Should politicians host TV shows?

Is it unethical for a legislator to host a political talking heads show on a privately-owned TV channel?

  • It ain’t right
  • Nothing wrong with it at all
  • Nothing wrong with it as long as there’s no legislative election campaign underway

0 voters

Sisy Chen’s (

In the UK, dozens of MP’s have appeared on Have I got News For You, The mayor of London is one of the most regular (and funniest) guests, Even been hosted by Boris Johnson and Charles Kennedy, but it’s hardly a politican show…

There’s discussion programmes where they can be political, but they would never be allowed to host a programme like that, the TV has to be impartial, let one party on, it has to let them all on. The government does own the BBC, but has zero control over it.

The situation in Britain is very different from here. Most UK people only get 4 channels, 2 of which are supposed to follow some kind of public service remit. So, no, you probably wouldn’t want politicians with their own shows.

But Taiwan has countless privately funded cable channels. I really can’t see what the principle is against letting politicans have their shows and letting the market determine if anyone wants to watch. The more open discussion, the better, no?

What’s different about politicians appearing as regular guests on the same sort of shows (e.g. Newsnight in the UK)? Diane Lee and Lai Shi-bao seem to spend their evenings flitting between studios casting pearls of wisdom.

And I wonder in particular what’s so sacred about TV . Politicians often write commentaries for newspapers. Many have their own websites. Would video-streaming a show over the internet be ok? I don’t get it.


I remember in NZ when John Banks (a right-wing, shit talking MP who would be right at home in Taiwan’s legislature) had his own radio show, it was considered somewhat unethical. I think one of the principles of western liberal democracy is the clear separation of government from the ‘fourth estate’. There is a further aspect, which is that politicians get paid an awful lot of money to represent us and draft laws and stuff. It’s pretty bad that that half the time they’re too busy with their TV shows or whatever to show up at work (in Taiwan many committee meetings get cancelled for lack of a quorum, and there’s a lot of absence int he House).


It’s one thing to be guest on a talk show, which Sisy certainly has the right to be, but to be the HOST of a show, that’s a no no. Sisy, take the money and run! I heard she’s a very rich girl, by the way, family money, stock market!

Good thing about SiSy’s show is that intelligent discussion and explanation. Of course, she has a position (what she believes). With her resources, her interpretation of state’s policies may not be 100% correct all the time. Such polices are examined by guests and audiences.
Some believes that “the TV has to be impartial, let one party on, it has to let them all on.” I would like to replace “TV” with “news program.” So many trash TV programs spreading out unethical and discriminative message, why should we ask more on Sisy’s Show?
On her constant discussions on the high speed rail project, Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. has many other platforms to respond on question of taxpayers