Friday, August 27, 2010

Brad Lau, the importance of two sides of the story?

I've never been much into the hype of what's happening in the blogosphere. Who's the currently most famous blogger, who's the blogger who posted nude photos in her blog or which bloggers who are having cat fights never seem to interest me. I'm more of the person who prefers to stay in my own world, not wanting to bother anyone and the same vice versa.

Well until recently, that is, when the blogging community in Singapore was rocked by allegations of this food blogger called Brad Lau who allegedly demanded free food from a restaurant. The story goes that one fine day, this Mr Brad decided to call a restaurant named Private Affairs to tell them that he was going down to sample their food out of the blue. After "sampling" the food, not only did he refused to pay for the bills but reacted rudely even after the restaurant chose to waive the fees of his bill. His sentence, "“I never pay for food in any restaurant" became famous overnight in Singapore. You can read the full story and the comments from many appalled people here: http://sg.yfittopostblog.com/2010/08/23/food-blogger-who-asks-for-free-meal-sparks-outrage-online/

The news sparked such an outrage that even mainstream newspapers decided to report on the news, criticizing Brad's actions at the same time. Many netizens also flamed him for his allegedly outrageous behavior. In everyone's eyes, Brad was the bad guy and Private Affairs was the victim.

Mr Brad Lau, the allegedly freeloader

But to what extent of the story that is true? One problem that arises together with controversies such as this is the speed in which we choose the condemn the "bad" person in the story. One important thing that we always forget is to check on whether what is reported in the story is entirely true. In Brad's case, it was not long after his story made it into the internet that fellow bloggers began baying for his blood. The incident of him taking down his blog made it worse.

No matter how serious is the case, when looking at controversies like this, one should always view two sides of the story. Not everything that is reported in the newspaper may be true, considering that journalists do not like bloggers very much. It is very important not to let our decisions or judgments to be determined entirely by one side of the story or we might end up killing the wrong person eventually.

Private Affairs entrance, taken from Yahoo.com
It was not long before someone eventually took into Brad's defense. In this case, Brad's defender came in the form of one of Singapore's most famous female blogger, Xiaxue. A few days after the Brad news went up, she came up with a post detailing the story from Brad's point of view. Apparently, according the Brad, he was in fact invited to Private Affairs to sample their food instead of choosing to walk down there randomly demanding for free food.

He also clarified that being an invited event, he assumed that the cost will be covered by those who invited him which in this case would be Private Affairs. Though Brad did admit that he was kind of annoyed when informed that he needs to pay but it was nowhere near throwing the credit card and stomping out of the door. To view more of Brad's explanation to the whole event, go to http://www.ladyironchef.com/2010/08/24/truth/. To view a even better commentary by Xiaxue, go to http://xiaxue.blogspot.com/2010/08/everybody-hates-bloggers.html.

The whole Private Affairs VS Brad Lau thing is getting way overblown
My point of view? Take it with a pinch of salt. What the both sides say may not entirely be true and the truth may lie somewhere in between. After all, we humans do want to look good in front of others and save some face for ourselves. However, my bet is one Private Affairs trying to make this story as sensationalize as possible to gain as much publicity for their restaurant. The number one reason would be because Private Affairs has indeed asked other bloggers to sample their food before for free, making Brad's story more believable. Go to http://thesimplestaphrodisiac.blogspot.com/2010/02/invited-session-private-affairs.html and you'll see what i am talking about.

Excerpt from the above blog
Photo proof of the bloggers who ate free meal at Private Affairs
So yeah, take the story with a pinch of salt. Not entirely story that is reported by the news might be true sometimes. One sided media report can be twisted in so many ways.

As for me, well, looking at how the story turned out, i think i'm gonna step into some random brothels in Geylang and declare that i'm a porn blogger. Who knows? This might be one of the best ways to increase traffic hundred fold to my blog rather than trying to win some random blog competitions.

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