[EDITORIALS]An Outrageous Accusation

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[EDITORIALS]An Outrageous Accusation

The ruling Millennium Democratic Party is blasting every day the opposition Grand National Party and a few local newspapers for allegedly attempting to establish a collusive link. The ruling camp is apparently making such charges because the opposition party's criticism about the government's tax investigations into domestic news organizations is in line with opinions voiced by the newspapers.

Our position on the controversial tax probe is that we will abide by the law according to the final decision by the judiciary. We are raising issue with the tax scrutiny simply because the timing and the intensity are unusual and because we suspect the results were premeditated. The opposition decides on its own whether or not to agree with the condemnations made by the newspapers.

Railing at the opposition party and some newspapers as if they were in a collusive relationship, because they make the same charges against the government, is outrageous. The charges of collusion may be applied to news organizations that blindly defend and echo the ruling party's logic but not to newspapers critical of the government. We are appalled by the ruling party's argument because it is so self-righteous.

Jeon Yong-hak, spokesman for the ruling party, went even further to say that a Grand National Party task force is "attempting to establish collusive links with some media firms," contacting ranking officials at some newspaper companies to gather information that can be used to attack the current administration. Obviously, he was trying to sully the reputation of newspaper companies as a whole. If he intended to do so, he should disclose in detail the opposition lawmakers involved and what kind of information they exchanged.

Recently, Representative. Kim Moo-sung of the GNP reportedly made an absurd remark that newspapers should continue to criticize the current administration so that the opposition party can win the presidential elections next year. He should realize that newspapers' role is to criticize the power, not to side with or speak for the opposition party. We issue this warning: Politicians must not use the media in their partisan conflicts.
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