2012年1月29日 星期日

中出時報幹得好哇!

另外,華郵專訪原文在下面

向淪為極權化妝師的蔡大亨說不(黃國昌、瞿海源)
蘋果日報 2012年 01月30日

在《華盛頓郵報》(The Washington Post)接受普立茲獎得主Andrew Higgins專訪,對於任何在台灣的媒體老闆而言,都是一件值得大書特書的事。然而,《華郵》在1月21日刊出對旺旺中時集團主席蔡衍明的訪問報導「Tycoon prods Taiwan closer to China」,卻未見諸絕大多數的台灣媒體,甚至由蔡大亨所領導的三中集團亦隻字未提,讓人著實納悶,不知是同業相妒,還是三中太謙。不過,讀者只要自行閱讀《華郵》的報導全文,即會頓時明瞭,沒有報導,其實是對蔡大亨的禮遇與保護。這個現象,也透露了台灣民主自由所正面臨日益險峻的危機。



蔡大亨在那篇報導中坦率地承認,之所以「開除」將陳雲林描述為一個中國C咖政治人物的《中時》編輯,是因為「他冒犯了許多人而傷害到我」,蔡大亨更意有所指的表示:「記者雖然有批評的自由,但是下筆前必須考慮後果。」同樣令人震驚而錯愕的是,蔡大亨不僅表示「中國在許多地方是很民主的」,更公開企圖為中國共產黨在六四天安門事件的暴行掩飾辯護,聲稱「關於屠殺的報導不是真的,我認知到死的人不可能真的那麼多」!蔡大亨近乎淪為中共傳聲筒的言論,迫使Higgins必須立即在報導中補充陳述「的確有數百人於1989年6月3-4日在北京遭到軍隊殺害」,以免讀者遭到誤導。
看完蔡大亨顛倒黑白的言論,所有人應不難理解,為何中國民運人士王丹會憤怒地隨即在其「臉書」宣布:本人即日起拒買《中國時報》!或許將令這位昔日六四學運領袖更加痛苦而無奈的是,蔡大亨根本不會在意他(甚至不會在意任何人)是否拒買《中時》,掌控媒體影響台灣公共輿論、政經發展的無形、但卻更深更遠的收益,才是蔡大亨真正關心的事情。誠如蔡大亨在報導中所言:「旺旺需要的是吃飯的嘴,台灣只有2300萬人,中國卻有10億以上的人口……最重要的事情是,中國的市場太大了!」這個表白,也充分解釋了,為什麼《中時》及《旺報》在台灣是到處用「送」的,銷售量根本不是重點。

異化台灣民主自由
純粹由經濟學的觀點,蔡大亨的確是一位「理性的生意人」,他只問「利潤」,他不必去思考,為何是在他所輕視的台灣小島上,儘管絕大多數的住民反對與中國統一,但卻願意絕對地保障他主張台灣應盡速與中國統一的言論自由;相反地,他所極力吹捧的中國,卻嚴厲而殘酷地打壓異己,不容任何反對中共的言論,迄今仍悍然地禁錮諾貝爾和平獎得主劉曉波先生,讓諾貝爾和平獎的頒獎典禮,出現有史以來的第一張空位子!
對於絕大多數生長在台灣的我們而言,不僅沒有蔡大亨的Gulfstream 200私人噴射機,更沒有蔡大亨的地位與餘裕不去認真地思考,我們到底要留給自己及後代子孫什麼樣的人文社會與生長環境?我們如果不能有智慧地捍衛在這塊土地上得來不易的民主、自由與人權,又何能侈言台灣的經驗必將引領中國走向民主自由的道路!我們如果不能勇敢地向類如蔡大亨這種甘心為個人利益而淪為極權化妝師的人說不,又怎麼能避免讓自己沉浸在民主的幻覺之中,卻一步步將自己的命運交由少數兩岸權貴決定的未來!
追求統一是蔡大亨個人的政治信仰自由,我們雖不贊同,但願極力捍衛。不過,蔡大亨挾其掌控的龐大傳媒為中國鎮壓民主、踐踏人權的政權擦脂抹粉,不僅不惜扭曲事實,更企圖異化台灣的民主自由,則是我們必須共同積極對抗的大事。

黃國昌為中央研究院法律學研究所副研究員、澄社社長;瞿海源為中央研究院社會學研究所研究員、澄社社員


Tycoon prods Taiwan closer to China

By Andrew Higgins, Published: January 21

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Shortly before Taiwan’s presidential election last weekend, Tsai Eng Meng, a local billionaire who spends most of his time in China, jumped in his Gulfstream 200 corporate jet and flew home to cast his vote.

More than 200,000 other Taiwanese businessmen based in China also rushed back, contributing to a comfortable victory by an incumbent president committed to rapprochement with China.

Tsai’s role in prodding Taiwan closer to China, however, is far bigger than just his ballot. He not only has dozens of factories churning out rice crackers on the Chinese mainland but also controls a string of media properties in Taiwan that champion ever-closer ties between this boisterous island democracy and authoritarian but increasingly prosperous China.

