How daily newspapers promote nonsense in the Philippines

inquirer tabloid coconutsmedia

Misrepresentation by tabloid . . . [Photo credit coconutsmedia]

We live in an era where our surroundings are defined by social media and the mainstream press. Even when we get information from our friends, it is usually filtered through the press or undisciplined social media.

Our minds are made up through an accumulation of shallow readings and loose information, or we follow a handful of columnists, pundits or publications we have confidence in.

Alas, for the broad population, Ted Failon at ABS-CBN defines the Philippines. As do Inquirer and Star headline writers.

Now they can choose to make the Philippines an enthusiastic, uplifted nation. Or they can contribute to a slick, snide undermining of the nation, as was done in the above Inquirer front page. And as was done in the relentless sensationalizing of Mamasapano reports, the single-sourced revelations later found to be in error, the conflicting “he said she said” reports, the fairly palpable glee at seeing a “straight path” President under attack.

Crab journalism.

I am reminded of this every time one of these media giants headlines the opinions of the dysfunctional leftist troublemakers as if they were mainstream and mean anything at all. We get extreme views right on the front page where our reality, our knowledge, is defined. Well, what better way to flame the fires of TV audience or newspaper sales than a leftist wacko saying President Aquino should be charged with murder.

Such views totally disregard a President’s huge responsibility to protect Philippine citizens and make the decisions needed to fight extortionists and terrorists. Policemen and policewomen wear guns because their line of work is dangerous. Because the bad guys are dangerous. To turn things inside out for political gain is the work of dark thinkers who simply can’t succeed by participating in the normal system of debate and votes. Extremists make outlandish charges that are ridiculous, childish, or lunatic . . .

 . . . except to the mainstream press.

Which is why the mainstream press are – by definition – tabloids.

Seldom does the press provide an informed profile of the people making outlandish charges. We never see a background check or a citation of the legislation they advocate or have managed to get passed. The reporters don’t do this because:

  1. It takes diligence and research and is therefore hard work or expensive, and
  2. Their sources would be revealed as shoddy and not at all representative of what normal people think; the press would be revealed as going for the easy, titillating hit of no newsworthy value at all.

Sham journalism is what we have in the Philippines.

And it represents the Philippines as an emotional, radical, always in conflict, nonsensical and dysfunctional nation.

The extremists who find their way into the headlines meet those criteria. The complainers and media manipulators make it seem that way. The dailies jack up sales by emotionalizing the news, by distorting it.

All the tremendous good work being done by so many in government or business is buried under a mountain of garbage. Just simply look around today, and compare it with 10 years ago. Roads upgraded, airports remodeled and expanded, flood control system upgraded, vibrant industries and the stability of loyal and loving OFW investments, malls and retail franchises blossoming across the nation, flashy billion peso casino showpieces, a line crooks marching off to jail, a mushrooming skyline of residences and office buildings in Manila, a growing leadership role in Asia based on laws and respect, luxury resorts and beaches on the front pages of travel magazines . . . the Philippines is globally recognized as an emerging star in Asia.

But the Philippine people don’t see it.

Because they are sold garbage by the tabloid press.

And citizens buy the garbage.

  • They buy it in part because they have been taught to believe in rumor and the supernatural and what people say. Too many people live in a heebie jeeblie unreal world of hearsay and escapism.
  • They buy it in part because their lives are the same this year as last, and it is downright irritating that others are doing better. Long live the crab.
  • They buy it in part because it is the only thing on the shelves.

The Philippines would rise faster as a nation if its press rose as a profession. If information and credibility replaced dirt and ease. If the press became journalistic rather than tabloidian. If they reported information rather than ravings from the lunatic fringe.

If producers and publishers discovered something called integrity that fits better with the quality of nation that more and more people in the Philippines aspire toward.

Put it this way.

The Philippines is rising. It is destined to rise because the chains of the past are relics of bad thinking and bad behavior, and only the crooks and self-dealers still want that. If the progression is sustained, the nation will soon be an economic and democratic leader in Asia.

The press can either promote this leadership or be dragged along as rags.

There is a reason the President gave his recent exclusive two hour interview to the South China Morning Post rather than the Inquirer or other Philippine daily newspaper. The Philippine papers have not earned the right by dealing straight as journalists. How can he trust them? Reporting here is done for the sake of titillation, of conflict, of distortion.

Right now the tabloid dailies are rags and their drag on the nation’s well-being is significant. The “top two” television stations are little better.

So let’s be very clear about that, and not buy into the negativity. Let’s hitch up the harnesses, folks. We have to carry an extra load here. Hitch that tow-rope tight.

“Up with the Philippines! O’ rise ye land of unlimited promise!”

“Hiyahhh, ye woebegotten rags! Come along now . . .”


204 Responses to “How daily newspapers promote nonsense in the Philippines”
  1. Kiko says:

    I used to read inq because of CDQ, now no more. I follow JoeAm instead. Another straight shooting blog post. Kudos!

    • Joe America says:

      Why thank you, Kiko. Made my day. I followed CDQ as well and liked his direct style.

    • Irineo B. R. Salazar says:

      I read Joe. I read Raissa’s. I read Rappler. I read And I read Mindanews, the only really good print newspaper in the Philippines – see my posting further down.

      • I have to admit, while there I didn’t read or watch or take from Filipino media at all. I saw glimpses of Wowowee while it was on, and noticed people were crazy about it. I noticed that most print newspaper were similar to the bs tabloid crap I see near the checkont counter in groceries here, with so and so’s divorce, or marriage, etc. And I did notice most Filipinos when they read the newspaper went straight to some sort of Lifestyle section, which were basically photos of the celebrities or rich having parties.

        But the people I respected, who were my cultural guides, listened to the local radio for their news. I couldn’t understand any of it, but from the tone it sounded like the AM news channels here. Just news, some choice commentaries and no other bs. What’s your take on radio news there, Joe? Am I correct?

        Does the Philippines have in depth types periodicals, like Foreign Affairs or Washington Quarterly, that step back and delve further into subjects rather than just gloss over and move on? I was just watching a show on the Hubble Space telescope, and the ensuing investigation that went on, then the steps taken to fix the screw-up (which they discovered was a 1.3mm aberration on the polishing of the lenses). I’m a big fan of Charlie Rose and Meet the Press here, are there equivalents there? In-depth.

        Before Joe’s and Raissa’s blog (which I got from here), I was only reading Rappler, and not regularly at that. I hope this blog expands to be a full fledge online newspaper, selling point would be in-depth analysis.

        (I notice Ireneo’s ban below, sorry to hear it, I hope he takes the time to focus on his blog. He did admit he probably has Asperger’s and his inability to read virtual social cues does support that claim. Looking forward to his first article nonetheless.)

        • Joe America says:

          Suspended, not banned.

          • Oh good. He’s got some personal history based information that’s relevant, but with such a diffused mind, it’s hard to catch up, now couple that with an axe to grind with you, it makes for clutter on blog thread’s.

        • Steve says:

          I used to listen to AM radio in Eastern Mindanao in the early 80s… there was nothing else going on, and it helped with language acquisition. There was some pretty strange stuff on.

          AM radio has long been the medium with the greatest direct access to the populace, and for that reason it is carefully controlled by the local powers that be. It’s the epicenter of what s locally called “AC/DC” journalism, for “attack and collect/defend and collect”. Broadcasters (along with all sorts of provincial media) are routinely on the payroll of one political faction or another. Media killings aren’t always a question of “crusading graftbuster whacked by corrupt politico”. Not infrequently it comes down to a dispute over what someone thought he paid for vs what was actually delivered.

          For a radio commentator, there are excellent reasons to do as told. Obedience brings money, disobedience brings a visit from 2 guys on a motorcycle. It’s often forgotten that most political and election related violence revolves around local politics.

          A close friend of mine was once offered a job as editor of a provincial newspaper. The position carried no salary, but she was told that if she played her cards right she could pull 6 figures a month, essentially by selling news. She declined, and went on being poor.

          Media here cannot be viewed according to the western paradigm of business attracting customers with content and making money through circulation and advertising. Many Manila broadsheets carry virtually no advertising and sell for less than the cost of printing. Where do you think the money comes from?

    • henry david says:

      i was about to say the same thing. i stopped reading the inquirer more than 2-3 months ago, and i feel better in the morning. i can’t understand how some guy like mr raul p …. wasn’t this guy even nominated to head the SC….someone you’d think is a level headed …
      can allow the inq to descend to the level of manila standard.

      the manila standard which publishes the daily bile of discredited
      trapos like that half wit tadtad and his kind, but the inq did not sound like that before.
      doronila’s shallow “analysis” is ok… he is entitled to his opinion ( although i recall the late ting paterno called out the editor for putting his column under the news section)…. we can simply avoid reading his regurgitations of news items…

      but reading news items with headlines that have been er…”emotionalized” or editorialized… has turned me off completely.

      opinion is opinion – everyone’s entitled to it – but opinions and slants represented as news ( i can even forgive paid ads or press releases of bars or restos under “news”) are something else.

      wonder how ms eggie apostol would feel about the crab journalism practiced by the paper she founded?

      • Journalism like the legal profession should be based on competition, when conditions are perfect, the cream should rise to the top, when not so perfect the lesser ones though charismatic (ie. emotion and exaggeration) tend to be successful.

        We are seeing something similar in the states with FOX News, MSNBC and to a large extent CNN. So Al-Jazeera English, BBC and our own PBS rise above amongst the educated.

        Most conservatives watch FOX News. And Democrats MSNBC. And there’s an Orwellian bleacher cheering effect (confirmation bias) where each side hoorays!!! for their own team.

        Most of the educated young professionals tired of the above bs, switch off and seek their news at Comedy Central or HBO, entertainment news which ironically is more newsworthy.

        So conditions have to be ripe. If you have the majority of your readership more interested in who’s marrying who there, then the reporters who specialize in that bs will rise. If Filipinos like confirmation bias, bleacher mentality, who just want to feel a sense of community by cheering certain groups, while getting their feeling of belongingness then you’ll get reporters who’ll pander, like FOX and MSNBC here.

        If there’s very few critical readers in the country, basically you’ll get the news you deserve, until you demand by way of market or criticism (ie. through entertainment news, like the Daily Show and now Last Week Tonight: ).

        But it ALL, all this, boils down to education.

        Your new high school (11th and 12th grades, for 2015) offer 4 tracks: Academic (strands: Business, Humanities, STEM, and all three under General), Technical/Vocational, Sports and Arts— why are there tracks for Arts and Sports, is the Philippines expecting a revival of the arts soon? Or getting more serious in the Olympics?

        It’s all about having critical readers, arts and sports are great when you have the luxury to do so, but when still in a “rising” phase, these two aren’t priority. Stick your athletes in the PNP/AFP like you’ve always done, have them live like kings, better than the American amateur athlete system.

        So all this relies on how educated and how critical in thought Filipinos are, otherwise they will get the news they deserve, like Orwell perfectly described, sadly. Focus on education.

        • Juana Pilipinas says:

          Maybe the Philippines needs its own “The Colbert Report.” Even American baby boomers enjoy the injection of humor in news. Politics and the state of the world can be a downer at times, why not make it fun to be easily digestible?

          Have you checked The Professional Heckler’s site? He is the “Filipino Colbert.” Not as hard-hitting but very funny.

          • For it to work it has to be a TV show, making fun of the media and politics and individuals. The Onion is great satire, but media entertainment is best done on television.

            I checked out the site, I think you have to be Filipino to find it funny. Although, I’ll be looking out for the rows of “solons” watching the fight on May 2, with the sign “Your Filipino tax dollars at Work”. Priceless.

