03 September 2012

Aren't Moderators Supposed to be Neutral?

The topic on MediaCorp's Channel News Asia Talking Point on 28 August 2012 was "Do PM Lee's Suggestions Encourage You to Have More Babies", referring to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's suggestions at the National Day Rally to raise Singapore women's total fertility rate.

A feature of the programme is the poll carried out during the one-hour broadcast.

At the beginning of the programme, the vote was 12.1 per cent "yes" and 87.9 per cent "no".

At that, co-moderator Dominque Loh said, "We'll see whether we will change your minds about that."

Co-moderator Daniel Martin said, "That got to be one of the most lop-sided polls at the beginning of the [show]...  Let's see what we can do.  Maybe we might moderate and change that."

Throughout the programme, the number of "no" votes consistently far outnumbered the number of "yes" votes.

Toward the end of the programme, after viewers had depressed the "yes" vote to 5.9 per cent and raised the "no" vote to 94.1 per cent, Mr Loh said, "This is your last chance to vote.  I hope you vote the other way."

Many people can understand Mr Loh and Mr Martin wanting Singapore women to produce many more babies for the country's sake, but in their role as moderators, aren't they supposed to be neutral?

For the record, the "yes" vote did rise to 6.6 per cent after Mr Loh's comment, but slipped back to end the programme at 6.0 per cent.


  1. This is so funny. They were probably so confident that the result would be positive. Otherwise, they wouldn't even have conceived the poll.

    I'm not surprised that they are not neutral in this case.


  2. It goes to show how much the MSM employees have internalised the government's position that they don't even realized that they are no longer neutral. That's how powerful the threat (real or imagined) to one's rice bowl can be. I think LKY alluded to something similar based on his experience during the Japanese occupation.