Did MDA really shut down Breakfast Network?

December 17, 2013

“As far as first impressions goes that may well appear to be the case. I can well understand why many may have drawn that conclusion. Believe me, I can. As the custodians of power seem to be very vigorous in taming the many voices in the Internet of late.

But what I find particularly strange is how Bertha Henson seems to be single-mindedly coy about not choosing to reveal specifics concerning what exactly about the registration process specified by MDA caused her to conclude that it would make more sense to wind up the whole enterprise instead of just complying and carrying on.

I find this particularly strange to say the least from someone who seems to make it a point of reminding all of us in many of her trite articles on the importance of keeping to the fidelity to the truth when in comes to online reportage.

So what do we really have here in terms of raw material to fashion an opinion on why BN closed shop.

Let’s see. The chief editor of an online outfit that has not even revealed a single compelling reason why she believed it would make more sense to continue and has instead opted to pack up her show like a traveling circus without revealing any other reason other than the fact she is unable to comply with MDA’s criteria.

This should prompt any reader with half a brain (such as myself) to ask two questions.

Firstly, what exactly was the criteria which Bertha Henson experienced difficulty complying with? Well in the absence of any information, one could certainly be forgiven for drawing the conclusion it might have something to do with an impossible requirement specified by MDA.

This I feel has been what most bloggers weighing on this issue have concluded. My point is just because something has the agency of power does not necessary mean it has been invoked. And in this particular case, since none of us know the specifics of what that requirement may have been, how are we to draw the conclusion that it was even an impossible or unreasonable requirement specified by MDA that actually culminated in the closing down of BN?

Do you see my point?

This should lead the perceptive reader to ask the next hypothetical question – if the decision nexus to close down Breakfast network had absolutely nothing to do with fulfilling the requirement of MDA. Then what was the real motive behind Bertha closing down Breakfast Network?

I submit to you all Bertha Henson did so because she would have gained considerably more mileage from doing so had she continued on with BN.

As I cannot for one really see how her metier of wordsmithing articles which hardly differ from the reportage of the nation destroying press could possibly advance her designs on establishing a beach head presence in blogoland nor increase her standing in the eyes of most netizens.

I think what many fail factor into the whole equation when they hurriedly drew the conclusions they did concerning BN’s abrupt closure – was yet another victim of government high handedness – but this picture has to mislead, as what is pertinent here for me is the historicism that accompanied the BN. It would not be an exaggeration to say many netizens viewed Bertha’s debut into blogoland with what I can only describe as mistrust, askance and suspicion. This is understandable as to its nearly impossible to speak about Bertha without thinking of the MSM. She is as historians would say prosaically, like many other things that are supposed to belong to the past but still linger on, the thought is hard if impossible to dispel. As she once cut her teeth as a propagandist par excellence in the sanctum sonarium of SPH. To put it crudely, she has never been able to successfully shake off the historicism of being affiliated with the MSM that many netizens consider to be the evil empire and my feel is has always held her back in more ways than I can possibly elaborate from playing a more meaningful in blogoland.

And when one sees it from this new perspective then it makes perfect strategic sense why she may decided to close down BN by putting the blame squarely on the shoulders of officialdom.

As in this one act Of self victimization she is able to reinvent herself to a very skeptical audience in blogoland – firstly she able to distance herself expediently from officialdom to lead us all to believe she is an independent thinker.

Secondly, she is also able to gain wide spread acceptance along with sympathy from netizens which previously she found nearly impossible to solicit given the completeness of her complicity in her role in fashioning the nation destroying apparatus of mass assimilation – she might even be able to finally shake off her cardboardish image from the past that has always militated against her to lead us all to believe she is a complex and brilliant individual who confronted issues of good and evil on a scale that most of us cannot possibly imagine.

My point is if we all step further back and look at this from a public perception standpoint then it’s a brilliant ploy to engineer consent, albeit it comes at the price of BN taking a swan dive.