          • Joe America says:

            Agree. I think Edgar and Mariano should host the show together. We’d get subtle and smooth, and then “wham”, the heavy hammer. No offense to Edgar, but unless Edgar dressed up funny, Mariano’s stuff would probably sell better . . .

            • edgar lores says:

              My “stuff” is not the rapid-fire elicitation of laughter of a stand-up comedian. My stuff is more subtle — like the sweet aroma of a flower or the deadly whiff of a gas chamber. Or the sound of one hand clapping.

              • Joe America says:

                Yes, and it is downright funny . . . as is this remark . . . You are Groucho and Mariano is the duck. I wonder if anyone around here even know what I’m talking about . . .

                That comment has both general and specific application . . . hahaha

        • Joe America says:

          “Orwellian bleacher cheering effect . . .” I love that expression. Self-reinforcing ignorance.

          I didn’t pick up on sports as a thread, but arts is there. I took it to mean writing, filmmaking, literature for those moving on to become professors, etc. I think it is a valid and valuable track. Maybe journalism is there, in which case we should cheer mightily . . . assuming they get to the ethics part.

        • edgar lores says:

          It is the function of ART to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.

          Anais Nin

          • I agree with that sentiment. And I do realize the renaissance was given birth by the likes of Donatello, Boticelli, Michangelo, da Vinci, etc. Then look at every other artist rivals after that, and the pattern is that these artists converged by themselves, not formed by some Dept. of Education mandate.

            So my issue is more on public policy. Artists will emerge no matter what. And yes students should be encouraged to create and appreciate Art, but as a separate track in High School? Wouldn’t you be pigeon holing these kids too early? Major in fine arts in college, but while in high school, you should get fair exposure of STEM.

            • edgar lores says:

              Too early? I don’t think so.

              A primary function of education is to discover — and not necessarily to direct — the true vocation of a child.

              I understand the emphasis on “pragmatic” courses but any postponement, or worst deterrence, of the development of a child’s metier is counterproductive… for the child and for society.

              Art covers a wide spectrum of activities. And education should try to cover and promote all aspects of human endeavor. To do otherwise would be to make us less than human.

        • Steve says:

          Even in the US, the vast majority of the populace prefers tripe to substance. Higher end publications catering to the minority are viable, though, largely because that minority is able and willing to pay for quality, and (more) because advertisers are willing to pay to reach that audience, which has significant purchasing power despite relatively small numbers.

          Unfortunately the new curriculum seems designed to look good on paper, and to show every niche that their concern is getting time and attention. In theory it is wonderful and will bring all things to all people; in practice it is going to be almost impossible to implement and will please nobody.

  2. NHerrera says:


    The previous blog topic talked about bonding or gluing the nation together. This one about traditional media is about de-bonding or de-gluing.

    Almost like talking about matter and anti-matter.

    It seems that all the efforts and devices to bind or glue the nation together is easily de-bonded or de-glued by the current Philippine media.

    • Joe America says:

      You know, I was musing about that myself, wondering if this is a negative article or a positive article. It comes across as complaining, but it is complaining about the negative. So I figure negative and negative makes positive. I like your description better, though. Anti-matter, anti-glue. That’s exactly what the mainstream dailies are. And it would be wonderful if we could somehow know who is getting paid to write what. I dumped Interaksyon from my daily read when they failed to report on the Supreme Court hearing on Binay the other day, and they failed to respond to my tweets asking why.

    • On that previous blog topic re Glue, I think the most actionable info was the lack of an ACLU-type organization (or are Joe and I wrong here?). And the need for it, that’s your most do-able Glue right now.

      Organization will stand and fall, so the most important is the adjusting of the legal profession there, how they view themselves and how they are viewed. Filipinos, like Arabs, tend to love titles before their names, lawyer, engineer, doctor, judge, etc. Although I’ve never heard of an Arab being address to as accountant, but in the Philippines accountants seem on par with these professions, or so I read in private residences’ placards over there with names and titles advertised (I thought it was because they worked in their homes, I was later told that parents just like to advertise their kids’ titles… weird, but understandable).

      How to elevate the profession, so it’s not just a title, a status, but a profession worthy of respect, of emulation, worthy of fear from those in power and worthy of admiration from everybody both local and abroad.

      Stand up an ACLU there, and have the media churn out movies like Erin Brochovich or the Rainmaker or Cadillac Lawyer. Have new lawyers shake things up.

      The FBI’s mandate is not only criminals but also corruption, when 9/11 they pivoted towards chasing shadows and lo and behold corruption in small to large cities surfaced.

      So an ACLU for outside looking in and an NBI following its FBI roots for inside looking in the gov’t, national level to barangays. Like I said two articles ago, merge PNP and NBI and you have a powerhouse, instead the PNP is playing 2nd string to AFP (blind leading the blind).

      Remember the premise here is that the Chinese are buying you out (proven in past), and your elected officials, titans of industries are selling you out (also prover time and time again). You don’t need criminology degree holders you need lawyers who can follow the trail of corruption.

      You also need journalists who can do the same, but conditions have to ripe for journalists to do that. Ideally, lawyers (like recon, or combat engineers) prepare the battle space, journalists represent the infantry. One can’t go before the other, although foreign journalists can, they operate on a different level.

      • junF says:

        accountant put their title after their name i.e, CPA. like, Phd and the MDs

        • I meant in comparison to Arabs, ie. muhammi (lawyer), muhandas (engineer), qadi (judge), ustaz (professor, academic), sheikh (professor, religious). There’s muhaseb (counter, calculator), but it’s not a title used to address someone.

          But yes, I agree CPA is everywhere in the Philippines and seems on par with the above titles. It just strikes me as weird. Why is this?

      • Juana Pilipinas says:

        Philippines has a lot of ACLU type NGOs. You can Google them. It also has a lot of civil rights lawyers spawned during the Martial Law years.

        My opinion is that holding a criminology degree in PI is an outward manifestation of an inward patriotism. There are a few cops/military in my family and all they really wanted to do is to serve and protect their people and their country.

        • I worked with these NGOs in Mindanao, there are some lawyers. But when I say ACLU, I mean an organization that the gov’t and individuals in power (politicians to businessmen to old rich) actually fear. Are there such organizations like the ACLU in the Philippines? Which?

          As for criminology, do these graduates actually join the AFP/PNP/NBI or do they just end up as security guards inadvertently pointing their guns at people walking by all day long. There’s two issues here,

          if they are all (most) getting hired in the military and police, is there a real need for more soldiers and cops? More cops, more soldiers doesn’t usually mean more security, and more often than not it’s the opposite effect.

          if there’s an over abundance of criminology degree holders where else can they find work, at least nurses can help people, most people that know about policing (especially when not working as such), will leverage that knowledge of the criminal justice system for self-interest, where do these non-hired criminology degrees end up? Are there statistics?

          There are plenty of other expressions of patriotism. Supposedly, here in the U.S. only 1% bother with joining the military, less so police. We drive, or walk around, and not really see that many cops, certainly no military, other than recruiters at the mall or a convoy here and there moving from base to base.

          I can tell you that Mindanao is way too over-militarized. But just not Mindanao, I saw way too many police (looking too much like soldiers) also in Cebu and Manila. That’s not healthy for society. In Mindanao, local mayors were selling ammunitions to their neighboring Muslim communities–the idea being they shoot one another, less Muslim to worry about.

          Every Filipino male I met loved holding a gun, not knowing anything about gun safety. At a prison down south, jailers practiced shooting their personal firearms outside towards the prison wall, while using bullets as hearing protection, while drinking Tanduay.

          So I respectfully disagree with the notion of criminology=patriotism, it may be so, but that’s a skewed way of looking at things.

          Although there were good soldiers and good policemen I met, the majority of Filipinos have this whole concept of machisimo (I saw this in the Arab world as well) that intertwined with having guns. If you take a peek at PNP and AFP young soldiers and policemen’s facebook profiles, you’ll see them with their guns, as SWAT.

          The concept of a quiet professional in your military and police is sadly not yet there. And that’s a big problem (a very likely problem), if another Marcos type character pops up. You guys need more lawyers, not soldier/police, that should be your expression of patriotism (books and the pen vs. guns and uniforms)

          • Joe America says:

            You can do a guest blog here any time, LCpl.

            • Thanks for the confidence, Joe. I’m no academic, my interests are more on security matters. With that said I would like to write something on Cyber security and threats there (namely from China) and I’d like to explore this Filipino ACLU idea more, thanks to Juana I’ve already looked into MABINI and FLAG (are there more?)

              The most do-able is the ACLU idea, so will try to get that done first. Are there any Filipino lawyers here? If you guys can point me to the right direction, eg. history, case law, statistics, etc. I’ll get started with the American ideals of the legal profession and details. Then we’ll get the best of both worlds and come up with a list of possibilities, that we can put into effect ASAP.

              Cyber-security. I was familiar with the ZTE scandal while there, but have not kept up since. Have there been any other Tier 1 broadband infrastructure deals since? Who are the Tier 1 carriers in the Philippines? here in America there’s AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Level 3, etc. none associated with China. If we all agree the internet is a positive force all around, is it then worth protecting? Illustrations of how Cyber threats will unfold. I know IT is a very popular degree there, but are there real computer science programs, comparable to MIT or CalTech here?

              I’m no expert, and I am definitely out of my element re these 2 subjects, so any help with the 2 coming articles would be great. I hope we can all pitch in and offer solutions for the 2 problems above.

              • karl garcia says:

                Lance Corporal, The two dominant Telcos here are Globe telecms and SMART communications.

              • karl garcia says:

                Civil liberties Ngos turned into party lists like GABRIELA for women’s concerns, LADLAD for lgbt.

              • Joe America says:

                ACLU would be most interesting. I don’t know if there are attorneys here or not. There are some bullshit artists, and that is a related profession. (Joke, joke. It’s an attorney joke. Permitted.) I suspect you may have to prowl on your own for articles/insight on the matter. We’ll see . . .

              • Steve says:

                The function of a lawyer here is fundamentally different than the function of a lawyer in the US. You hire a lawyer to get something done. Sometimes that involves knowing and using the law, but in many cases it also involves less savory business… having connections here and there, knowing who can be manipulated, even who can be paid at times. You often retain a lawyer as much for the connections and the ability to work multiple sides of the fence as for command of the law. Because the demands of the profession require a lawyer to navigate the sewer that is the system, it is very easy for some, even most, to move into the system. It is hard to navigate the sewer and come out smelling of roses.

              • Joe America says:

                Ah, rather like proctologists . . . attorneys will go anywhere. They are practologists, actually.

              • edgar lores says:


              • karl, steve, thanks for the input.

                That’s a good heads-up on the difference between media there and media here. So I guess the best way to view the media there is to roll back in history to how media was here in the 1900s to 1930s.

                As for Filipino lawyers, that’s a good way to see them there. As fixers. The legal profession here was very gentlemanly until 1970s when lawyers were allowed to advertise, when disability laws were put in place and more importantly when corporate take-overs were in vogue in the early 80s with Jewish lawyers from Brooklyn and the Bronx made out like bandits.

                I’m looking more into how the legal profession developed here vis-a-vis the ACLU and class action lawsuits, and how all that improved conditions considerably for many. Then the counter by the other side of late by way of big Int’l legal firms.

                I’ve never really looked into this before, so looks promising so far.

                As for NGOs, I noticed this in Mindanao also, there was unproductive redundancy, lack of focus and a lot of drama. It went on like this for the most part:

                Again, thanks, man.

