Trinity News has finally gone too far. First published in 1953, what used to be a classic platform for College communication and debate has turned its nose up to the pursuit of truth and has instead opting to chase the thrill of political campaigning.

This worrying shift is most prominently seen in how the newspaper is now regularly publishing articles against the concept of freedom of speech. One of these; “Stop mourning the supposed loss of free speech,” was written by Comment Editor Alice Whelan after she received a number of articles from people regarding how dangerous the cancellation of the recent Phil feminism debate was.

The article, much as the title suggests, reads like something published in North Korea, short only of telling the reader to honour their benevolent dictators Shane De Rís and Oisín Vince Coulter. Filled with references to the “mostly white” this-and-that within the college, she complains that the debate deserved to be shut down because it was being held under pretences that supposedly are “quite harmful and borderline racist.”

Oh the horror! However, Whelan tells us that it gets much, much worse. Not only is it racist to hold the debate in Trinity, but those who want to do so are evil bigot goblins who she describes in the following way:

“The real snowflakes are the many people on campus who can’t handle the idea that there are entirely different worldviews to their own that do not hold middle-class white people at the centre. If it makes you uncomfortable that we are not having a debate that you probably wouldn’t have gone to anyway because it was about feminism, then please take some time for reflection.”

It’s rather entertaining to see that someone who has gone to the effort of writing an article lambasting people for not being able to accept different worldviews goes on to explain why different worldviews don’t deserve a platform. I wonder who it is really that needs to ‘take some time for reflection.’

Of course, an article like her’s wouldn’t be complete without a reference to privilege, she claims that; “being aware of your own privilege is not enough, you need to recognise its consequences.” Again, an interesting thought from someone who happens to hold the ‘privileged’ position of Comment Editor at a major student publication.

She goes on to say that:

“People are not fragile for being ‘offended’ by such a debate. It’s not so much fragility as rage. It’s not appropriate for a debating society to frame how we are talking about race on campus in such condescending terms.”

To be honest, I think someone has forgotten to inform those in the inner circle of TN of three noble truths: 1) Social Justice is quite possibly the whitest, most middle-class ideology that has ever existed, so you shouldn’t be throwing progressive bricks in glass houses. 2) The whole point of debate is to try and understand the worldviews of those other than yourself, and 3) You being angry doesn’t give you the right to deplatform anyone.

And yes, it seems our dear Alice here has been denying a lot of people a platform recently. But don’t you worry your little fascist head. It’s for very good reasons.

“Before you critique Trinity News for not publishing articles that argue for the need for free speech, and therefore shutting down free speech, be reminded of the fact that the newspaper is not a neutral platform, though many diverse opinions exist within it, nor does it pretend to be.”

How’s that for a hot take? Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with TN not being a neutral platform, however, she is forgetting one little detail:

Trinity News receives funding from Student Fees through Trinity Publications.

TN is funded by the very same body Whelan is having a field day insulting for being too white and too male. Not only that, these funds are then used to promote partisan politics, as publicly admitted by Whelan. There is a fair chance that if you’re reading this, your money is going towards the campaign for the destruction of free speech within Trinity College. In the famous words of Dean Martin: “Ain’t that a kick in the head!”

In all seriousness, this should worry a lot of people. Although I don’t particularly like college progressivism as an ideology, articles like these usually aren’t worth attention. I don’t particularly care if some social justice loving middle-class white girl decides to write an ignorant article hating on the likes of myself as a native Irish man. However, I do begin to have a problem when I am paying for her to do so, something I’m sure I’m not alone in.

Hence why Trinity Publications seriously needs to consider withdrawing funding from the publication. Not only do they not represent a significant portion of the student body, they outright declare that they have no desire to do so. With that being the case, how could anybody acting on behalf of the students with student money justify funding such a paper?

I want to be very clear here. This is not an attack on Trinity News for having different opinions. It is an attack on how money is being taken from student’s pockets and put into a publication that seems to hold them in animosity. If Trinity News lost this funding, I would have no problem with its operation, and I can assure you that they would manage just fine without this money.

We at the Burkean operate on a budget worth roughly the value of two rich tea biscuits and half a coffee, yet still manage to put out quality articles regularly. If we can do it, sure, a publication with over 60 years in the news business should be just fine.

If not, well, that’s just the free market playing the role of Darwin. It wouldn’t exactly be the greatest loss to Irish student society.

Peter Caddle

Posted by Peter Caddle

Peter is the Burkean's resident expert on all things popular and cultural.