百靈果News Podcast - Commenting on Foreigners in Taiwan

百靈果News is a podcast that comments on international news with a heavy focus on US politics. Purportedly it’s supposed to be bilingual coverage but apart from reading a paragraph from the news…not really.

First off, I do appreciate that there is more and more local podcast content to choose from as it seemed for awhile that the choices were quite slim. And I think 百靈果 really shines when they have guest speakers on that share their experiences through a wide variety of topics. A few examples would be a Taiwanese doctor that has traveled all over the world through war zones, the cultural diplomat from AIT, a Taiwanese professor with an expertise on Latin America etc. I think this does alot to broaden the horizons of many listeners.

However, the hosts themselves can be quite irritating at times as their humor tends to gravitate towards the lowest common denominator. In an attempt to be edgy, they sometimes do more harm than good IMO to perpetuate stereotypes than provide any valuable contribution. This is most obvious in their surface level understanding of US politics and on their most recent episode - foreigners in Taiwan. Every topic seems to show Taiwan in a good light (i.e. as smarter than the US) and avoid anything negative about Taiwan when making comparisons.

Ken (host) said he went on a community group group for foreigners discussing local news which sounded eerily familiar to this board but could be reddit. The topic was foreigners complaining about restrictions here and likening them to the CCP.

His first reaction is to want to respond by saying “go back to your country”.

Then they delve into English teachers complaining about salaries continuing to go down and joke that teachers can no longer pick up women.

And finish with a joke that foreigners all carry the disease.

I get it’s supposed to be all be in good fun, but would be nice if they could add some balance. Instead it just comes off as a blatant ego stroke for local listeners.

The episode in question below. Discussion starts around 15:30.

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I used to listen in, but the hosts’ bad jokes and cackling laughter were just too annoying in the end. Hard to believe that 凱莉 actually does stand-up (I’ve seen it, it’s bad).

Yeah I agree, its one thing that annoys me about the show. I like the KK Show, but i find their analysis of the West to be cringey. I havent listened to this episode yet

I just listened. I dont like the “Go Back to your Own Country” stuff. Bailinguo is now pretty mainstream in Taiwan and those kinds of sentiment are pretty fucking unacceptable, even if they are joking. I listen to their show often and am pretty dissapointed in them for that.

I follow the “Taiwanese in the UK” group on Facebook and the people there often complain about the UK and criticize things that I feel are not fair or that often they dont really understand. I would never tell them to go back to their own country.

There is one Facebook group where the foreigners are all anti-vax types though, it might have been that one or could be here. Comparing the quarantine hotels or the facilities to Gulags is a complete joke and insulting to people who have had to suffer. I get why Ken is annoyed, and agree with his sentiments but telling people to go back to their own country is not acceptable.

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This guy is way out of order repeating go back to your country over and over. Maybe once he could joke about it but they go on and on with the negative stereotypes about this foreigner and that foreigner and about English teachers. English teachers are the reason this jerk can speak English right…

Maybe Taiwan doesn’t want foreigners help when the shit hits the fan ? Doesn’t want weapons, vaccines or support
…Doesn’t want English teachers for their kids ?

It’s also true that Taiwan public insult laws can easily get you in trouble. If you call a given mayor an asshole yes he can sue you very very quickly.
Its also true that foreigners are prohibited from political activities I believe.

Next time a jerk off repeats go back to your country you tell the fine…You go back to China first.

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I don’t like that they are stereotyping all foreigners as having these views.

And insulting English teachers is a pretty low blow especially as they had serious struggles this Summer. It’s really a cheap shot at foreigners.

Two ways they insulted them and it was way out of order.

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Yeah Taiwanese go abroad to teach Chinese. I wouldnt call them losers or begrudge them being upset about loss of income.

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I only begrudgingly listen to the podcast when there’s a guest I’m excited to hear from. However, since they’ve gotten popular, the hosts’ “humor” becomes more and more grating. To the point I just stopped listening all together.

They had a couple of episodes discussing Seqalu the TV series, and Karisi Flower, the book the TV series is based on. I can’t even get through the episode when they had the author, who is a renowned medical doctor and elected to the national assembly, on the podcast.

The endless stream of random sex jokes, which they don’t even bother to packaged as some clever innuendo, derails the talk so much, that I sometimes think the guests stop trying to share.

I know they watch American late night shows and listen to American podcasts for inspiration, man, they need to take a page or two from Seth Meyers.

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Right I get the criticism because I would criticize it myself but we don’t have to go full on into xenophobia.

The English teacher comments are the most irritating since they completely discount how teachers have been impacted by the pandemic. Many people here are teaching because that is their career and they are providing a valuable service. I used to teach once upon time and don’t know what I would’ve done during a lockdown like the one we just experienced.

I hope they do read this forum so they can see their content is only as good as the guest speakers, and not because of their crap jokes.

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These guys have interesting guests, and those episodes are definitely worth listening to.

But they’re really full of themselves now and barely discuss the news. Plus they have a lot of commercial commitments and so pretty much are only interested in producing 台灣棒棒 content.

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Never heard of them.

The 於北辰 ones were the best they did. Really interesting hearing proper dialogue between opposite sides of Taiwan political spectrum. Or at least for me as a foreigner it is

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Agreed, those ones were really good.

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Teaching English isn’t that easy or well paid.

For somebody to look down on others who are doing a decent honorable job cos they have difficulties…fk you.

And I’m not even an English teacher but I have taught part time before and I find it amazing when people criticise what is a very beneficial profession for Taiwan…

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They are becoming close to mainstream media in Taiwan and should be more responsible about what influence they are having

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Considering they themselves created the podcast on the premise of “teaching English through bilingual news” and failed hard to carry through, they really aren’t the ones to trash English teaching.

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It’s also very very easy to throw around racial terms lao wai but why not interview these Lao wai to their face if you are going to make it a racial thing and give them a chance to represent their own views ?
Have the balls to insult them to their face?
This is basically lowest common denominator racist stuff.

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They have had foreigners on the show before to be fair.

They can do better than this, really lost the way

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Did they say that kind of stuff to their face ?

No, they were journalists and diplomats