              • Joe America says:

                Here’s a link to Raissa Robles’ current blog. There are a number of attorneys there. The dialogue I’ve referred you to is also of some interest, perhaps. But if you ask there, you might have more success than me asking there on your behalf. Do it as a separate request from that little side debate between Parekoy and me.


              • Joe, I took one peek at your little back and forth. Thanks for the help, but I don’t have time for that type of bs, in which a simple RFI (request for information) turns into some Mean Girls reenactment.

                I’ll send you draft after May 2. I’ll be cheering for Pacquiao (and I do hope he wins), but my money’s on Mayweather.

              • Joe America says:

                That tells me you are both smart and wise.

                I’ll go with Pacquiao by decision, maybe not unanimous. He’ll score high during the early rounds as Mayweather lets him work, then Mayweather will start to move from defense to assertion. I’m worried that Pacquiao doesn’t like to get hit so much any more. So he won’t be so dominating, even when he is winning. Too many close rounds. Referee bias . . .

                My money stays in my wallet.

              • Joe America says:

                Take your time on the draft. I won’t look at it until I return from vacation around mid-May.

              • edgar lores says:

                Mean Girls. How appropriate!

              • Joe America says:

                🙂 🙂 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                I had not read Leona’s parsing of your comment here until this morning. I suspect you’ve already read it. I gave a response, basically that I find these character issues, or questions on motivations, to be exhausting, and that the important thing is the product, or the blog article. That can be weighed on its merits.

                Here’s the link to her comment, and mine follows:

                I’m actually sorry I even raised the issue over there. My bad . . . I thought people would be happy to provide some help . . .

              • Juana Pilipinas says:

                This link might help with your civil rights piece:


                It has a year by year summary of political rights and civil liberties issues in the Philippines.

                You might glean something from here, too:


        • Joe America says:

          How come these NGO’s have so little influence? I’d suggest they ought to band together to make a force. They for sure are not on the front pages of the tabloids. That’s where I go for all my deep reading and they aren’t there . . . (a slight touch of sarcasm there . . .)

          • Steve says:

            Band together? Oh my… the NGO community here is a running soap opera of factions and counter-factions, all competing for funding and media coverage. Banding together is not likely.

            • Joe America says:

              Ahhh, well that at least is culturally consistent. People working for their own best interest, not realizing it is to be found by having real power, as a larger, united community. Even united communities seem to have a way of soon dividing. Like, NPA. I have a clear picture of this, but don’t see a need to simply accept it. And so I harangue . . . dire uselessness in the form of common-man intelligence . . .

      • edgar lores says:

        The trouble with lawyers is that they are oftentimes the fount of corruption.

        o Marcos
        o Enrile
        o Binay
        o The Judiciary (in part)

        The other fount is actors:

        o Erap
        o Bong
        o Jinggoy

        What we need are not just lawyers but lawyers with integrity. And entrepreneurs, engineers and IT people. People who are problem solvers and system thinkers.

  3. Bing Garcia says:

    Maybe it is time to liberalize Philippine media.

  4. edgar lores says:

    1. I suspect the negativity of Filipinos stems from their notions of superiority and intelligence.

    2. One can prove one is superior if one can show one is intelligent.

    3. And the easiest way to show intelligence — and superiority at once – is the put down.

    4. Hence the relentless criticism in social media. (The tabloids invite this negative feeding to increase readership just as sharks attract remoras.)

    5. Generosity as intelligence rarely shows up.

    5.1. I have been amused lately as how, in this blog site, negativity and criticism has been deflected, if not silenced, by generosity.

    5.2. I have wanted to shout, “Hey, don’t agree with this nonsense!”, but seeing the effect and wonder of generosity has stopped me in my tracks.

    6. Perhaps conversations would be less contentious — in manner but not in logic — if we practiced the spirit of generosity and diplomacy. “Yes, sir, you have a good point, but consider this etc.”

    7. As to tabloids, they can stop fanning the flames of controversy and stoking the fires of negativity by exercising (a) due diligence in their reporting as suggested by JoeAm; and (b) avoid setting the stage for tit-for-tats as observed by Mariano.

    8. I wonder what would happen if we all practiced generosity and gratitude with each other… and with ourselves. “I would like to thank the Academy, the Society and myself…”

    • bauwow says:

      Sham journalism is what we have in the Philippines.

      Yep, painful truth. probably one of the reasons is that newspapers/tabloid are driven by money or profit.The more exciting the headline is the better for the owners of the newspaper. I doubt if they care about the readership or how can they contribute to nation building.

      Hey Uncle Joe, enjoy your vacation, bad thing the Lakers never made it to the playoffs this year. Probably next year, when Kobe retires, hahaha.

      • Joe America says:

        Thanks for the good wishes, bauwow. Those Lakers. I think bottom dwelling is good for the character. Teaches humility, not that Kobe needs any of THAT! ahahaha Take good care.

        • sonny says:

          Nowadays I watch NBA sparingly. I have convinced myself that I’ve seen the apogee of basketball: Jerry West, Lew Alcindor, Earl the Pearl, Larry Bird, Pete Maravich, Magic, Michael’s and Bulls’ showtime and now just hoping the Bulls do well in the playoffs. 🙂

          • Joe America says:

            Ah, good to put Pistol Pete in the list. May I also add Julius Irving? I remember watching him in the old ABA down at the LA Sports Arena. I was in training to be a broadcaster and did mock play by play commentary as he was doing his fabulous swoops. We had tape recorders with tape in them . . . ahahaha Please also add Wilt, eh? I’ll stop now, with Gail Goodrich on the tip of my tongue . . .

            Thanks, and now I can sit back and sigh and say, “my my my, but those were great days.”

            • parengtony says:

              I like Bill Russell and John Havlicek and Lew Alcindor and Charles Barkley and…

              • Joe America says:

                and Jerry Lucas. Lucas could memorize the entire telephone directory of New City. Talk about a guy with discipline. Charles Barkley was short and fat, an immovable monument under the backboards. When Barkley talked, people listened. So he turned it into a second career . . .

    • Joe America says:

      Emotions are a beast, I find. That’s what I see when Senator Santiago rails away, or the Chinese pull up their fake indignation, for deviousness is founded on dark emotions, hard to contemplate. Generosity removes the tension. Sometimes its very hard to find. I like the quality of graciousness which is a part of my trouble with Poe. I thought she had it and now she seems tinny. I’ve not met a lot of gracious people in my time. I think there are more populating this blog than just about anywhere, as a proportion to the whole of the universe of contributors here.

      Graciousness does not mean fake politeness to me. It means speaking directly, but with a quality of consideration or even compassion. Generosity and gratitude are component parts of graciousness I think.

      It’s an ideal too often not found in real . . . but we CAN strive.

      The profit motive is somehow rather crass. But that’s a different musing . .

      • Irineo B. R. Salazar says:

        “for deviousness is founded on dark emotions, hard to contemplate.” True.

        “Generosity removes the tension.” Yes. Showing emotional intelligence now, I thought you were the hard and cold corporate type who goes over corpses – these types exist.

        “Sometimes its very hard to find.” True. Overcoming prejudice is part of it. Now I have often been damned devious, I could be truly bad. But now I only warn you against the trap of making yourself look like the only game in the country for good information – graciously!

    • I agree, generosity is such a rare commodity nowadays. Some are falling on their feet trying to outdo each other being mean , the meaner, the better they feel, like it’s a measure of achievement if they bare their fangs more than their colleagues. Some are more subtle, satisfied with malicious innuendoes,

      • Irineo B. R. Salazar says:

        And some manage to reach the stage of speaking out straight what they see, and give reasons for why they may have certain doubts. Based on their own experiences.

        Giving the person a chance to answer to direct questions is a form of fairness in my eyes. It may be harsh but it is not mean, because it is straight talk. Not everybody is born with that, like Edgar Lores once commented. But they can learn if they reflect on themselves.

    • Irineo B. R. Salazar says:

      “1. I suspect the negativity of Filipinos stems from their notions of superiority and intelligence.

      2. One can prove one is superior if one can show one is intelligent.

      3. And the easiest way to show intelligence — and superiority at once – is the put down.”

      Tell me about it. Author Ninotchka Rosca once told me privately that put down is everything most of the UP is all about. I suspect this all comes from colonial times as well.

      Read Rizals Noli and Fili very well and you will see the put downs and the one-upmanship among Filipino students of that day. Boasting about how well they are able to argue using the syllogisms taught by Dominican friars. Rizal, Jesuit-trained, was also putting down… 🙂

    • Nah, too generous and diplomatic will be boring. 🙂

      As you said before, let us keep on trying to hit the middle ground. The middle ground is a safe place for both extremes. It is where minds and hearts could be won.

      I am curious about what you call Filipinos’ notion of intelligence and superiority. I think I get it, but not quite. Kindly elucidate me.

      • edgar lores says:


        1. You jest, but attitude is of the utmost importance. When you meet people who are genuinely generous and grateful, are you bored? Or uplifted?

        1.1. When you are genuinely generous and grateful, are you bored? Proud? Or humbled?

        1.2. I think if the feeling is genuine, it would be the latter. Pride is self-aggrandizement. Humility is self-effacement.

        2. Elucidate? Allow me to elucidate by using the crab mentality of Filipinos of which you yourself wrote a piece.

        2.1. In the paradigm, there are lower crabs and upper crabs. The upper crabs are trying to succeed (in escaping) and the lower crabs are trying to prevent them. The lower crabs are emblematic of the inferiority complex and the upper crabs of the superiority complex.

        2.2. The lower crab’s negativity in action is a “pull down.” He thinks this way: “You are not superior. You are just like the rest of us. Here, I will pull you down so that you are level with the rest of us.”

        2.3. The upper crab’s negativity in action is a “push down”. He thinks this way: “I am superior to all of you. I am different, more intelligent. I will climb on you and step on you so that I can rise and claim my true state of lordship.”

        2.4. Both types of thinking are disparaging of others. The motions of “pulling down” and “pushing down” are both physically a downward exertion. Psychologically, both motions are put downs.

        2.5. When we are negative, when we criticize, we do not physically put down. We use words to psychologically put down… to establish our superiority or deny others their superiority.

        2.51. Caveat: Not all criticisms are put downs. There is such a thing as a constructive criticism. And there is such a thing known as truth. Again, motivation is all-important.

        2.6. The question is: How do we escape crab mentality?

        2.6.1. Simple. By transforming our non-essential nature of crabness and crabbiness into something else. Say, by developing wings, by becoming butterflies.

        3. Man is not only perfectible; he is transformable. Or rather, he is perfectible because he is transformable. Not by Nature, but by Self. Man, as far as we know (?), is the only self-evolutionary creature. (Psychologically, that is. Physically, we come second to octopi. And the universe is a self-evolutionary creation. If you are a theist, self would embrace god.)

        3.1. We are the ultimate shapeshifters. We can become whatever we imagine ourselves to be. The great peril is we can imagine many shades of darkness and light.

        3.2. So, therefore, let us imagine beauty and kindness, generosity and gratitude.

        • Joe America says:

          Wonderful, Edgar. I particularly appreciate the distinction between the lower and upper crab, for I had not until this moment recognized how the upper crab works. Thanks for that very important piece of insight.

          • edgar lores says:

            Another solution: Collectively, we can escape the basket by using our pincers to thrash the bucket. So the solution can be individual or collective.

        • i7sharp says:

          Are not crabs – or their “mentality” – getting the short shrift in these discussions – esp. from Edgar’s insights?

          Edgar wrote:
          “3. Man is not only perfectible; he is transformable. Or rather, he is perfectible because he is transformable. Not by Nature, but by Self. Man, as far as we know (?), is the only self-evolutionary creature. (Psychologically, that is. Physically, we come second to octopi. And the universe is a self-evolutionary creation. If you are a theist, self would embrace god.)”

