view. Look at my posts – I am not condemning the guy to hell. I am not diatribing against him, but when I see my fellow bloggers doing so in a manner that makes some sense and where I feel some of their points are valid, I say so. He is not above reproach. His approach to Taiwan media infuriates me, I admit it, but that’s okay. I know I infuriate some of my readers with my own strong political beliefs, and luckily these same readers stick with me because they know there’s still something they can get out of my site even if we don’t see eye to eye. And I take a lot of flak and a lot of criticism and get hate mail and two separate web sites were set up (both abandoned shortly thereafter) just to condemn me. I can deal with. Roland can deal with it as well.

September 10, 2006 @ 6:50 am | Comment

Michael,

i still didn’t get why Roland piss you off?

you complained that ESWN reported taiwan’s democracy in a negative way. are you suggesting that people always say good words about taiwan’s democracy while there are something bad happening? or you suggest that every criticism must be accompanied with a praise?

you complained that ESWN is a “pro-china” blog. in the last post, you proudly announced that you are “pro-taiwan”, so are you suggesting that “pro-taiwan” is right and “pro-china” is wrong?

you complained that ESWN pretends to be a balanced and non-partisan blog, actually ESWN said that it’s a biased blog. do you worried that readers don’t know which blog is biased and which is not?

blogs are very personal things and most are biased one way or another, and i believe readers won’t be fooled simply because one blog is biased, they read many different ones.

i agree that as ESWN gains more influence, it should take more responsibility in terms of balanced reporting, but if it fails to do that, it’s fine.

ESWN is not holy and flawless, but if you want to criticize, use logic and do it fairly.

September 10, 2006 @ 7:04 am | Comment

good news for you michael, many people here interprete the anti-chen demonstration (or other “anti-democracy” reportings) in this way: wow, what a great system they have, this is really a functioning democracy

so, don’t worry about negative exposures of taiwan’s democracy

September 10, 2006 @ 7:14 am | Comment

bf, it’s not as simple as that – being pro- or anti- anything. It’s the way he positions Apple Daily. Anyone living in Taiwan knows that to put it forth as the best source on Taiwan news is rather misleading. And by quoting from that publication so frequently that is the impression eswn’s blog gives. If you really want to examine this claim and maybe learn from it, as opposed to dumbing it down to simplistic truisms (if you’re anti-CCP, why can’t Roland be anti-DPP), you can start with this post. I don’t always agree with Michael Turton, but I think he makes some valid and well-supported points here. Look it over, then let us know your thoughts. Then check out the link he provides to Jujuflop’s article on Apple Daily.

A lot of this would be resolved, byu the way, if ESWN would be a real blogger and open comments. His main reason for not doing so when last I spoke with him was concerns over spam. Over the past year new software has done an amazing job in wiping out that problem, so perhaps this would be a good time for him to reconsider. Comments can hurt sometimes – I take a lot of ridcule and sometimes some hate, but I don’t feel a blog is a blog without some interactivity and community. Roland could nip some of these nagging questions in the bud so they don’t metastasize. It would be a smart move.

September 10, 2006 @ 7:16 am | Comment

fair enought Richard, I guess I put you in the harder-core camp on this matter because of the tone of your initial post.

and part of a comment earlier seemed to hit the nail on the head:

“Seems every time ESWN is mentioned here these days something or other is being used as a pretext to pick a fight. ”

September 10, 2006 @ 7:18 am | Comment

Well, if another commenter said it, it must be right. Especially if it’s Feng 37, who also said I was treating eswn in a manner comparable to Michelle Malkin and then, when asked to explain, rapidly changed the subject.

(Don’t worry, Feng, I won’t say anymore about… well, you know. And besides, what difference should it make? I’m “just an American blog.”)

September 10, 2006 @ 7:22 am | Comment

These are the dodgy comments, from Michael Turton:

“ESWN is a faux progressive, thoroughly pro-Establishment, who is running a tabloid that has entirely too much influence, given its essentially anti-democracy, pro-China, pro-establishment viewpoint.”

MT is privileging “progressive” the same way you’d hear red guards talking about “socialist” or Bushies about “patriotic” or Robespierre about “revolutionary”

only people in MT’s club should be listened to…

September 10, 2006 @ 7:25 am | Comment

only people in MT’s club should be listened to…

I would never say that. Michael and I disagree on several things. He makes some good points, however, and so does David Yule at Jujuflop. Again, you can cherry pick a quote and say, Look, this proves how dodgy this bloggeris!, or you can look at the bigger picture about Apple Daily made by both bloggers.

