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The sky is falling

Taiwan's Apple Daily newspaper isn't known for editorial restraint.

The most recent example, above, shows the paper's reaction Thursday to the latest economic news. The screaming red headline reads "Big Recession," and in smaller print: "last quarter's economic growth rate: -8.36%."

Below the headline, a massive meteor annihilates the island in a cataclysmic strike.

To be sure, the statistics released this week were pretty darn bad. Agence France-Presse had a good summary of the news, in English.

The contraction in the fourth quarter of 2008 was the biggest slump since the government began keeping such statistics in 1961. Exports were down nearly 20 percent. And the government now forecasts that the economy will shrink nearly 3 percent this year.

"This is likely to be the longest recession in Taiwan's history so far," the report quoted one government official as saying.

Gloomy stuff, indeed. But Apple Daily has already wiped out Taiwan with a meteorite — what's it gonna put on the front page if this quarter's numbers are even worse?