          In a nation where up to 93% are said to be Christian, does the above really sit well with Filipinos – or with, say, Joe America who I understand is a Lutheran?

          Hoping to see other insights that can help preclude or minimize nonsense in the Philippines.

          • Joe America says:

            I am a Lutheran by historical fact of where I was confirmed at age 11 when my view of the world was focused primarily on baseball and competitive swimming, and not moral values or even God. Today my faith is personal with allegiance to no man-made organization. I think Edgar is right on target. It seems to me the 93% of Filipinos who are said to be Christian by and large fail to follow the lessons of Christ. They would be better off following the wisdom of Edgar.

        • Juana Pilipinas says:

          Now, I get it. Fully. Thank you, edgar.

          I particularly like 3.1 and 3.2. Words to live by.

  5. josephivo says:

    A fish rots from the head down, and the president believes that fish heals from the head down too, hence so many corrupt at the top are gone or going. I think he knows who is corrupt at the top in the media too. Just look at product placement in the media, at news for sale and blackmailing journalists. What makes it so difficult to clean up the 4e estate?

    On the other hand managing raising expectations isn’t an easy task. People expect 10 times more from this president because of the “little” achievements. People condemn those who promise 100 and only deliver 90, they are admiring those who promise 10 and deliver 15. The president promising the end of corruption and poverty, the vice president promising cake for the elderly and a trip to Indonesia to visit a condemned (trapped?) drug smuggler.

    • josephivo says:

      Reading newspapers here is so difficult because you always have to be at the lookout for hidden agendas (and I need a dictionary at hand for difficult words and outmoded expressions.) Reading Joeam is relaxing because you just can concentrate on what he is saying, no between the lines, no sponsors or under the table money and he writes singing prose.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Aha! Ha! ha! ha! YOU NOTICED THAT, TOO !!! Filipinos have propensity of medieval English words. They also speak Latin. The more intelligible they are the more intelligent they think they are. Pablum Factotum. Vaticinium ex eventu. Vini Vidi Vici. I am Vera Causa.

    • Joe America says:

      Not a lot of graciousness in the media.

  6. josephivo says: just opened a new site in Brussels: with a redaction of 37 journalist. Maybe someone should invite them to the Philippines.

  7. hackguhaseo says:

    Awesome post as always! It’s a little sad though when we look at just how far the country has to go to progress. I really can’t blame some of my peers who choose to simply leave the ignorant and the close-minded behind to improve their own lives. I, myself, have trouble dealing with those who simply refuse to listen to information that contradicts their own version of the truth and what matters. It’s no surprise that scandals are more profitable than facts here where accountability is practically non-existent.

    • Erlinda R. says:

      I have always thought and said that Philippine media could do so much for nation building, but instead is pulling the nation down. Don’t they realize, if they stopped a moment to give it thought, that if they did what they ought, what the Philippines can become? Don’t they want this for our country?

      • Joe America says:

        The media would say “we are private companies and are entitled to operate for profit.” And what the State often says . . . but not the Philippines . . . is: “Yes, that is true, but you hold a very important responsibility in the democratic process, so you have to follow professional ethical rules.” Here media regulate themselves and even government does not hold itself to ethical rules.

    • Joe America says:

      Thank you, hackguhaseo. It is frustrating I agree. It seems unfortunate to me that when Filipinos ought to be feeling very proud of their nation, they are not. They are complaining.

  8. In one anniversary of the ABS CBN where Pnoy was the guest speaker, he, as usual, went for straight talking, no beating around the bush. He directly challenged Noli de Castro who is regularly attacking him and asked what this former VP had done during his time for him be so judgemental, or words to that effect. The effect was just unbelievable, he was attacked more relentlessly, saying his remarks should have been done in another time, another forum…from then on, even the usually sensible Ted Failon sympathized with de Castro and joined in the fray, together with most of the station’s reporters who editorialized their news overage. I thought then that in their desire to practise press freedom, they completely exchanged it with non support for Pnoy’s programs aimed to corrupt free and progressive governance.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      The Philippine Media covered up the death of the wife of Ted Failon. To this day, nobody knows what happened to his wife. Poor houseslaves went to jail. The houselsaves were instructed to clean the crime scene to the point of erasing fingerprints from the gun. According to NBI, they have nothing to go on with the investigation bcause the crime scene was spotless as if the housemaids were trained by CIA as crime scene cleaners.

      • Ted Failon was on the air when his house help called him to relay the news of the suicide. It was a cruel decision on the part of the police to detain him when he so wanted to be by his dying wife in the hospital.

  9. Irineo B. R. Salazar says:

    Now Joe, you are totally against people making things negative in the Philippines and are doing the same thing. Let me mention MINDANEWS as the one good paper I know from the Philippines:

    CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 25 March) — “The MILF will not disengage from the peace process no matter what will happen to that Bangsamoro Basic Law,” Mohagher Iqbal, chair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said in an interfaith forum here Wednesday.

    Iqbal said the MILF will pursue the passage of the Bangsamoro Law beyond the term of President Benigno Aquino if it is not passed by the present Congress.

    He assured an audience led by Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma and leaders of interfaith NGOs that the MILF will continue to engage the Philippine government “peacefully even if Congress scuttles the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law.”

    Now don’t expect the Inquirer to mention that, or THIS:

    ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanews/28 March) – A consortium of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) based in this city has adopted a resolution calling on the public to rally behind the peace initiatives of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III.

    The group said they strongly oppose to the calls of the different sectors for President Aquino to resign from his post.

    “We call on all Filipinos to rally behind him, to join hands together to support him to continue his crusade and quest for a true, meaningful peace not only for the Bangsamoro but for the entire nation,” the consortium said in a joint resolution adopted Friday.

    The signatories of the joint resolution are the Philippine Council for Sama and Badjau; Mindanao Citizens Concern for Humanitarian; Federation of Bangsamoro Associations in Western Mindanao, Inc.; Bangsa Mo’ Ako; Eternal Youth; Kababaihan ng Mindanao para sa Kapayapaan at Kaunlaran; and, Mindanao Women, Widows and Orphans for Social Development and Rehabilitation.

    The group said they are against war since nobody wins and there is no reason to go to war but to kill between and among brothers Filipinos.

    May I ask you a question Joe? Why are you disparaging ALL Filipino newspapers? And not mentioning Mindanews? I have become an avid reader. Balanced news and no bullshit.

    • Irineo B. R. Salazar says:

      No offense intended. Just keeping you straight Joe.

      And no more personal stories of off topic in this thread from me.

      • bauwow says:

        No offense intended, but who gave you the power to keep Joe straight? Please help me understand your innuendoes, your bullshit and your condescension?

        Ano ba ang ginawa ni Joe sa yo to deserve this badgering. As a reader of this blog, I do do not deserve this, We do not deserve this.

        If you think you are better than the rest of us , then come back here in the Philippines.

        It was Solita Monsod who once said that one cannot help the Philippines if he is not living in the Philippines.

        I am sorry for the owner of this blog who is generous enough to accommodate you, but I had to vent it out. SOBRA NA.

        • Irineo B. R. Salazar says:

          Well, in my view he is making it look as if this blog in the only game in town for Filipinos who want to be informed. I may be wrong, it might be unintentional, but I saw the exchange above with Kiko who said he is reading only JoeAm now and Joe very happy about it.

          Now not mentioning Mindanews and saying all Filipino papers are bad is not correct. People should be encouraged to take EVERYTHING even Joe with a grain of salt. Too many Filipinos are still sheeple and this is the second article delivering this slanted message. Joe knew very well that Mindanews is there and that it is good, I mentioned it in the article about Inquirer and angry nation and Joe seconded that, but now he is not even mentioning it, so I do have the right to ask, is he trying to fool the Filipino public or what?

          I am not any better than the rest of you. I am just stating my observation. Maybe I am arrogant, but I have as much right to ask as anyone. Free speech. But this article is the last article I am commenting on in this entire blog. Sobra na rin, I feel duped.

          • bauwow says:

            Good for you to state your observation, from another continent.

            Come back here. You have to see and feel for yourself, before you write and state your observation.

            • Irineo B. R. Salazar says:

              Why is why my last word on Filipino political blogging and politics will be this one. I shall concentrate on what I know in my own blog, these are different topics. My perspective is could be dated, when and if I ever come back I will write again on Filipino politics.

              • Joe America says:

                Irineo, This is the third thread in a row that has become argumentative due to people objecting to your personal commentary. Therefore, I am with considerable reluctance suspending you from the blog for 30 days. This is not a ban, it is a suspension that will send your comments to moderation so that “spam” does not get attached to your identity. I will respond to your legitimate issue, why I said ALL newspapers, in the morning. I will also address the point of my malicious attempt to dominate blogging in the Philippines.

              • henry david says:

                thank you very much for making this your last word. we can all use a break.

            • Joe America says:

              Bauwow, any person with a passion for, or even interest in, the Philippines has the right to comment here, no matter where they reside. However, they must abide by the editor’s policy. It is important to stick with issues and not go to personality. That is Irineo’s violation. He is wholly within his rights to question why I say ALL newspapers write nonsense. The policy violation is when, before my answer, he ascribes bad motive to my doing that. And further adds that I am trying to make this blog the only blog in town. Those are insults to me, and, to the contributors who make this blog what it is. Very interesting reading.

              I appreciate your sticking up for me, and the blog. Others have done the same, but Irineo has gone into warrior mode. It is best to let me deal with it, and wish you many days of enjoyable reading ahead.

              • Lil says:

                Good for you, Joe. Though I don’t have the time always. But I have been reading your blog the past two articles. I couldn’t help but get annoyed at all the drama and rambling nonsense from Ireneo. Sounds like another pseudo-intellectualism.

              • bauwow says:

                My apologies Uncle Joe, will be more careful next time.

              • Joe America says:

                No apology needed. You were speaking for many others, I think, and repeating what others have already said. I appreciate your visits and your views.

              • karl garcia says:

                I lost it as well with Irineo.But we had our adventures here and elsewhere. I visited his blog and will further observe.
                Now as to tabloid media, I have used tabloid media at the comment threads at my own risk,why would the publishing industry take it against me, I learned satire from reading them.

              • Joe America says:

                :), yes, one is inclined to go that direction with some of the excessive abuses. I’d really like to know who the Inquirer headline writer is, what his background is, and what kind of control the editor or publisher have exerted in the past to avoid headlines that depict only one side of a story, or just do not connect to the story at all, or are clearly editorials.

          • Irineo B. R. Salazar says:

            As long as I am giving benefit of the doubt, I will ask questions like this. Others do not.

            Others just say privately this is probably a paid CIA hack pushing LP and Mar because they are pro-American. That thinking is not unusual. And if Joe considers it when writing he would have less people making the claim that this is a propaganda blog but not saying why they think it is. I am at least saying why I think some people have that impression. Because the election season will be really hot, much worse stuff may come from others…

          • Joe America says:

            The answer as to why I said “all newspapers” is found in the two tabs above labeled “Joe America” and “Anonimity”.

            The author laces his observations with word play and a few statistics. Facts are like termites. They have a job to do in our ecosystem, and Joe will study the little creatures now and then. But he doesn’t care to have them infesting his articles. He prefers getting to the meanings of things.

            One of the greatest freedoms available to a free society is the right to speak, for even disagreeable words may have constructive result. I write in anonymity because I can be disagreeable. Sometimes I don’t even agree with what I write, but being provocative is the antidote to being complacent. Bottom line, I am very interested in the well-being of the Philippine community. Many, reading my perspectives, will assume otherwise, but that is their limitation, not mine.

