While I understand that candidates in an election would be prone to saying all kinds of things, opposition candidates included, I wonder if such “allegations” should be headline news, given that they are, you know, allegations.
But what makes this even more unforgivable is that DPM Teo had also actually said he would wait for Mr Png Eng Huat to clarify his earlier remarks which DPM Teo had taken umbrage at apparently.
So, why did the Straits Times use this as a headline, and on the front page no less?
Why indeed when the Workers’ Party, and Mr Low Thia Khiang in particular, had given a detailed explanation of how Mr Png’s name had ended up on the ballot paper.
One would have thought that any editor worth his salt, and his salary, would have chosen a fairer headline, taking into account the fact that the WP had given an account or explanation of the issue in question.
So, what gives?
Well, if one goes back to history, the Straits Times has a habit of pulling this sort of stunts towards the second half of elections. Sometimes, they don’t even pretend to be “fair” and are blatantly irresponsible right from the get-go.
Yes, irresponsible because that headline presents a misleading impression. It is irresponsible because WP had already given an explanation of the issue at hand. Irresponsible because it is on the front page of the rag (yes, rag).
But here’s the thing: the Straits Times, which its masters tout as a “nation building” paper, does not seem to understand that such juvenile attempts at propaganda is stale, and more significantly, will win the ruling party no friends.
So, why does the Straits Times do things like this, in an age when the Internet is gaining wider readership and is presenting an increasingly credible alternative to the mainstream press?
One can only guess it is a force of habit – a habit to please, to jump the gun, much like the eunuchs of old who would bend and grovel to please their masters.
But it also just means that if the Straits Times, the main broadsheet in S’pore, carries on like this, the alternative online media will gain ground more easily, if it isn’t already doing so.
And oh, with the likes of STOMP and such laughable and amateur bids at propaganda, perhaps it is time for the mainstream media to be slapped with a code of conduct – one where minimal journalistic standards are expected of them.
But not to worry. The Straits Times can continue to do what it pleases. There are more interesting and better quality content online nowadays.
Here’s a little proof of it: Edwin Koo.
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