“Whether you like it or not, unification is going to happen sooner or later,” said Tsai, the chairman of Want Want Group, a sprawling conglomerate comprising a giant food business, media interests, hotels, hospitals and real estate.

While opinion polls show that only a tiny minority of people in Taiwan want a swift merger with China, Tsai says he can’t wait: “I really hope that I can see that.”

Many Taiwanese tycoons now look to China for most of their profits, and the island’s wealthy cheered the election victory last Saturday of President Ma Ying-jeou against a rival who favors keeping Beijing at arm’s length. “Praise the Lord for showing that he cares about Taiwan,” Cher Wang, a devout Christian and multibillionaire businesswoman, told local media.

But only Tsai, Taiwan’s third-richest person according to a Forbes magazine ranking, has poured so much money into trying to shape opinion through media that, critics say, often echo the views of Beijing. He controls three Taiwan newspapers, a television station, various magazines and a cable network. A bid for a second, bigger cable operator is now under review by Taiwan’s National Communications Commission.

When China Times, a leading Taiwan newspaper Tsai purchased in 2008, published an article that described China’s top negotiator on Taiwan as “third rate,” the editor was promptly fired. Want Daily, a tabloid Tsai launched in 2009, provides a daily digest of mostly upbeat stories about China and the benefits for Taiwan of closer cooperation.

Journalists, said the tycoon in an interview in a Taipei hotel that he also owns, are free to criticize but “need to think carefully before they write” and avoid “insults” that cause offense. The dismissed editor, he said, was a talented writer but “hurt me by offending people, not just mainlanders. On lots of things, people were offended.”

Taiwan still has a vibrant press. The biggest-selling paper is Apple Daily, which is owned by Jimmy Lai, a Hong Kong-based Taiwan mogul and pro-democracy advocate who is detested by Beijing.

Freedom House, a U.S. group that monitors liberties around the world, said in a report last year that “Taiwan’s media environment is one of the freest in Asia,” while China’s is “one of the world’s most restrictive.” But it also warned that growing commercial links across the Taiwan Strait, the narrow band of water between Taiwan and China, “raised concerns that media owners and some journalists were whitewashing news about China to protect their financial interests.”

Economics first

Tsai denied currying favor with Chinese officials to advance his business and said he wants only to help Taiwan get over its wariness of the mainland. China “is very democratic in lots of places. Lots of things are not what people outside think,” he said, adding that it is “constantly moving forward” while “Taiwan progresses very slowly.”

Elections, he said, are fine, but economics should come first: “Most of us don’t want to become some sort of chairman or president. . . . From the standpoint of ordinary people, the most important thing is to eat a little better, sleep a little better and be a little happier.”

Tsai said he, too, used to fear China’s ruling Communist Party and didn’t want to risk doing business on the mainland, but that changed after the 1989 military assault on student protesters in Tiananmen Square. While the crackdown outraged most in Taiwan, Tsai said he was struck by footage of a lone protester standing in front of a People’s Liberation Army tank. The fact that the man wasn’t killed, he said, showed that reports of a massacre were not true: “I realized that not that many people could really have died.”

The party’s own propaganda apparatus made the same argument at the time, citing the tank incident as evidence of the military’s “humanity.” What happened to the unidentified man who faced down the tank is still not known. Hundreds of others were killed by the army elsewhere in Beijing on June 3-4, 1989.

Tsai has since moved most of Want Want’s operations to China, where the company employs more than 50,000 people, compared with 6,000 in Taiwan. It has 331 sales offices in China. In Taiwan, it has two. His corporate jet is painted bright red. Focused on selling food, Want Want “needs mouths,” Tsai said. “Taiwan has only 23 million people, but China has more than a billion. . . . The most important thing is that the mainland market is so big.” It generates more than 90 percent of his profits.

A more pro-China line

When Tsai first bought China Times and an affiliated television station, rumors spread that he had received encouragement and even money from Beijing, which was wary of the media group falling into the hands of Lai, the owner of Apple Daily.

Lai was near to signing a deal but lost out at the last minute when Tsai offered more money.

Tsai denied getting any help from Beijing. “I’ve already got money,” he said. “Why would I go and take their money?”

Since the takeover, the paper has nonetheless veered sharply toward a more pro-China line, say journalists who have worked there and media analysts. The goal, according to Want Want’s own company brochure, is to make China Times “the most influential Chinese-language daily” so as to “benefit the public” and “promote peace and harmony across the Strait.” Flora Chang, a professor at National Taiwan University’s Graduate Institute of Journalism, said Tsai’s media “are very biased” in favor of positive news about China.

Wuerkaixi, a former Tiananmen Square student leader who now lives in exile in Taiwan, said he used to regularly get asked to write columns in China Times but not anymore.

When a provincial Communist Party boss traveled to Taiwan from China in 2010, he got an effusive greeting from Tsai on the front page: “On behalf of colleagues at Want Want, I welcome the Hubei Province (Party) Committee Secretary.” The Chinese official, who visited CtiTV, a cable channel owned by Tsai, was invited to “give guidance.”

Tsai said he was just being polite and denied being obsequious to boost his business in China. “I don’t stroke the horse’s bottom,” he said, using a Chinese phrase for flattery.

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