            “All newspapers” is an exaggeration for effect to suggest that there is a TOTALITY of impact, the whole being the environment created, one of distortion and negativity. The few papers that do achieve journalistic integrity are not strong enough to offset the majors. The MEANING is, “hey, we have a problem here because our whole vision of the Philippines is being distorted.”

            If I spend time breaking this down into statistics and citing the qualities of this paper or that, then that meaning gets lost. I write for impact, to try to make meanings where there were none before. How the words are used determines how striking those meanings can be. The success of the blog is because the meanings frequently resonate with the audience.

            Now how you get from my thanking a contributor for a high compliment to a belief that I am trying to take over blogging in the Philippines is one of the most incredible deductions I have ever read in my life. I don’t make the blog popular. Readers do. Should I stop writing because the blog is too popular and I might be offending Filipinos, or do I believe in the fundamental good intent of the blog and welcome the opportunity to shape ideas? You’d rather have the ideas removed from the scene so that you can be Filipino?

            I can only guess that this reaction is a form of crab envy that is amplified by history and all the emotions that get attached to my being American. I know that’s what drives Parekoy mad, that I am succeeding at writing a blog that others read – important, influential people – and he can’t get there. So he must reduce me. So what, I am supposed to stop doing what I think is constructive work because Parekoy has needs and different skills? He doesn’t have the durability to write for three years and be lucky to get 20 reads a day? My getting 5,000 or 10,000 a day is offensive? Why? Because he can’t get there?

            Man, I have no idea why you have trouble with what I do here. If you don’t like it, don’t read. If you have better ways to help the Philippines, go for it. I’ll cheer and support you, as I do Raissa. But this need to constrain or complain or get me to be who I am not is beyond my ability to satisfy. You have to take care of yourself on that, and it simply cannot be done by infesting thread after thread with personal discussions or complaints about my character.

            That style of discussion is exactly what I do NOT want this blog to become.

            You may respond to this comment, and I will publish your response. Other than that, I think you need a break to reflect, and I need a break from the personal stuff in my cherished blog.

            • JM says:

              I’ve been reading the comments of the past posts and noticed the drama that I can only expect at a public market. I like this site for it’s constructive atmosphere because I already deal with a lot of negative stuff at work (A lot of things need fixing, people to reprimand, etc.). I read it before I work so my day would be better with a positive mind set at the start. I really appreciate your blog joe. It is a good thing that you suspend people who spew negativity. It affects me and probably a lot of other readers.

              • Joe America says:

                Thank you for bringing that observation forward, JM. I obviously agree. The “beauty” of this blog is that people can come here and just read clean, earnest debate or discussion. It takes discipline and a bit of sacrifice for everyone who participates to maintains that spirit, even when they might be sitting at home on a given debate and saying “ach, that JoeAm is one stubborn old goat!” Then they suck it up and come in with an intellectual argument. In the interest of civility and unity.

            • Juana Pilipinas says:

              ” I write in anonymity because I can be disagreeable.”


              Don’t we all? Most of us though, when we catch ourselves being disagreeable, we put ourselves on “time-out.” 🙂

              Enjoy your family vacation, Joe.

              We’ll be here when you get back.

              • Joe America says:

                Ah, a “time out!” I should try that next time. Maybe it will work better than “Lob grenade. Duck and cover!”

                Thanks for the kind wishes and dedication to the Society.

          • Kiko says:
            April 23, 2015 at 6:17 pm

            I used to read inq because of CDQ, now no more. I follow JoeAm instead. Another straight shooting blog post. Kudos!

            Joe America says:
            April 23, 2015 at 6:52 pm

            Why thank you, Kiko. Made my day. I followed CDQ as well and liked his direct style.

            Kiko is is saying he prefers JoeAm to CDQ, He did not say he is reading JoeAm blog ONLY… Joe acknowledged the comment by saying thank you and it made his day. What is there to take offense, that’s a courteous exchange.

            What made you say “he is making it look as if this blog in the only game in town for Filipinos who want to be informed”. Joe regularly endorses MUST READ articles in his sidebar, the Philippine Blog Center is there permanently, he even provides links to raissa’s blog in answer to queries by contributors deferring to other commenters in acknowledgement that others are better equipped to clarify the concerns.

            I just don’t understand you.

            • Juana Pilipinas says:

              LCPL_X mentioned that Ireneo alluded to being an “Aspie.” I saw that comment too but did not take it seriously. I thought he was making fun of himself like we all do sometimes. If Ireneo has Asperger syndrome, his social awkwardness is a symptom.


              • Joe America says:

                That is interesting. They symptoms read like a checklist of Irineo’s tendencies. He had his intellectual anchors and kept returning to them. Tried to walk away . . . but returned. Thanks for the information. The next stage is to figure out, if one teaches a class and has an Asperger child in the class, how is that handled. Then extend that to an adult group situation. How does one control the disruptive influence so that the entire class can stay focused on its studies?

  10. Bing Garcia says:

    With the Supreme Court, COA, DOJ and the Ombudsman joining forces, Binay is going to jail.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Binay is not only going to jail. SC Sereno, COA, DOJ and Ombudsman is making a travesty of the law that they are to uphold.

      SC Sereno, COA, DOJ and Ombudsman have come down to the level of Binay. If you cannot beat Binay in Hustisya Matuwid, junk Hustisya Matuwid and let us be like Binay !!!

      I cannot blame Binay. I blame SC Sereno, COA, DOJ and Ombudsman for not holding themselves to higher standards but promoting and perpetuating disrespect of the constitution and rule-of-law.

      This doesn’t stop withBinay. This will not stop. Unless they set Binay prosecution as an example to the Filipino people that rule-of-law regardless Binay go free should be upheld.

      But Filipinos, like SC Sereno who has prejudged the case already, COA, DOJ and Ombdusman wanted Binay’s head by hook or by crook.

      Therefore, Binay is more intelligent than SC Sereno, COA, DOJ and Ombudsman for they cannot prosecute Binay by using Hustisya Matuwid.

      I warn the Filipino people that I did not warn them of the implication.

      • Joe America says:

        Mariano, kindly cool it. I already have one troublesome contributor to deal with, and don’t need another right now.


        • You know, Joe, if Irineo is condescending, MRP is oozing with it and more. He is so into downgrading us Filipinos, feeling superior every time he comments, now that he is in US and is an American citizen.

          I’m getting tired of his upside down analysis, I usually ignore him but his comments on Sereno et al and the condonation doctrine even though we try to clarify things for him, is getting tiresome and irritating. Is that doctrine specifically enshrined in any of our 3 constitutions? (1935, 1973, 1987).. From my limited knowledge it is just an outdated one that needs to be revisited and the SC is doing just that. MRP thinks he is superior than the SC and all the rest of us Filipinos.

          • Joe America says:

            I agree that his latest posts have been provocative and demeaning to Filipinos and I don’t like them much. Yes, if it continues, then that would be much like personal insult, but on a mass basis, and in violation of the blog policy. In the past when he gets excessive, he is usually considerate enough to respond to requests that he not stir up trouble for the sake of stirring up trouble. That, too, is not dialogue. Thanks for raising the point.

        • henry david says:

          a timely advice, that. hope the binay admirer takes it.

          • Joe America says:

            I’d have to get him aside and ask if he is really for Binay. I doubt it. He is for consistency of thought, mainly, and thinks most of us talk out of both sides of our mouths. Or consistency of principles. Plus he likes to jerk those of us (including me) who are on occasion intellectually arrogant back into order. Or cause us to fuse our synapses in anger. Rather like tying a fire cracker to a dog’s tail.

  11. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    The Filipino people believes the Philippine Media like the truth. Because Philippine Media never ever and it is sacrilegous to criticize themselves. They cannot do BRian Williams or Britt McHenry.

    Philippine Media should be outsourced. We cannot allow these U.P.-journalism graduates get the run of the brains of the Filipino people. Always remember, people, the crooks in the current government are produced, assembled and packaged by University of the Philippines. Thank goodness the new Chief of Customs is not coming from that university.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Actually, this time, Malacanang is listening to me like that San Beda Law professor read my rant on Sereno’s “outdated” take of Aguinaldo Doctrine. One of those doctrine that should be struck down is Presidential and Vice-Presidential immunity. This cannot work in the Philippines. It is “outdated”, too !!!!

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Aguinaldo Doctrine is a doctrine that happened in different time and place in Philippine History.

      General Aguinaldo betrayed and sold the Philippines and its inhabitants for a measly 300 Mexican gold under the Pact-of-Broken-Stones to live in grandiose lifestyle in Hong-Kong. After Dewey routed the Spanish Galleon, Dewey had Aguinaldo fetched from Hong-Kong. Upon arrival Traitor Aguinaldo declared Independence. From then on, Aguinaldo’s betrayal were forgiven and declared a hero.

      The Governor Aguinaldo copied General Aguinaldo. He had sinned to his constituents, elected and forgiven.

      There is Trillanes Doctrine, too !!!! He did a failed coup-de-t’at. Incancerated. Imprisoned. Run for Senate. And was forgiven.

      Hey, Aguinaldo Doctrine is not outdated. It is not antiquated. IT JUST DEPENDS ON WHOSE SIDE THEY ARE ON !!!!

      Enrile Doctrine … Supported and protected Marcos. Run for Senate. Was forgiven.

      There are too many doctrines. But unfortunately, Binay is so sullied and muddied and the people wanted him out. So Sereno made a bold decision. She outdated Aguinaldo Doctrine but not Trillanes Doctrine.


      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Here is my advise to all the U.P.-educated crooks: DO NOT FLAUNT YOUR STOLEN MONEY.

        Filipinos don’t like it. Be humble. Because Filipinos are jealous. They are not against crookery and corruption. They are just jealous that the crooks are more wealthy than they are.

        Remember, Filipinos believe in the 1st Commandment: ““I am a Filipino, who brought you out of the house of poverty. You shall have no other Filipino wealthy than Me”

  12. sonny says:

    Journalism of our times:

    MANILA TIMES, MANILA BULLETIN, MANILA CHRONICLE, PHILIPPINES FREE PRESS; Roces, Teodoro Locsin, Teodoro Valencia, Jose Guevara, Soliven, Napoleon Rama, et alii.

    • sonny says:

      the tabloids had no prayer of a chance. They were bottom-feeders. At least “TIKTIK” had no pretensions.

    • sonny says:

      The PDI wedding photo above belonged at best to KISLAP magazine! We, the hoi polloi, had LIWAYWAY, BULAKLAK, Tagalog Klassiks, Espesyal, Hiwaga, Pilipino Komiks under authorships of Mars Ravelo, Francisco V Coching, Clodualdo del Mundo, Larry Alcala, et alii.

      “Where have all the flowers gone? Gone to graveyards every one. When will they ever learn? When will they … learn”

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Aha! Ha! Ha! Ha! KISLAP, LIWAYWAY, BISAYA, BULAKLAK and ITUTULOYs are the main feed of Trillanes. He said CA were bought by Binay. Following day, another drib-a-drab. Itutuloy. Three days later, he has witnesses. No names yet. On the fourth day, another drib-a-drab. Thrilling. Very Thrilling. Who are these people. Where are the names. Then the wakasan. Trillanes named the CA judges. Again no witness names yet. It is still under wraps.

        If Inquirer circulation goes down, TRILLANES WILL RELEASE THE NAMES OF HIS WITNESSES. Inquirer circulation goes up. Readers snaps Inquirer from my desk.