September 10, 2006 @ 7:30 am | Comment

as i said

1) if ESWN is biased in reporting taiwan, then go to read “view from taiwan”, no body forbids you to read “view from taiwan”.

2) if you think ESWN is using its influence to mislead readers, then go to build up your own influence

September 10, 2006 @ 7:31 am | Comment

“ESWN is a faux progressive, thoroughly pro-Establishment, who is running a tabloid that has entirely too much influence, given its essentially anti-democracy, pro-China, pro-establishment viewpoint.”

————–

sounds like from a red guard

September 10, 2006 @ 7:39 am | Comment

and here’s something about Taiwan: not being very informed about the place I’d always assumed that their idea of democracy was not dissimilar to mine: and Democratic Taiwan is often used as a stick to beat the Commies.

it’s useful to know that their system has some big flaws, that their legislators punch one another now and again. sadly it’s not a great advert for democracy but like I say I think the nasty truths are just as valuable as the nice ones.

September 10, 2006 @ 7:40 am | Comment

“ESWN is a faux progressive, thoroughly pro-Establishment, who is running a tabloid that has entirely too much influence, given its essentially anti-democracy, pro-China, pro-establishment viewpoint.”

——————–

what’s wrong with “pro-China”?

are you suggesting that “pro-China” equals to “pro-ccp” and “pro-taiwan” equals to “pro-democracy”?

September 10, 2006 @ 7:46 am | Comment

The way blogs work, bingfeng, is they link to one another, praise one another and criticize one another. Just as you sometimes criticize me. No one is above criticism, and luckily we are all free to defend ourselves and handle our sites as we choose.

About your two numbered suggestions: I didn’t ask you for your advice about how I should approach this topic, but I do appreciate it I’ll keep your suggestions on active file. But let me say this in all seriousness. This is what I mean by making the argument simplistic: “If you don’t like it, read something else.” Again, blogs are about inquiry, discussion, praise, criticism, correction, etc. “If you don;’t like what I have to say, go read eswn.” Now, that would be a stipid thing for me to say – you are free to read what you choose, and if you disagree with something there’s no reason why you shouldn’t still read it. I read lots of bloggers I have issues with. Much of what Roland posts I enjoy. If I think there’s an issue, I bring it up, just as you have brought up issues about me, and I you. Hopefully we’re mature enough to keep this all in context and remain civil and friendly with one another. Thanks again for your comment.

September 10, 2006 @ 7:47 am | Comment

You’ll have to take those questions from Michael’s post up with Michael.

September 10, 2006 @ 7:50 am | Comment

Ivan, how’s the popcorn?

September 10, 2006 @ 7:56 am | Comment

Richard:

(sound effects: munch munch….) … ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚

Hey, Richard, YOU were the one who posted that recent thread titled “Comments” which was obvious directed especially at ME, and THAT is why I’m sitting back and just enjoying some popcorn as a spectator now.

Richard, do you REALLY expect me to make ANY kind of energetic or morally passionate comments here, after you posted THAT thread which was obviously directed at me as a way to make me shut up about what I really believe?

I’ve been following this thread, and I could chime in and say a lot on this thread. (And I could say a HELL of a lot in your defense on this thread, IF you hadn’t smacked me down and inhibited me as you did in that OTHER thread titled, “Comments.”)

And say I could say a lot in in this thread, in my own unique way, which – as you know – is sometimes tough and rude to those whom I think deserve rudeness.

But Richard, how can I ever comment here again in my own way, after you posted that thread which was very obviously directed at me?

Hey, bud, you want to purge this blog of “personal insults” and four letter words? Fine.
But that means that you’ve ruled me out from commenting in my own way. My way which uses naughty words (selectively), and my way which calls a spade a spade AS I see it. Like when I stated my (PERSONAL) opinion about how I believe Bingfeng is a CCP shill.

(And if Bingfeng were not a CCP shill, then wouldn’t it be easy for him to refute my suggestion that he is one? Is the ONLY way to defend Bingfeng’s reptuation, to order ME never to suggest that he is a CCP shill? HMMMM? It would seem to me, logically, that if Bingfeng is not a shill, then he can defend himself against that accusation without your ordering me to shut up about it….)

