Thursday, November 17, 2005

"Renegade Province?"

The media have been reporting that Bush mentioned Taiwan as a model of democracy for China to follow, and in just about every story there is something like "China considers Taiwan to be a renegade province."

Doesn't it beg the question, what does Taiwan consider itself to be? It is home to 28 milion people or so--how about some balanced reporting? Lazy journalism.


Azuma said...

Good point. I hadn't thought of it in that light before. I've always thought of it as short for "We all know the Reality That Cannot Be Spoken, but China says..." It seemed more like cowardice than laziness to me. I guess that go hand in hand.

Matt said...

I guess in this sense, though, Bush is specifically talking to China, and so the issue of what they think of his example is important. (And maybe the journalists think that it's obvious that Taiwan doesn't consider itself a renegade province, except in the cool, leather-jacket-wearing, stand-up-to-the-man sense.)

amida said...

Matt has a point, but the sad thing is this is boiler-plate journalism that's used all the time, every time the "Taiwan question" comes up (it's not a question, it's a place).

Remember in Mad Magazine they used to have "Scenes We'd Like to See?" I would like to see, just once, a journalist write "Taiwan considers China to be out of their friggin' minds."

amida said...

From a New York Times story:
China considers Taiwan a renegade province that it wants to take back; Taiwan considers itself a separate country and seeks to declare independence from China. The conflict, which has brewed for more than fifty years, could still lead to a war, experts say.
A greatly simplified picture, but at least it gives Taiwan an active say. That's an improvement. Now if the journalists could capture just a touch of the changes that Taiwanese society has been through in the last 50 years, or the divisions that exist today....

And who are these "experts," anyway? or those "analysts" who pop up sometimes? Back when I was hacking out news copy, it was usually... well, me and whoever else was around my desk.