The New Puritanism - Taiwan style

It’s really happening now.

Two DPP legislators are in hot water for, gasp, visiting a hostess bar. Nine celebrities who were tested for practically every known recreational/abusable drug because their numbers were found on a pot-dealer’s cell phone will be going to the clink sometime around Chinese New Year. Another eleven are now going to be tested.

It all seems to me to be the expected outcome of the social changes that can be traced back to the ominous days of the black-shirted Truth rally. Just as the past eight years of American post-Lewinsky politics were wasted pursuing higher moralism rather than good government, Taiwan’s media manipulators and politicians have also realized that indignation at the behavior of others sells well to a public made brain-dead through overexposure to television. Taiwan even has it’s own Larry King knock-off.

It’s ugly, and it’s coming to get you.


It’s not boinking that got them in trouble. The guesthouse owner has done business with the government and has gotten contracts from the administration. He’s also involved with the receipt scandal. Looks like somebody’s pole is getting greased, along with their palms. Looks bad.


Wasn’t there a thread here criticizing KMT folks visiting hostesses bars on the mainland? Speaking of double standards. :noway:

Now the Minister of Education is a bad father because his son recently got filmed visiting a “private club” for his friend’s birthday party, and even though they brought their own female friends, he’s in the army right now, and his dad’s important so that was very wrong of him (and his dad for raising him wrong).

That’s what’s playing on some of the pan-blue (I’m so tempted to just say right-wing) talk shows tonight.

So why don’t the pan-blues just vote to make the private clubs illegal? Most are just that - private clubs -they’re not whorehouses or anything. Right.

Maybe they would prefer to create an independent monitoring body with members appointed in proportion to the number of seats held by each party in the legislature.

The KMT are a bunch of hypocrits … they never look in the mirror …

… oh, and those ‘talkshows’ are just cheap entertainment, cheap in every way …

Don’t like 'em…Don’t watch 'em.

Politicians and Taiwan TV “News” shows, that is.

Those Taiwan “news” reports are something else, arnt they? Clutters of Chinese characters in a riot of colors screaming-stretching across half of the screen, rendering a sort of cheap and hysterical tabloid style, and utterly hard to take seriously.

And except for something like last week’s headline grabbing legislature melee, which occurs quite often in Taiwan, on a slow day the news in Taiwan dont really put as much emphasis on political coverage as should be considering the acute political divisions that exist.

Instead there are the endless tales of some porky comedian getting caught and eventually off for swindling gamblers in his private mahjong den; or other malnourished entertainer/sluts in trouble with possession of something or other illicit… :loco: Who fucking cares.

Apparently enough viewers in Taiwan do. :unamused:

Honestly, I don’t think it’s that different from American TV. When was the last time you watched Fox? There are style differences, and just as you don’t expect CNY to look like XMAS, the presentation style is just different.

Observe some of the commercials made here. The slicker ones can be just as polished technically as their corresponding high-budget commercials in America. The news content isn’t that different, though of course there are a lot more feature reports about various vegetables and restaurants over here.

The limits placed on journalists here are less for some reason. That’s what makes it disgusting for me. Maybe that can be traced to the audience, sure.

I don’t understand the TV news well enough to really be commenting on it, but I wonder how their tone is when reporting on these recent things mentioned in this thread. Is the new puritanism coming from the media or the pan-blues or the political class in general?

It can’t be coming from the common people. They seem to be getting more liberal-minded by the day, at least in Taipei.

I think its always there, this sense of professed modesty and honor associated with an Asian/Chinese society. To be tapped into from time to time. Not a bad thing really. Whatever works for a group of people may not apply to others and if the Taiwaneses feel it important to exert some unwritten codes of behavior on their society at large, some kind of pressure to refrain from “waywardness”, its just a particular thing like culltural idiosyncracies.