So, Richard, as long as you keep that thread titled “Comments” up – that thread which you posted because some of your perceived “peers” were emailing you about my comments – as long as that thread remains up, then I’ll just carry on munching my popcorn, and I will never come to your defense ever again, as long as that thread remains up.

Or unless you edit it to make it clear that it was not directed principally at me to rein me in from fighting too hard against those whom I PERSONALLY perceive to be Communist whores and shills and propagandists. And if they’re not CCP whores, then they don’t need you to defend them by protecting them against my comments.
Or DO THEY? ………….

(mmm, popcorn, munch munch… ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚

September 10, 2006 @ 8:25 am | Comment

Whoa, I wasn’t ready for that, Ivan. That post was inspired by a commenter who’s left (Ahmet), and was directed at several commenters, maybe myself included – I just believe we can discuss these sensitive topics with some mutual respect. A couple of comments here certainly pissed me off, but I tried to respond with enough courtesy to keep things civil. Come on Ivan, you are really smart – I mean, like exponentially intelligent. You are able to make your points with power and conviction without shouting and cursing. That’s all I want to ask of everyone, not just you. And sometimes there might be a time to swear and shout. I just want to keep such times to a minimum, as they tend to lower the level of discourse for everyone.

Sorry for getting off-topic; if you want to contniue this, maybe it’s best to discuss it offline.

September 10, 2006 @ 8:36 am | Comment

or, Ivan, you could rely more on logic and persuasion and less on bullying and venom!!!

September 10, 2006 @ 8:37 am | Comment

you complained that ESWN reported taiwan’s democracy in a negative way. are you suggesting that people always say good words about taiwan’s democracy while there are something bad happening? or you suggest that every criticism must be accompanied with a praise?

You misread my comments, bingfeng. My position is that ESWN’s postings on Taiwan always favor the anti-democracy side. I never said he reported on Taiwan’s democracy “in a negative way.”

I don’t mind that you or ESWN or anyone else is pro-China, bingfeng. That is not an issue. I think you need to read more carefully what has been written here.

Although I thank you for showing up. I’ll be on the road tomorrow, so I’ll respond tomorrow night.

Michael

September 10, 2006 @ 9:19 am | Comment

Thank you for your above comment, Richard. I’m glad that you and I can part with a friendly handshake, this way.

But Ivan has left the building, until further notice.

September 10, 2006 @ 10:11 am | Comment

Richard,

Do you read Chinese? How often do you read Apple Daily? Which newspaper in Taiwan is more balanced than Apple Daily?

Jujuflop said Apple Daily is tabloid, but it often has good surprise in political commentaries. You can ask his opinion yourself.

September 10, 2006 @ 10:17 am | Comment

>> 2) if you think ESWN is using its influence to mislead readers, then go to build up your own influence

Or you can point it out to others so that they are aware of it ?? I think that is all most of the critics of ESWN are doing.

September 10, 2006 @ 10:37 am | Comment

Someone as blatanted biased as Michael Turton accusing someone else for bias? WOW!

Everytime I read something he writes it’s always pertetuating some Hollywood-style anti-china rhetorics disguised semi-intelligentially. I have found his view on issues entirely predictable; So much so that before I see his comments i’d run through the prototypical “thinking process” in my head and often arrived at what he’s going to say.

Funny ESWN is being picked on for some sort of alleged tilt in his pattern of posting. How about this? People are busy and post whatever the hell they feel like posting. If ESWN didn’t do something that provide “balance”, the guy is too busy with his own life than trying to satisfy everybody’s sense of “balance”.

September 10, 2006 @ 12:28 pm | Comment

ESWN has said multiple times on his site that he is not about being balanced and unbiased. His goal is to provide a window on what’s being discussed on the other side, which is usually not available in the Western media. Does that mean he’s a pro-establishment, pro-CCP shill? I think you can take a look at the number of stories that he posts on corruption, crackdowns of rural protests, media restrictions, etc to decide for yourself. If he’s a pro-establishment shill, he’s must be a really strange one at that.

September 10, 2006 @ 4:18 pm | Comment

I agree with you, he’s often very critical of the party and willing to expose its malfeasances. I haven’t ever called eswn a shill. I believe that is going over the top.

September 10, 2006 @ 6:26 pm | Comment

If he’s a pro-establishment shill, he’s must be a really strange one at that.

