Thursday 7 May 2015

'I detest TRS': MDA critics holding their noses while defending freedom of speech

"I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
- Attributed to Voltaire, but first used by Evelyn Beatrice Hall, writing under the pseudonym of Stephen G Tallentyre in the book The Friends Of Voltaire (1906), as a summary of Voltaire's beliefs.

I've noticed an interesting trend in a few articles arguing against MDA shutting The Real Singapore (TRS) - the writers seem to feel the need to disclose that they're no fans of TRS.

From Alex Au:
I wish I could fill you in with a better description of TRS’ behaviour, but the fact is, I have not bothered to look at its articles for a very long time. I formed the opinion quite early on that it tended to engage in hyperbole and seemed to revel in intolerant speech. It was not worth my while to spend time on that site. From mentions by others on Facebook over the years, I believe my opinion is shared by many. People often criticised the site for its inaccuracies and exaggerations. I even remember an instance when someone urged a boycott.

From Kirsten Han
Let’s be clear: I detest The Real Singapore (TRS). Far from journalism, it has participated in rumour-mongering and the demonisation of groups of people, many already marginalised and stigmatised in society. If everyone in Singapore chose to stage a boycott of the site, or to write a public statement protesting its behaviour, I would be a most willing participant.

From The Online Citizen
Personally, I’m not a fan of TRS. I find their content laughable at best, and downright unsavoury at worst. I’m definitely not agreeable to how they source for their content.

From Stuff About Singapore
Now, I’m no supporter of TRS. I think the articles it posts are stridently anti-foreigner, filled with falsehoods, and designed to mislead. I’ve also fallen victim to its questionable editorial tactics – when I was still chairperson of Raffles Press, TRS shamelessly took one of the editorials I wrote and re-posted it without my consent. It is not, by any measure, the voice of the average Singaporean.

Yes, these people are actually arguing AGAINST the shutting down of TRS.

Even Mr Brown tweeted:

But at least one blogger, Masked Crusader, made it a point to declare being a TRS fan:
I have enjoyed the eclectic fare—and surprises—on TRS and am not ashamed to say I miss it.
If only the blogger isn't "masked".