Above all when she decides to set in motion the self destruction sequence of BN, she is able to wear the self fashioned badge with great pride that may hopefully endear her to netizens – that she too has been the victim of government high handedness.

To put it another way, the woman is trying to reinvent herself and seek redemption from her less than savory past on the cheap without ever having to adequately explain to all, the role she once played as an apparachik in the nation destroying press, where she regularly dabbled in deliberate obfuscation and prevarication in fashioning the nation destroying press to be what it is today.

By fingering MDA as the big bad wolf Bertha Henson is able to elide once and for all, the many contradictions that she could never hope to square off with netizens otherwise.

I understand. I understand completely.

Only there remains one problem with this happy picture – as sooner or later someone is bound to ask: what exactly did you find so difficult to comply with, in the MDA requirement to register Bertha….

Care to share?

Like the sages say, silence can only speak a tome when everyone expects you say something profound and meaningful – but in this case, I don’t ever expect her to elaborate on the details as to why she felt compelled to close shop….


“Is the government trying to exert control over internet speech? Yes! I have always believed this to be the case even as far back as ten years ago. If you take to trouble to read many of my blog entries and even choose to dwell into the decision for the sudden closure of the Intelligent Singaporean – you will find that I never once doubted this day would come to past.

But when we talk about MDA versus Breakfast Network. I don’t think it pays for us to consider the bigger or macro picture of whether the government is trying to clamp down on free speech on the Internet.

To me, if the goal is to get at the truth – then it makes far more sense to find out exactly which part of the registration process led her to make the decision she made.

Now if one elects not to fill up the form and instead opt to close shop. Then I think, it’s highly irresponsible as that really feeds coal into the rumor mill and that can only lead to endless speculation – hence its only fair to disclose the reasons why. After all who is the one who keeps on harping on about the need to keep to the rigors of the best practices of reportage? Who is the one who constantly draws the distinction between amateurs and professionals when it comes to the purveying the truth? Who might I ask is the one who keeps on going on and on like a broken record that we should all be exhaustive in what we choose to write?

So pray tell don’t you find it strange that the self elected high priestess of how to blog – now suddenly decides to wind up her act without even sharing with us the specifics as to what led her to make that inexplicable decision.

I don’t think it is fair in this case to put the blame on MDA. Those who have concluded that government is responsible for shutting down BN are in my opinion jumping the gun prematurely and this includes the likes of Cherian George – they should go and apply for jobs in the CIA or the weather bureau where they can put their ESP skills to save people and planet.

As have you all considered another possibility – one where if she did not register with MDA, she would be able to get more out of it in the long run.

I think if all you pursued that line of enquiry as unconventional as it seems, you will all find yourself closer to the truth.

Bear in mind, I am not for one moment condoning the hard stance the government has taken towards the Internet recently. Not at all gentlemen, but the issue that we are all called to consider before us is hardly the issue of whether what the government is doing is right or wrong….rather it all boils down to only one question.

Were there any requirement specified by MDA that was unreasonable, impossible to fulfill or posed a clear and present danger to any of the stakeholders of Breakfast Network?

If so all I am asking for is please kindly share with all of us the specifics, so that we can make an informed decision as to whether a reasonable person would have decided to make the same decision she plumbed for.

Having said that, my gut feel
tells me that is never going to happen – as I said, the woman comes encrusted with a whole lot of baggage and let me be perfectly honest – those constrains will always be a source of contention and divisiveness and I really cannot see how she can grow from strength to strength to garner a cachet of intelligent readers online – if she doesn’t find a way to reinvent herself.

In this particular case. It is my considered opinion she is leveraging on this sentiment to do exactly just that – reinvent her image. And I for one can very well understand how compelling that motivation may well – along with why she has seen it fit to use this opportunity to Worterbuch der Vergangenheitsbew√§ltigung her image…..I understand.

After what else can she leverage on to break free from the past and rise up like a mythical phoenix from the ashes….it can’t possibly be what she regularly writes about….at best…as a writer…Bertha is a catastrophic success.”

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