Go and open a real tabloid newspaper someday. It’s exactly like ESWN….and there’s no such thing as anti-establishment tabloid. Tabloids affirm establishment values by providing an outlet and scapegoats for public ire at the System. In any serious issue they always defend the Establishment. They spice up the text with plenty of stories of sex, just like ESWN, and official corruption.

You only have to go through ESWN’s defense of the CCP in the Ching Cheong case. In anything serious like that, ESWN rushes to defend the government. Yet the CCP government’s actions are completely indefensible.

Someone as blatanted biased as Michael Turton accusing someone else for bias? WOW!

As I have repeatedly said, it’s the direction of the bias that’s revealing, not the existence of one. I know reading comprehension doesn’t come naturally to your kind, but it is a learnable skill.

Michael

September 10, 2006 @ 7:45 pm | Comment

“As I have repeatedly said, it’s the direction of the bias that’s revealing, not the existence of one. ”

————–

i am sorry michael, are you saying that your bias is a good one while ESWN’s bias is a bad one?

September 10, 2006 @ 8:33 pm | Comment

You only have to go through ESWN’s defense of the CCP in the Ching Cheong case. In anything serious like that, ESWN rushes to defend the government. Yet the CCP government’s actions are completely indefensible.

—————-

michael, it seems that your problem with ESWN is mainly its “pro-ccp” and “pro-china” stance.

can we just tolerate a few of such blogs since there are too many “anti-ccp” and “anti-china” blogs there.

September 10, 2006 @ 8:46 pm | Comment

talking about bias, TPD and “view from taiwan” are much more “biased” than ESWN, the only difference is that the former two are so-called “anti-ccp” while the latter is labeled as “pro-ccp” and “pro-china”

as someone indicated above, it’s very suspicious to accuse ESWN of being “pro-ccp” and even it is, it’s quite ridiculous to deny the value of such a blog because it is a good supplement to those “anti-ccp” and “anti-china” media, like TPD is a good supplement to People’s Daily

as a democracy worshiper, you should have more tolerance

September 10, 2006 @ 8:55 pm | Comment

I can’t speak for Michael, but for myself the answer is yes, I can live with pro-CCP blogs (though I believe that is a far cry from “pro-China” – my blog is strongly pro-China and strongly anti-CCP, strongly pro-America and strongly anti-GOP). It’s interesting that you say that eswn is pro-CCP. Do you think the reporters who go there for his translations should know that? Do you think that might affect their willingness to slurp from his trough? (Sorry for the gauche metaphor.)

September 10, 2006 @ 8:58 pm | Comment

It’s interesting that you say that eswn is pro-CCP.

——————
see what i said above:

“as someone indicated above, it’s very suspicious to accuse ESWN of being “pro-ccp” ”

but anyway, this might be the result you hope to have

ever heard of a chinese story – someone shouted “A is a human flesh eater”, later it’s clarified that A is not a human flesh eater but, everybody casts a suspicious eye on A and dare not to talk to A

September 10, 2006 @ 9:16 pm | Comment

Do you think the reporters who go there for his translations should know that? Do you think that might affect their willingness to slurp from his trough?

Do you think that they are unaware? After all, according to Michael, he, richard, and tom all arrived at their conclusions about ESWN independently, so anyone else should be able to do the same. There may be something of a dim view of China correspondents in certain parts, but what of the various China bloggers noted above who are alleged to have drunk the ESWN Kool-aid?

Even a public admission of bias on the part of a blogger is going to be viewed as some sort of spin – why not simply rely on the web’s connectivity to offer competing viewpoints rather than seeking a confession?

September 10, 2006 @ 9:19 pm | Comment

so richard, how do you defend yourself if somebody comes to you and accuse you of being biased and always taking an “anti-ccp” and “anti-china” stance?

don’t tell me that you have already declared that, ESWN also has declared that it’s biased.

September 10, 2006 @ 9:19 pm | Comment

Do you think the reporters who go there for his translations should know that?

——————-

no.

just give you an example. people who are “pro-democracy” will view taiwan’s anti-chen demonstrations in this way – wow, what a great and functioning democracy. and people who are “anti-democracy” will view it in another way – wow, democracy sucks and will never work in chinese society.

will i become “anti-china” after reading some stuff in your blog? never!

so do you still afraid that some foreign reporters will become “pro-ccp” after reading some stuff in ESWN?