        I just so love Philippines. It is fun in the Philippines.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Aha! Ha! Ha! Thank you for mentioning Max Soliven. In the days of Marcos, I read his column. He had a mole in Marcos Malacanang called Alikabok J. Alikabok like Tulfo and Inquirer have moles in Pnoy Malacanang when Penoy and Binay has had tete-a-tete some mole went to Tulfo and Inquirer ratting what they were talking about.

      • sonny says:

        As I remember, my main news digesters, in order: Joe Guevara, Doroy Valencia, Nap Rama and, Max Soliven sometimes for Ilocano flavoring. Kwentong Kutsero was the weekly political satire led by Eddie San Jose & Mang Nano (Pugo), Cris de Vera (everyone’s endearing attorney-out-law) and everyone’s favorite punching bag, socio-political, non-sequitur commentator, ever-acerbic Damian Sotto. 🙂

      • sonny says:

        For sports play-by-play, the inimitable duo of Willie Hernandez & Jake Romero, for the glamour entertainment league NCAA. UAAP was not too distant back. MICAA (daddy of PBA) was the betting league: YCO and YSMAEL during my time

        • Joe America says:

          Chick Hearn, with his “word’s eye view”, “and the mustard came off the hot dog” . . . still makes me laugh, may he RIP.

          • sonny says:

            I’d like to sample Chick Hearn’s deliveries. I don’t know how, though. I got used to the sports “deliveries” by the likes of Brent Musberger, Jim Mckay, the Monday Night Football crew. I end up relying on the local Radio & TV crews in the Twin Cities.

              • Joe America says:

                Weak audio, but you can get the idea . . .

              • sonny says:

                Oh yes! Yes! Thank you, Joe. I missed out so much on Chick Hearn. Great play by play coverage.

              • Joe America says:

                I enjoyed the clip for the couple of Magic Johnson moments. He kept the crowd charged the whole game, a lot like Pistol Pete did. The first behind-the-back dribble, drive, fake, and shot was when he was in his prime, the second was after he had been diagnosed with AIDS, and came back for a short while. That was a major moment for awareness of AIDS, as well as understanding that those with the condition need not be shunned as if they were lepers. Magic has had major influence in sports and character. He is what I mean by uplift, because that’s what he provided . . . to fans, to those suffering from AIDS, and to the black community in Los Angeles and nationwide.

              • sonny says:

                I wish more black athletes would do what Magic is doing for the communities, black and non-black. I think his reality check should also come to big-name athletes. Uplift. Beautiful word!

              • Joe America says:

                I agree wholeheartedly on all three points. Black civic contributions, reality check for big egos in athletics (and elsewhere), and uplift as a beautiful word.

  13. jameboy says:

    I have to disagree on this one.

    We have a lively and free and at times wild media. That’s what democracy do to you. You have the right and freedom to receive and have access to and to disseminate and share information regardless of its content and how you will utilize such information. If it is not to your liking, you can conveniently ignore, dispose or question or contradict its value or importance and why you think such information has no relevance in the scheme of things on us as a nation. Or you can completely disregard the source of the information and go to other sources you think has better reporting and credible news and information. It’s all about the exercise of one’s choice and preference for information consumption. The responsibility is yours to determine which news or information is useful or not.

    I don’t think media sensationalized the Mamasapano debacle. The people behind it made it sensational. The media merely reported it. The 44 dead PNP personnel is not the result of exaggerated or sensationalized reporting. That’s a fact. The media is not beholden to us. Unlike government, they don’t have moral obligation to cater to our whim and do their job in accordance with our dictates. They are in the business for profit the primary goal of which is to maintain viewership and readership to enable to continue the business to serve and inform the public. If in the process they obtain credibility or lose it, so be it.

    Calling mainstream media “tabloid” unfortunately implicates the accuser of the same crime he accused media of committing. When you call or name something that is not true or proper you, too, are guilty of sensationalizing or exaggerating to the point of lying. It may not be the real intention but the misnomer committed has blurred the line that separates propriety from impropriety. If everybody is playing the same game, committing the same offense, no one has the right to claim moral ascendancy from others. We are all sinners in equal footing. But that is not really the point of the article. The point was media is not innocent of wrongdoing. It is not blameless and I agree.

    Sensationalism, exaggeration and inaccuracy are often media’s transgression. They are into politics, too, for they form part of the society as a whole. But I’m a believer of calling spade a spade. If we have something to support our allegations, let’s go and express it. If media sensationalized, which it often does, let’s call it. If it exaggerates, let’s condemned it. It if libeled or defamed anyone, let’s bring it to court. However, blaming media as a fall guy is another matter.

    I’m not going to the extent of using media as scapegoat of what ails the government or the people running it. I’m not going to take to task media for something they do not create or author. I’m not going to gauge the future of the country for the kind if media we have for it is not their business to run the affairs of the government but to report it. If the reporting is wrong, there are channels and remedies to address it.

    If we’ll look at the corruption cases and the people implicated and convicted in them and the participation of media to the whole cleansing process in the government, it is safe to say, regardless of their faults and shortcomings, that media has done its part of the job. No one can say that media intervene to slow down the process nor fronted for anyone to save some assess from being cooked. Nobody can deny that the sensationalism and exaggeration applies on both ends in most instances.

    I believe the country will accomplish the goal it set regardless of the kind of media we have so long as we have the right kind of people running the government. ☕

    • Joe America says:

      When I write the papers are “tabloid”, I am doing tabloid writing myself, using emotion and exaggeration for effect. I find it ironic that you defend their right to do what they do but suggest that my using the same word tricks is distorting things.

      That aside, you make a good point. The negativity really just reflects the desires of the audience the papers sell into. If we want to correct that, we’d use the educational system to create more demanding readers.

      As for the right kind of people running government, that gets right to the point. And maybe our difference in perspective. I believe President Aquino is the right person, made a mistake on coffin day, and people/media were totally unforgiving or able to put the decision in an overall perspective. Thus weakening their president, and their government, and their nation. I don’t accept that we should sit silent and allow that to happen.

      • jameboy says:

        I feel you Joe, it’s an emotion-laden expression and exaggeration to the max for effect. A style that, from time to time, I, too, am guilty of. What I just pointed out was you stoop to the level of the object of your criticism and committed the same ‘mistakes’ you attributed to them. Let’s just say that my understanding really of what you said was about mainstream media practicing “tabloid journalism”, which I happened to agree with. But I just expressed my point in how you emotionally expressed your thinking and how it can interpreted in the eyes of an observer.

        Pres. Aquino as the right person in the Office is unquestionable. Except from Mar Roxas, people think his ascension to the presidency came at the right time. What made it for him was he was not like what his two predecessors were and people deeply believe and rely on him. His social gaffes and blunders are nothing compared to his predecessors moral transgression. His awkwardness to niceties is no match to the swagger and arrogance of the Eraps and the Glorias. However, his “mistakes” would not have been that sensational had he not helped his critics and media by insisting his way rather than the highway. Sometimes submitting to social pressure helps if one wants to express unity with the people in spite of what one feel. PNoy’s recalcitrance to succumbed to it made an impression that he values more his personal conviction than his professional obligation. There are times that we can flash as a badge the former and there are times we have to act out our role by fulfilling the latter.

        And media, like a fox, is always looking for a hunt. Unfortunately, PNoy is always game to it. 🐟

        • Joe America says:

          Not really a mistake, a conscious technique, striving for attention in a world that ignores humdrum. There is nothing wrong with a headline, but there are certain journalism ethics that are ignored in the Philippines, the worst being reporters getting paid money to write with a particular slant. Also, one source, unconfirmed reports. Also editorializing news content. I’m not a journalist, so don’t have those same ethical restraints.

          Personal conviction versus professional obligation. Boy, that’s a fascinating topic. I’ve got to ponder that.

          Otherwise, i agree with your take on the matter.

        • josephivo says:

          You claim that people are free to select and read what they want. I question this. Many people are addicted to news and they have to have their daily fix, regardless the quality (like me). It would be free if news articles had a clear and honest sub-title “sponsored by….” With many of the articles in mainstream media I have the feeling that somebody is paying the journalist. Is it due to my personal bad experience in the past? Is it because of product placement? So obvious in lifestyle, entertainment, automotive… sections, in other newspapers these articles are in an advertisement section and not in the standard font. Reading the NYT, Spiegel, Le Monde…, you name them, I never feel the need to think who is holding the pen of the journalist.

          Some things need cleaning-up. Allow foreign news organizations? Better legislation on journalistic independence? Trilianes calling for senate hearings on the subject? Maximum effort to end impunity in journalist murder cases? The academic investigating deeper and speaking out louder? Renewed self-regulation?

    • NHerrera says:

      There are a lot of points that jameboy wrote that I agree with but I just want to view that note from another perspective or setting.

      I understand that even in developed countries (Australia? European countries?) there are relatively strong regulations or policies, if regulations is too strong a word, of media (print and broadcast) compared to that in the Philippines; policies that reduce — not eliminate — sensationalism for purpose of media sales.

      In the context of the Philippine setting such regulation, may be appropriate, probably more. Said another way, if the generally financially comfortable and news aware citizens of those countries have that media regime — while embracing the concept of freedom of expression, we may need that kind of media regime, probably stronger, in Philippines context where the masses of the people literally survive only for the day and certainly not important-news aware.

      My point is that if JoeAm’s blog topic is viewed in the Philippine setting — admittedly written using some dash of tabloidic method — the perspective on the blog topic changes dramatically and becomes understandable. It is in such perspective that I read the article.

      If I may belabor my point a little more: let us take the setting outside of the Philippines, say UK (not the USA, sorry, Joe). Consider two British TV channels (or newspapers) A and B. If the media regime is like in the Philippines you may, by the nature of things, expect that A will behave not too differently from B’s behavior. But if the setting is such that certain media practices are considered taboo, the behaviors of A and B change dramatically, since A or B, thereby cannot complain that he is being taken advantaged of by B or A.

      Sorry, if this note is verbose. I do not have the facility of an edgar lores, a jameboy or a JoeAm, to mention only a few of the writers here whose facility and style of expression I greatly admire.

      • Joe America says:

        Point well-made, NHerrera. Ethical rules in journalism exist for a purpose. When they are ignored, it is damaging. It’s like, with freedom, comes responsibility, but the daily newspapers don’t seem to exhibit much of that, in favor of the Philippines. Good, honest information is important to smart voting, would be another way to put it. Dumb voting is bad for the Philippines.

      • Nino says:

        Are you trying to imply that the current state of Philippine media was brought about by competition without rules? Joe’s article reminds me of ‘Nightcrawler’.

        • Joe America says:

          “Nightcrawler is a 2014 American neo-noir crime thriller film written and directed by Dan Gilroy in his directorial debut. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a thief who starts shooting footage of accidents and crimes in Los Angeles and selling it to news channels.” Wiki

          • Nino says:

            Yes, that one. Journalism without ethics. At times I find myself muse at the idea that media killings is a part of nature’s course, so much like a natural disaster that does not care whether the victim is good or bad. It just tries to keep the balance.

        • NHerrera says:

          Perhaps I did not express myself well above. I do not imply at all that there is no ethical principles agreed to by the media. But, as Joe said above, it is being IGNORED. What I wrote in my extended note above is that I read Joe’s present blog in the context of that note.

          Said another way, we are a developing but relatively fragile democracy yet and the freedom of expression that we see in the US and mimic is not right for our setting, if one purpose is to inform the majority poor who survives by the day and cannot discern the context of the tabloid type news that we, the knowledgeable, are able to navigate well; and not just to sell the TV channel or the newspaper.

