Taiwan TV news station slammed for parody of N. Korean broadcaster

The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday lambasted broadcast station Chinese Television System for airing a segment in which a political reporter engaged in a "tasteless" and "insensitive" parody of veteran North Korean anchorwoman Lee Chun Hee in the wake of former leader Kim Jong Il's death.

For the journalistic mishap, CTS News Department Manager Lin Shu-ching has offered to resign. CTS issued a public statement hours after reporter Max Su personally apologized for the antics of Liang Fang-yu, the reporter who donned traditional Korean attire, called herself "Liang Chun Hee," and garbled in a mixture of Chinese and a mimicry of the Korean language Monday night.

NCC Spokesperson Chen Jeng-chang called Liang's on-air behavior "grossly exaggerated," describing it as a "failure of common sense." Scholars cite the incidence as further evidence of the devaluing of Taiwan news media into the realm of entertainment.

In the CTS statement, the company acknowledged the mass criticism that resulted from Liang's report.

"The CTS is not only open to the response of its audience, but also has the courage for self-reflection," the statement read. The news station is in the process of conducting an "internal review" and will submit its findings to experts and press council members on ways to make future improvements.

It was Lee who broke the news of Kim's death to the world Monday, wearing a black hanbok - the traditional Korean dress - while crying silently on the nation's Korean Central Television.

Liang's broadcast plays out like a comedic sketch; the reporter relayed the latest news on the upcoming presidential elections via exaggerated speech and a song-and-dance number.

CTS initially defended the segment as a way to let off some steam as the election intensifies. Numerous viewers' complaints and reports filed to the NCC however, forced the station to address the matter in all seriousness and make numerous apologies.

The death of Kim, known as the "Great Leader" to North Koreans, is nationally and publicly mourned.

Some experts see his demise as a threat to the stability of the region, especially regarding its long-standing, tense relationship with neighbor South Korea.

The NCC called the station's actions incredibly insensitive and disrespectful. Spokesman Chen pointed out that local media must be empathic at the passing of world leaders, regardless of whether the country has ties with Taiwan.