DPP denies report of Su’s wife’s VIP home tour

The China Post

By Lydia Lin–The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday lambasted local broadcast station TVBS for its “false” exclusive on DPP Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan’s wife, Hung Heng-chu, which claimed she attended a VIP-only preview of art and luxury real estate at a Kaohsiung gallery Saturday. Contesting the report, DPP Spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien said Hung spent Saturday afternoon with artist Chiu Hsu-chong (邱旭衝) of the Pingtung-based Ba Bi Song art gallery (巴比頌美學咖啡畫廊), who organized an art excursion to Kaohsiung for his students. Chiu confirmed that he took roughly 15 students, Hung included, on a trip to the Kaohsiung Museum Of Fine Arts and the Vitor Art Space in the afternoon for the purpose of art appreciation and nothing else. The artist admitted he had been invited by the gallery organizers to preview the exhibition based on his standing in the art community, yet maintained he and his students were there as visitors, not prospective buyers. There were no previews of art sales or tours of luxury homes, said Lin. He demanded that TVBS issue corrections and apologies for its “misinformed” exclusive. The TVBS report, which aired Saturday night, was based on online images that allegedly captured Hung attending a realty-sponsored preview targeting the pampered social set of “tai tais,” the Eastern equivalent of “ladies who lunch.”

With luxury homes carrying a price tags of up to NT$60 million, the TVBS exclusive depicted the houses allegedly open for preview as spacious and plush, with wide gallery kitchens, large bedrooms and public facilities including indoor swimming pools and gyms. Local talk shows also picked up on the segment, discussing Hung’s “upper crust” taste and exclusive activities in length. Lin said Hung was both surprised and distressed when the report came out, not understanding why the local broadcast station had turned a simple museum outing into a salacious affair. The DPP urged all media to exercise objective and professional reporting, more specifically to verify facts before jumping on an alleged exclusive.

Chiu pushed for TVBS to take responsibility and set the record straight. There was no art sale preview or luxury mansion tour, Chiu said, and the false report had troubled and disturbed both him and his students. For the mistake, TVBS should issue a public apology and attempt to right its journalistic mishap, he added. Both Su and Hung have been under fire recently for their media-dubbed “luxury farmhouse” in Pingtung County, the legality of which has been a hot topic of debate between the Pingtung County Government and the Council of Agriculture (COA). Several talk show hosts made the link between the farmhouse and Hung’s supposed “luxury mansion shopping.”