September 10, 2006 @ 9:25 pm | Comment

if you think ESWN is using its influence to mislead readers, then go to build up your own influence

Or you can point it out to others so that they are aware of it ?? I think that is all most of the critics of ESWN are doing.

Posted by: 88 at September 10, 2006 10:37 AM

————–

sure you can, but whether they believe ESWN is misleading or not is totally a different story

September 10, 2006 @ 9:28 pm | Comment

Fair points, zhjw.

As I said earlier, it would all be solved if he’d open comments.

BF: so do you still afraid that some foreign reporters will become “pro-ccp” after reading some stuff in ESWN?

Has anyone expressed such a fear? I think the concern is reporters may be exposed to one tilted side of a story, as some of them seem to aPproach eswn not as a blog but as a source for translated news. That’s the big distinction I want to draw. ESWN has said himself many reporters come to his site for translations on articles written in Chinese. This is now a different category from ordinary blogging, which is all bias all the time, all about being a pundit. Does eswn have the right to be biased in his article selection? Of course. And others have the right to point out that the game might be tilted, and that Roland sees his role as somewhat different from that of most ordinary bloggers. Let’s look at his own description of his role in FoxConn:

Now I have a choice here. I could be a traditional objective journalist and simply translate things as they appeared in the Chinese media. Or I could use everything within my power to increase that media pressure against FoxConn. I am my own master and I did what my heart told me to. I began to lobby, persuade and bully the western media to pick up the story. And I did not mind using hyperbole! Charging western media with double standards may be over the top, but I will do that without compunction!

Was my effort successful? That is impossible to identify or isolate. I was only one of many voices in this spontaneously organized campaign. But I will say that it gave me a great deal of satisfaction to compile this chronology of media reports as they rolled in …

He then offers a huge list of newspapers that picked up the story due to his self-described “bullying.”

That’s a lot of power for one man to have. And he attained this power through a lot of hard work, dedication and vision. He feels the media should pick up the stories closest to his heart and if they don’t he will pressure them to do so. Fine. And they do pick these stories up, as we see from this episode. And that’s why i think it’s fine when bloggers like Michael and Levitator point out that at times Roland lets important information go by the wayside, or that he at times cites tabloid rags and presents their articles in a far more respectable light than they deserve. It is completely appropriate and healthy. The only thing unhealthy is the level of shock and ire that arises in people simply by raising such issues. It’s definitely an interesting phenomenon.

September 10, 2006 @ 10:13 pm | Comment

bf: so richard, how do you defend yourself if somebody comes to you and accuse you of being biased and always taking an “anti-ccp” and
“anti-china” stance?

I am never, ever anti-China, and usually am anti-CCP, though I try to praise them whenever I can. I can ofer many specific links. I am anti-Bush, but never anti-America. To be against Bush is a sign of a concerned and thoughtful American. To be against the CCP is roughly equivalent. How can anyone be pro- the party that locked up Hao Wu for several months and that…well, we all know the naughty things they’ve done.

September 10, 2006 @ 10:50 pm | Comment

I can be pro-CCP because the iron-fisted stability and “flexibility” they brought to China made me millions of dollars.

Richard, I wish you could just be open and honest about what you’re saying–that foreign reporters, in order to get a “balanced” story on China, shouldn’t just go to ESWN for their translations.

But the problem is, most other stories (often from the other side) already are translated. Sites like taipeitimes.com, taiwandc.org, etc. are more pro-Green than Michael Turton is, and they offer plenty of English articles on current events as they unfold. I have the feeling that the reason ESWN is unbiased often isn’t because he wants to be, but because the articles from one side of the story have already been translated into english. There’s really no problem with that.

Of course, it’s also really healthy to make the bias of a site, especially one as important as ESWN’s, clear to the infosphere, because that clears up discourse for everyone. But one shouldn’t go about doing that worthy deed by linking to isolated incidents and implying a larger bias.

The fairest way to do this would be to take a SRS (simple random sample) of, say 10-20 recent current events involving Taiwan, HK, or the mainland, dig up the corresponding translated articles from ESWNs site, and then look at whether they were 1) biased and 2) if so, if English articles explaining the other side are available. Then, use some simple statistics calculations to determine the degree of bias (if it exists), and voila, a fair verdict has been delivered.

September 11, 2006 @ 1:34 am | Comment

The first statement in my above post was sarcastic, by the way.

