Cheng Hung-yi to leave ‘Talking Show’ after 10 years
This is probably the biggest news of the year. It came as a shock for some and many loyal supporters are saddened and angered by this news. Personally, I am impressed by how Cheng Hung-yi (鄭弘儀) had managed to withstand all the pressure for this long. I do not believe that Cheng resigned purely for personal reasons.
Talking Show (大話新聞) has consistently been the No. 1 political talk show. This is partly because pro-Taiwan and green friendly shows are in the minority in the media and the collective support from pro-Taiwan viewers who see the show as the only outlet of their voices makes it really stand out. It also owes thanks to Cheng and his team’s superior ability in gathering and effectively using materials and evidence to support their arguments and critiques. For these reasons, Cheng and the regular guests have been ‘marked’ by the KMT. When the attempt to buy them off failed, the KMT government has brought suits against them probably to intimidate and harass.
Internally, Cheng seemed to have been marked by one of the ‘higher ups’ as a thorn in the side and this person has tried very hard to push him out. He has often been asked to tone down criticisms on the KMT government. The company will lose a lot of loyal pro-Taiwan and pro-democracy viewers but they probably believe that the profits from the Chinese market will more than compensate the loss in Taiwan. We shall see if Cheng’s departure triggers a domino effect of pro-Taiwan voices being eliminated gradually. I hope not. With that level of popularity, Cheng can easily do another show which matches or surpasses the success of Talking Show but I am not sure which TV company would be going against the political tides at this time. Some people have suggested FTV but it seems to be another empire of its own and may not be as pro-Taiwan as some might think.