What makes the whole enterprises so disgusting, in your word, regarding the local tv is their tendency to tease and titillate with overdoing those stories of illicit pleasures. The society finds it in itself to openly shun those behaviors, thats one thing, but while reinforcing these “moral” sensibilities, its just typical of those “news reports” in dissecting the stories in an infinity of angles to attempt to make you feel like a voyeur, and enjoy it. The joy of vicarious and somewhat repressed enjoyment of others’ sexcapades, to get only that much dirty without fully commiting and exposing yourself. Its just like a typical asian thing, like in Japan where they like anime cartoon instead the real deal; and when it comes to real people skin mags they will always be holding back instead of banning them outright.

But my primary quarrel with Taiwan’s news is the sometimes absence of serious political reporting. On some days you ll have to wait till the half hour mark before there are some familiar faces of legislators/politicians doing second burst of soundbites and then back to more celebrity gossips or some teachers’ transgressing hands on students.

[quote=“one man riot”]But my primary quarrel with Taiwan’s news is the sometimes absence of serious political reporting. On some days you ll have to wait till the half hour mark before there are some familiar faces of legislators/politicians doing second burst of soundbites and then back to more celebrity gossips or some teachers’ transgressing hands on students.[/quote]Good points.
Ya know what my biggest complaint about the TV “News” show is/are?
They go through all the long drawn out ‘reportage’ on some story about poisoned food/abused wife/child/whatever, rip-off selling bai-bai food at a discount, somebody stealing a newly-weds furniture and peeing on the bed (saw this one while at breakfast this morning) or many other things…and they never tell what the heck the Police do about it!
Do they report this to the Police? Do the Police arrest these yokels? Do the offender - caught on video doing their foul deeds - see the judge? Do they get a sentence in the steel bar hotel?
What the heck happens to these miscreants?

ok…thats my rant on this. :sunglasses:

That reminds me. Of the many closed circuit tv that abound in Taiwan, and reels off them that get played during news report, to give the viewers a sense of realism I suppose.(Failing which, the stations are perfectly willing to reenact with actors, as in the recent rash of serial sexual assaults in Taipei on single women. More titillation…) You got footage of convenience store holdups, personal vehicles getting trashed during the night, some pervert holding a mobile phone camera underneath the skirts of unsuspecting females in lift lobby(a clear shot of the perv’s face albeit grainy and partially hidden under a cap, wonder what the police did about that one), even out on the highway where the camera caught in whole some bag lady getting run over by a car and the driver backed over her just to make sure. This one did end up in police custody and he didnt know the women personally.

Too bad these security cameras weren’t around when First Lady Wu was run over and backed over just to make sure. That one didn’t end up in police custody and likely never will.

Then again, even when there is footage of a political assasination attempt, it is still twisted according to the blue TV stations’ purposes. The shooting of Abian and VP Lu was caught on camera. Yet, Chou Hsi-wei claimed the bullet came from within the jeep. Too bad for him Henry Lee proved the shots came from outside the jeep. Furthermore, security cameras did capture the balding, yellow-jacketed shooter inside the “hot zone” (the guy who not coincidentally later destroyed all evidence and committed suicide). But, that still doesn’t stop the media from pushing KMT nonsense of a hoax.

Goodness, you’re not going to bring THAT up again, are you?

My point in my last post is not that the news isn’t sensational, but that so are most local news stations in America. I guess I’m not trying to compare CBS or CBC or anything. I think a lot of foreigners mentally exaggerate the difference in editorial direction.

Where I see a difference is in the specifics of reporter behavior. It is so commonplace to take cameras into hospital rooms, police station waiting areas, airport arrivals, etc. etc. The regular news here is like paparazzi behavior in the west. And even at a press conference, why are there like 45 microphones in the subject’s face? Haven’t they ever heard of a press pool?

I like TC’s point about the mysterious etherial nature of policing in Taiwan. It does extend to the press strangely always failing to comment on the incredible ineptitude of the police.

Except for the incredible low-speed chase that ended in a bloodbath of bullets. That one was too much. I think even the reporters were jibing then.
:help: :cop:
:grandpa: :hungry:

Police + Ineptitude + Bad Media = Mafia

The rest is up to you guys…

Hey guys, don’t you see the ironical part of the visit to a nightclub of the son of the Minister of Education… he didn’t give the proper edu to his kid - “YOU DON’T TAKE YOUR GAL TO THOSE PLACES…” nuf said…