The Straits Times Bitch
If you thought that this post is about a ‘bitch’ who works for The Straits Times, sorry to disappoint you hor. This entry is about censorship in our esteemed local newspaper. In particular, the censorship of the word ‘bitch’. Our local media is grappling with issues of censorship for a long time (no lah, not about whether to write bad things about the gahmen or not – that one the answer is quite clear oredi :p). The media dunno whether they can use swear words in print or not. Like should they use the word “bastard” or use “bas*&%#”?
On 22 Jul 2005, The Straits Times also ran a story on Xiaxue’s blog being hacked, titled “Blocked out of their own blogs”. Writing about the message that was left on the hacked website, the article said…. “In [the original blog’s] place was a rude six-line message, which referred to her as a bitch”. Neat and straightforward use of the word. Clap, clap! Just when I thought that our beloved newspaper had progressed, I saw this….
On the same day, the editorial was titled “From India, with love”. Writing about U.S.-India relations, our darling newspaper had this to say…. “Indians are ‘treacherous’ and ‘vicious’, they said; Mrs Gandhi [the late prime minister of India] was a ‘witch’ and something else that rhymed with ‘rich’.
Hmmm…lemme see, what words rhyme with ‘rich’? twitch? kitsch? stitch? itch? switch? Sorry ah, but I almost threw up when I saw the editorial. You are reporting facts….so if someone called another a ‘bitch’ and you want to report it so badly, then just say it for Heavens sake. Gawd! Which conservative world are the editors living in? I really dunno whether the difference in the use of the word ‘bitch’ (in the same paper on the same day) has something to do with hypocrisy or just pathetic journalistic editing. One thing is clear though…our local media sure seem confused when it comes to the use of swear words.