          • jameboy says:

            “…..the freedom of expression that we see in the US and mimic is not right for our setting..”
            I say you are right, but. For obvious reasons, our being in terms of a country and government, etc. is not at par with the most powerful country in the world. No need to belabor that part. However, with regard to news and information gathering and dissemination, basically it’s all the same. What they have there, we also have here. In some instances, what they have is worse with what we have. 🌏

    • hackguhaseo says:

      Forgive me, but this kind of reasoning is a bit out there for me. I might be wrong, but isn’t it the responsibility of news organizations to report facts to inform instead of embellishing to inflame?

      Saying that it’s the news industry’s prerogative to sensationalize news instead of focusing on the facts for profit is like saying that it’s the food industry’s prerogative to use pink slime to make their food instead of using healthy meat, if only to cut down on costs like what McDonald’s did.

      Sure, you can choose other sources of news as you would other sources of food, but I find that option available mostly to informed individuals. If people don’t know which news source is legitimately giving them facts and which isn’t, how are they supposed to make informed decisions?

      I don’t know about you, but where I live, people take the news very seriously and they will fight tooth and nail if you present them with alternative information.

      What I’m saying is that an informed public through serious, factual news reporting is more likely to lead to a population that can make decisions that would positively affect the nation’s future. Election time is a good example of when good news reporting is particularly needed.

      How the heck did Nancy Binay get elected into office? Isn’t it because the people who voted for her were misinformed? I could be wrong, and if so, please do correct me.

      • jameboy says:

        It is true. The responsibility of news organizations is to report facts. But nowhere you will find in that responsibility the strict requirement on how they will pursue such goal. There are set of guidelines as to the standards of good practice and the ethics that goes with it that assists media people on how to go in their business but the acquisition of facts and how they are presented are left in the discretion of the organization. It’s not really a perfect science and it all boils down to whether we simply get the facts or not.

        I don’t recall saying the news industry’s prerogative is ‘to sensationalize news for profit’. What I remember saying was, and I quote, “They are in the business for profit the primary goal of which is to maintain viewership and readership to enable to continue the business to serve and inform the public. If in the process they obtain credibility or lose it, so be it.”

        Even in food everything is fair game if your source is unknown to you. It is only in the eating of the pudding you will discover whether a source is to your liking or not. Same with news gathering. Again, the choice is yours.

        When people ‘take the news seriously’ they expose themselves to danger because the risk of being taken for a ride is a constant in media business. But that is not really what’s happening on the ground. For purposes of accuracy, people take seriously the news they like and want and ignore those that falls outside of that bias. One good example is the accompanying picture of the article above. Primarily, the masa will focus on such headline and take notice because it is within the ambit of their interest. Me, I go straight to the sports page.

        I keep on reading things like ‘informed public’, ‘informed decisions’, informed etc. as if everything is dependent on media for things to go right. Being informed for the most part depends on the person himself. Just because you got the facts does not mean you are already informed to make an informed decision. No. There is a process that you have to go through in order to arrive on a state where your capability to make informed decision will be a possibility. Such process involves your personal background as to education, economic status, etc. that you utilize to make an informed and sound decision.

        Nancy Binay’s election has nothing to do with media. It’s more about political clout and machinations and more of it. And it’s nothing new in Philippine politics which I also detest. It happened to Jinggoy, to Noynoy, to Bong, to Peter Alan, to Bongbong, to Chiz, to so forth and so on.

        Anyway, that’s another issue for another blog. 📝

        • Bert says:

          jameboy, there must be something wrong with my eyes, or is it my taste? You did not find anything wrong with that headline picture above? The way I see it it’s a plate of food, a ginisang pancit canton, being serve to you with a cockroach on it. President Aquino socializing with a cute chick while the people are dying from the calamity. And you seems to be implying that the masa just have to eat the pancit and you go straight to the liver and gizzards because those are “within the ambit of their interests”/taste, is that it? The cockroach does not matter to you?

          • jameboy says:

            Obviously, the headline picture is not your cup of tea. But you don’t have to ridicule it just because it did not cater to your fancy. The front page headline features a lot of news you could choose from, you don’t have to read or look at the news/picture you are not interested in.

            Did I find no wrong in the picture headline? One man’s Ginisang Pansit is another man’s poison. Again, it’s our choice. If the guy next to me would look and read the picture headline, good for him. He’s interested. Me, to the sports page. 🏃

            • Bert says:

              Ah, I understand you now. You can’t see the cockroach? Good for you. Have a nice and fulfilling meal then.

              • jameboy says:

                Bert, your analogy is faulty. Where or what specifically is the ‘cockroach’ in the picture? Instead of ‘cockroach’ you should have been straightforward in saying that it is not pretty or it should not be there, or you hate it, etc. No one, I think, will agree with you on your ‘cockroach’ theory because it’s simply not a proper image to describe the picture and how you feel about it. 😦

              • Joe America says:

                For me the cockroach is the idea that President Aquino is insensitive. He is not, but his handling of a couple of situations makes it seem that he is. The combination of the photo and the picture puts the cockroach in the center of the plate. I push the plate aside. It is called “Inquirer indigestion” because I don’t like bugs in my face or on the plate.

        • hackguhaseo says:

          It’s already a given that news orgs can pretty much do whatever they want with their own companies. What I am saying is that they SHOULD be held to a higher standard of reporting. One of the clearest examples of how terrible news reporting can lead to terrible consequences I know is when most of the US news orgs didn’t report things as they were before the Iraq war, which caused most Americans to believe that Iraq was responsible for 9-11 when it wasn’t and support the whole debacle. Even years after the invasion, polls still showed that many believed the same.

          “They are in the business for profit the primary goal of which is to maintain viewership and readership to enable to continue the business to serve and inform the public. If in the process they obtain credibility or lose it, so be it.”’ So it IS their prerogative? Unless we have a different understanding of the word?

          But this is exactly what I’m saying. Most people can’t tell what’s in the pudding. They just take the information at face value, never even questioning if the facts are straight.

          People already take the news seriously, so why not give them information that are actually relevant? I’m not saying news should be boring, but when I was taught about this at school, it was serious stuff first and all the other useless but fun or interesting tidbits at the very end.

          Of course the media is not the sole medium for change, but you can’t deny that it has a frickin HUGE IMPACT in our daily lives. Even if what you say is true and having facts dance naked, wearing nothing but bow ties in front of the uneducated masses won’t lead to immediate understanding, that’s a start isn’t it? It’s a lot better than getting them addicted to intrigue, keeping them sedated while their nation crumbles around them. Those who already have the capacity to separate the truth from sensationalism wouldn’t need such changes to understand what’s what anyway.

          I’m sorry, but Nancy Binay winning has everything to do with the media. She had no qualifications, no platform to run on, no outline of contributions to present, no experience, no nothing. Had news organizations done their jobs right and presented the facts as they were pertaining to the contenders, Filipinos would at least get a better understanding of the quality of their potential leaders. The same goes for all those other people you mentioned. Political clout had a part to play of course, but the whole country? Even Binay doesn’t have that kind of political power, he only had his well-crafted reputation which is now ruined.

          • jameboy says:

            If most people can’t tell what’s in the pudding we blame the media for it? Really? I’m aghast to learn that there is a thinking that insinuates people’s ignorance and failure to question facts attributable to media. I thought we only take to task media when it sensationalize, exaggerate or lie? You mean we also hold them responsible if people cannot understand what they read because of low I.Q. and laziness? Really?

            People take the news seriously so give them relevant info. Relevant to whose standard? Not all news are serious and relevant as not all readers look for seriousness and relevance every time they pick up a paper. News are boring and not boring, interesting and not. It is everything and nothing. That’s what it is from the beginning and it will be up to the end. Why? Because what is relevant to me or you maybe garbage to others or vice-versa.

            Again, specifics. What is it in the news that we do not like that we complain about it? Motherhood statements on this thread about media, from cockroaches to Ginisang Pansit, is dime a dozen but no concrete and real examples. Not good.

            Nope, we do not start with the ‘uneducated masses’ when speaking about information for that would be condescending. Never use the ‘uneducated masses’ as guinea pigs for something you, who obviously not from the masses, complain about. Never use the weak and the poor to embellish your complaint in order to gather sympathy and understanding. That would be deception to the highest order. Speak for your superior kind, the ones with the capacity to separate the truth from sensationalism’, and don’t drag the innocents for a cause they have nothing to do with. News will not put food on their tables, not feed their kids nor put roof on their heads. Leave the ‘uneducated masses’ alone. It’s your fight not theirs.

            Those who have the ‘capacity to separate the truth from sensationalism’ like you should be the one doing the educating and making impact with those whom you think is not your equal. Don’t you think so?

            Media is to blame if the screaming headlines says, “Nancy Binay no platform, no qualification, no nothing, vote for her!” Or if media allowed itself to be used to campaign and promote an underachieving Nancy. The whining and recrimination against media would be justified if that’s the case. But we all know that’s not true.

            Like I said before, I will not blame media for something they did not make or create. And I’m not doing it now just because someone imagined about media’s ‘frickin’ huge impact and responsibility in our lives.

            Nope, not now, never, ever. ©

            • hackguhaseo says:

              “I’m aghast to learn that there is a thinking that insinuates people’s ignorance and failure to question facts attributable to media.” You can be aghast all you want, but that doesn’t change the fact that the media bears a huge responsibility to their readership to deliver factual, relevant news. The people’s ignorance is a result of not having the right information in the first place, no?

              “Relevant to whose standard?” This could be more complicated in the details, but broadly speaking, it’s rather simple. E.g., news about destructive storms are important, the president attending weddings is not. If we can’t even agree on that, maybe you should do some self-reevaluation?

              “Motherhood statements on this thread about media, from cockroaches to Ginisang Pansit, is dime a dozen but no concrete and real examples. Not good.” What do you mean? Didn’t Joe already provide you with examples such as the media entertaining the opinions of obscure individuals who are about as relevant as my next-door neighbor in terms of the current political situation?

              “Nope, we do not start with the ‘uneducated masses’ when speaking about information for that would be condescending.” Quite frankly, I don’t care about being condescending, arrogant or however you want to perceive me. My concern is getting my point across as I think you are wrong in this issue. “Never use the ‘uneducated masses’ as guinea pigs for something you, who obviously not from the masses, complain about.” And who are you to tell me who to use who not to? I’m simply pointing out facts and using examples. If you have an issue with that, again, self-reevaluation.

              “Those who have the ‘capacity to separate the truth from sensationalism’ like you should be the one doing the educating and making impact with those whom you think is not your equal. Don’t you think so?” Sure, but not to the extent where we have to stand in front of a bus, the bus being the current political system where getting killed or ostracized is a very real possibility. I will do my part when the time comes, but I won’t put myself or my family through unnecessary and pointless danger.

              “Media is to blame if the screaming headlines says, “Nancy Binay no platform, no qualification, no nothing, vote for her!”” What? That’s like saying the media should only be blamed for not doing their jobs for headlines like “There’s a murderer on the loose, make sure to get killed by them!”

              “But we all know that’s not true.” Really? We ALL know that’s not true? You and who else?

              “Like I said before, I will not blame media for something they did not make or create. And I’m not doing it now just because someone imagined about media’s ‘frickin’ huge impact and responsibility in our lives.” Imagined? Are you serious? These aren’t balut vendors walking the streets and doling out nonsense along with their duck eggs. These are news reporters who (regardless of their intentions) will inevitably affect their readers’ perceptions on a daily basis.

              Finally, let me ask you this. Since when has journalistic integrity been optional? We’re supposed to see paparazzi as scum, but I’m guessing in your world, they are legitimate reporters too?