September 11, 2006 @ 1:37 am | Comment

Well, you can use whichever formula you feel works best. Personally, I look for trends; I am not good with numbers. But again, I am not concerned about anyone being biased. I am concerned when reporters keep going back to the same source, and are perhaps unaware they are intentionally not being given the whole story. Now, as zhwj says above, perhaps these journalists realize this already. I hope so. I also get concerned, as noted above, when a blogger sees it as their role to dictate what the media should publish, and says they will do so even if they have to bully and distort the truth.

September 11, 2006 @ 1:50 am | Comment

So, now the complain officially becomes ESWN does not allow comment?

This thread is too long. Let’s open another one and debate on why ESWN should open comment, and why some blogs censor comments in certain ways.

However, I am sure that, if ESWN would open comment, it would attract overwhelmingly more supporters than critiques to his site. Just like TPD does. There will many be Ivan the Terribles and anti-Ivan’s in ESWN’s site, but the difference is, ESWN will not impose selectively censorship on his site.

September 11, 2006 @ 10:38 am | Comment

Ivan, you’re just a god damn attention whore who thinks substituting whinging and constant name calling for a cogent arguement makes you hardcore. When in fact you are not speaking truth to power, but rather being just an obnoxious ass. I suspect that the only reason you have lasted as long as you have (anyone remember American Man?) is because the Ducky Dictat is quite amniable towards likeminded imbeciles such as yourself. In parting, eat shit and die, m’kay? Thanks.

September 11, 2006 @ 11:48 am | Comment

Jing, that’s really over the top. I am debating cutting out the “eat shit and die” but it says a lot more about you than anyone else. I’ve asked ALL commenters to be more polite.

Fox, if there was selective censorship here, this thread would be way shorter. Not a single comment was cut, and no comment ever is unless it is obscene or from a troll. Not a single comment has ever been cut based on a disagreement in viewpoint, only on the basis of presentation (obscenities, personal attacks, etc.) From your IP address, I think you may be our long-time troll Hello. I’ll give you a chance to prove you aren’t.

September 11, 2006 @ 6:46 pm | Comment

“no comment ever is unless it is obscene or from a troll.” apparently the fucks and shits from ivan are not obscene at all.

What about those people who complained they were banned from time to time, just because they have different views?

I read Jing’s comment as a parody to Ivan.

September 11, 2006 @ 9:23 pm | Comment

just curious why the bookmark of ESWN blog has a tiny Peking Duck blog logo?

anybody has the same issue?

September 12, 2006 @ 1:50 am | Comment

What about those people who complained they were banned from time to time, just because they have different views?

That has never happened. If someone says it, it’s a lie. Look at this thread – look at ALL the threads. So many points of view, and no censorship, ever, unless I and others feel a commenter is spamming threads, being a true troll (like Jessica and some other well-known trolls here), needling to get a reaction or posting hateful personal remarks. Why are you bringing such a thing up? And if it’s true, why haven’t I censored your comments? Maybe because it’s bullshit…?

September 12, 2006 @ 1:55 am | Comment

Bingfeng, that’s a funny question! If it’s true, you have a good eye.

Since you’re here, can I please ask you to address “fox’s” comment about my censoring the site. You and I have had fierce arguments for more than a year. Bingfeng, have I ever once censored in any way a single comment of yours? You read the heated threads: do I really go and censor out people’s comments? Have I ever deleted your comments, even when we were most at each other’s throats? Thanks.

September 12, 2006 @ 1:57 am | Comment

no

richard never censored my comments before, even occasionally the debate was so heated that i posted emotional comments. just speak for myself

i have high respect on richard for this

September 12, 2006 @ 2:11 am | Comment

Thanks a lot, BF. You are a gentleman, even if you are wrong on so many issues. ๐Ÿ™‚

September 12, 2006 @ 2:36 am | Comment

To the commenter I just deleted: If you come here to engage or comment, you are welcome – even all those in this thread who disagres with me. If you come here as you just did to say how terrible I am, offeringnothing to the topic at hand and obviously harboring no sincere intention of doalogue, I will delete. This almost never happens, because luckily the commenters here tend to be bright and polite and willing to discuss things. When it does, like just now, I’ll lte you know. Repeat: no comments ever, ever get deleted for offering a point of view different from my own. If you come to launch a personal attack against me (or other commenters here) it is my right not to provide you with that platform. Thanks.

September 16, 2006 @ 9:21 pm | Comment

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