              • Joe America says:

                Hack, you are herein appointed the Society’s Chief of Media Ethics. I’m still looking for a title for Jameboy. Chief of Intellectual Rabble Rousing, maybe, or “The Guy Who Keeps Us on our Toes and Makes Us Think, if Occasionally Angry As Well”. Or TGWKUOOTAMUTICAAW. Or shorter is DA, Devil’s Advocate.

  14. john c. jacinto says:

    I hate seeing Reyes, Colmenares, Maza, et al. being interviewed on media. What’s so important about these commies? Why should we listen to their trite and knee-jerk views? Their raison d’etre is to bring down the government and install their communist “paradise.”

    • Joe America says:

      EXACTLY, John, plus it gives the NPA a basis for continuing their extortionist and murderous ways. A rally of 100 people is squeezed into a photo to make it look huge, then pasted under a large banner headline. Talk about feeding the people a bunch of distorted information. The emotion of the conflict is magnified to attract attention, and the article is thin on information that would really educate the public.

  15. Crews says:

    Whew! It’s rather refreshing not wearing out my scrolling finger to get past Salazar’s rants and get to the good objective stuff.

  16. Nice article On Love of Country
    by anibongpalm

    Excerpts I found truly interesting:

    “Call it the age, but Filipinos–at least the noisy ones in media and social networking–are cunningly bereft of patriotism, which borders on lunacy. The likes of Noli de Castro, for example. Oh, and there are a lot more out there.

    By and large, overseas Filipinos are more patriotic than those left behind. It simply is a case of distinguishing the forest from the trees. They see and appreciate the macro like flying over the terrain. Too, they are not subjected to the negative narratives of the Philippine Media.

    With China creeping in, how would these recalcitrant media fare under Communist rule?

    A big think, indeed.”

    • Crews says:

      We should all start learning the Chinese Mandarin language, especially so if Binay gets elected.

    • Joe America says:

      A very powerful set of points. Division (tribal) and self-interest (crab/trapo/oligarch) dominate over unity and the well being of the whole. I’m reminded of a bunch of kids playing together who have not yet mastered sharing.

      Except these are grown-ups . . . and smart ones . . .

    • sonny says:

      @ Mary Grace PG

      Thank you for the link. The visit to the site gave some items for me to think about.

      “bereft of patriotism…” referring to the Noli de Castro & company – must be bad. OFilipinos vs H(ome) Filipinos: OFilipinos are not subjected to the negative narratives of the Philippine Media …; like flying over the terrain; 2 vantage points – forest for the trees; this is the reason OFilipinos more patriotic; American patriotism, now vs before;

      Promotion of devotion to San Pascual Baylon touches on: Spain; why have devotions to saints; the subject of devotions itself, e.g. Quiapo Nazareno, devotions of BVM (Blessed Virgin Mary, town patrons as gathering points

      (will elaborate); any more thoughts on this topics, Mary Grace? 🙂

  17. Bing Garcia says:

    CJ Sereno to Binay counsel: You have to face your conscience, in asking this Court what you want (on condonation doctrine).

  18. Bing Garcia says:

    That’s what leaped into my mind as I saw a Filipino dissing my idea for a State-owned newspaper and who seemed – to me – to be defending unethical journalism. Well, his comparative was the journalism that existed under Marcos, so with that as background, the sloppy, ethically challenged tabloid press we have today seems cool.

    Did Alan Robles make it come out the tabloid press is ok?

    • Joe America says:

      It seemed that way to me, as it pertained to the matter of opposing a State-owned newspaper. But I don’t have a link to our conversation and don’t recall exactly how it went.

  19. manuelbuencamino says:

    I can live with nonsense. We all need some entertainment. But I cannot live with inaccurate, false, and misleading reports.

  20. Juana Pilipinas says:

    IMHO, the printed media( or any other mass media) is a reflection of the masses state of mind or more specifically, its target audience. It caters to its target audience for survival. The most popular broadsheet makes the most money.

    The question is: who is buying these broadsheets? What particular segment of the society fuels the farcical, unsubstantiated, and half-truth publishing establishments? How can these buyers be persuaded that the product is substandard? How can they be influenced to vote with their pocketbooks?

    • josephivo says:

      Depending on the type of society you want, some things need regulation. If a kid on its own has to choose between a baguette with French cheese or sweet Jollibee food, his selection will be easy. Same for more complex music or simple beats. Same for reading a 40 character Twitter message or reading a book. Same for the choice between using his fists or negotiating…

      What I mean is that some of the better things in life need education, parents’ guidance and regulations to thrive, just leaving it to the “free market” is not enough. The current unregulated free markets, weak education, over busy parents… will drive the market indeed to easy tabloids, not thorough newspapers.

      And an additional layer in the Philippines is corruption and news for sale.

      • josephivo says:

        Another reason is the concentration of “free market” power, CJ Puno:

        • Joe America says:

          That’s an interesting article, mainly about dynasties being in control, as government is intertwined with the oligarchs. Binay is the dark fear turned real, I think. The real problem, though, is not families, but the shared interests and power. Not the money gap, but the power advantage. That is a tough animal to break down because it is essentially what democracy is about. An exercise in popular power. It can either be acquired by popularity of ideas or buying one’s way in via advertising, bribes and vote-buying. Sometimes the vote-buying is rather pernicious, as when the Bureau of Customs is shaken up to get a church leader put into a meaningful position.

      • What kind of regulation and education do you have in mind? Regulating journalism as a profession? Turning privately owned media into state owned?

        I think the free market system could work in the Philippines. It is in the least, worth a try.

        • Joe America says:

          I think there needs to be an ethics commission, minimally. This can be done by the media themselves, or, more likely, imposed by law.

          • Juana Pilipinas says:


            I think that might work, i7sharp but if they can not abide the Journalism’s Code of Ethics, you think they will apply the teachings in GMRC?

        • josephivo says:

          Just thinking aloud, not necessary in order of importance.

          On the demand or “readers” side:

          1- First and foremost stimulate students in critical thinking, I know that it is opposite to the Catholic culture. Free speech is less important than free thinking.
          2- Most parents, teachers avoid talking about national politics with children. Citizenship should not be reduced to singing the national hymn, thinking of a national future and ways to get there is more important. Dinning together, discussing together. Challenge teenagers in their political thoughts.
          3- Stimulate “democratic” student bodies, school-papers by the students…

          On the supply side:

          1- Regulate and enforce product placement.
          2- An independent council of journalism by journalists to enforce rules of conduct with punishing powers.
          3- Regulation on a clear and visible split between news articles, editorial articles and “entertainment”.
          4- Regulation on the remuneration of journalists and lifestyle checks.
          5- Fight the impunity culture, get away from the last position in the comparative analysis of 51 countries.
          6- Allow reputable international news organization to participate in the national discussions (and how to avoid Fox and Murdoch?).

          • jameboy says:

            Free speech is less important than free thinking.
            I disagree. Free speech is so important that it is guaranteed under the Constitution.

            Art. III – Section 4. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances. ✈

  21. jameboy says:

    To better understand what really is being talked about and why is it so, I think it would be better to provide a clear and concrete example of why such and such thing is proper or not, why this or that is right or wrong. So far, everything I read are mere assumptions and sweeping generalization about media issue.

    So hazy is the discussion that one member even declared that he can live with nonsense but not with inaccurate, false and misleading reports which basically are all nonsense too!

    And then there was this “cockroach” analogy above asking my view about it. For the life of me, who in his right mind will offer you a food with cockroaches and pay for it? I mean, I don’t think an over-twisted analogy is a good start to have a serious conversation.

    Let’s rewind people and have the discussion closer to the idea of what the article insinuated above about perceived, imagined or real media infractions. 🔆

    • Joe America says:

      Actually, I dealt with specifics in a prior article, and I have done four or five stories over the past year on media, starting with Rappler. It is all a part of a goal to focus on media as one of the master “projects” for the blog. Here’s the prior blog that dealt with specifics:

      The purpose of this blog was to focus more on the RESULTS of the tabloid journalism, which is a negative impression of one’s own nation, for many journalists. So the cockroach analogy actually has relevance to describe those results, a very disgusting creature that you may not even see unless you are looking closely. I’m sure few people actually parse to a second level to consider if what they are reading has motives beyond what they are reading.

      To me, the impact of tabloid reporting is clear. And negative. The question of what to do about it? Mostly awareness and the recognition that there are motives to a lot of the publications beyond information. And that we might look elsewhere for the complete story.

      Rappler, by the way, heard the message of the blogs and stopped editorializing news content. The Inquirer is still at it. If it is emotional, it is in bold headlines. If it is informational, it is . . . well, I don’t know where it is. Raissa’s blog, I think.

  22. Bing Garcia says:

    That’s what Sevilla didn’t have: a direct line to the President. I don’t know what role Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima played in this situation, but the encomiums he heaped on Sevilla (in the Inquirer yesterday) got me to thinking: If Sevilla was all that good, why did Malacañang accept his resignation with such alacrity? If “daang matuwid” is the password, shouldn’t Malacañang have rejected his resignation outright and said, “You’re doing a good job, and I will support you 100 percent”? Remember, Sevilla’s resignation was not “irrevocable,” which supports my conjecture that he wanted a show of support from the Palace. Solita Monsod

  23. josephivo says:

    From Jose Ma. Montelibano in FDI:

    “There was a time when news was news, but it is hard to remember when.

    Journalism was a noble profession, the gathering and editing of information for presentation through media. The nobility was both in the intent and the execution. Somehow, news was then believed to have the higher purpose of informing different public audiences and, consequently, give them better basis for understanding and decision-making. And in the presentation of news, truth, factuality or objectivity was primordial.

    But then, again, news was accepted as public service first and foremost. Its professional practitioners could earn if their publications or broadcasting companies were stable financially, but it was never a profession that could make those involved in it rich. Oh, yes, there were exceptions, but they were clearly exceptions.”

  24. Hopefulcitizen says:

    If only we will love our country and see its promise and potential and uplift and support our leaders (in the straight path) and not be dragged by this troublemakers, crooks and irresponsible press we could be in another in a more better place now. i hope our honest and hardworking leaders will continue to strive for the Philippines to be an economic power and star in Asia and the world.

  25. The problem with Philippine newspapers is that their biases (pro-Aquino for Inquirer, anti-Aquino for Standard, pro-Binay for the Tribune etc.) not only affect the news stories they write, it also makes these stories’ quality go down. Even the Inquirer went down the toilet shortly after Mamasapano, and only now that that issue has finally dwindled has Inquirer began to recover. And the columnists in said papers are mixed bags. I may be pro-Aquino, but there are times I get angry at columnists due to being too pro-Aquino, especially during Mamasapano (I even had to stop reading this website for a while because it was becoming too pro-Roxas, and I don’t like him for various reasons that I’ve mentioned before). And of course, I don’t like to read anti-government columnists, especially if they have pro-Binay leanings (such as that Inquirer Business columnist; I’ve even become reluctant to read Boo Chanco, once my favorite columnists, due to him gaining pro-Binay leanings in recent months). And my views on the Inquirer soured as I’ve noticed that the Inquirer’s readerbase is disturbingly pro-Duterte, even condoning his iron-fistedness (which I don’t think will work on a national scale).

    I know the above paragraph may not make much sense, but I do agree that Philippine journalism has a lot of catching up to do.

  26. Apo Chumachil says:

    I pity you as I believe that the PRESS, being the Fifth Estate, reflected and REPORTED the bitter reality of the Philippines.

    Yanquí viejito, comí un platito de pagpag y bebé un vaso de orina. Que pena tu mugrosa vida.

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