Slow news day: Rappler “reports” on Duterte’s “awkward” handshake at Bangkok ASEAN summit

Citing a slow news day to excuse routinely shallow and slanted reporting gives too much credit to the Rapplerettes of Philippine “social news network” Rappler. This time, the object of their giggles is a split-second difficulty getting hands together in the handshake photo-op that traditionally marks every ASEAN meet.

True to form they zero in on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte not considering for a moment that a handshake involves two people, in this case Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The anonymous Rapplerette (the report was indicated as having been authored by “Rappler”) “reports” how “Lee, who was standing beside Duterte, took a few steps away from the Philippine leader” perhaps suggesting something that they leave to their loyal halfwit readers to fill in.

It is interesting the way many observers of Philippine politics wonder out loud why no intelligent discourse prevails around noteworthy events and raging issues. They need look no further than the primary news outlet of the Philippines’ Yellowtard-led Opposition for answers.

Ellen Tordesillas contradicts Maria Ressa, says “PH Journalism is as vibrant as ever”!

Queen of Philippine “fact checkers” Ellen Tordesillas finally fact checks Rappler CEO Maria Ressa! Ressa, we recall, has been insisting that “press freedom” is “under threat” in the Philippines which we have long pointed out is a complete lie.

Fortunately Tordesillas had recently come to her senses and acknowledge too in a tweet that Ressa has not been telling the truth at all.

Filipinos can now rest assured that “press freedom” is not “dying” in the Philippines and that Ressa had merely been foolishly crying out that the sky is falling and making a complete fool of herself. Ellen Tordesillas said so. She is, after all, the Philippines’ foremost “fact checker”.

Current chairman of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (@PCIJdotOrg) attended the wedding of Jover Laurio (a.k.a. @PinoyAkoBlog)!

How can one expect Filipinos to regard the chi chi Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) as an objective source of information when its chairman, Howie Severino is a known rabid supporter of partisan camps loyal to the Aquino-Cojuangco clan (a.k.a. the Yellowtards)?

This is an issue highlighted by former Ambassador and Manila Times columnist Bobi Tiglao in a recent Facebook post

In the company of known communists, Yellowtard politicians like Florin “Pilo” Hilbay, and disgraced singer Jim Paredes, among others, it is difficult to see Severino and the PCIJ as anything other than just another mouthpiece of groups loyal to failed ideologies and narratives.

Tiglao also adds in a subsequent post

PCIJ, Vera Files, CMFR have been demanding transparency from government. Yet they refuse to be transparent when they’re asked who are their funders. Don’t they know that media like government is a public trust? They haven’t responded at all to my queries.

It must be clear in hindsight to many of the bozos in this photo what a dumb idea it was to be caught all together in this now iconic wedding photo.

Special Rapporteur @AgnesCallamard and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa show NO RESPECT for deceased Filipino nationals

A recent tweet from “special rapporteur” Agnes Callamard exhibits the uncovered remains of a homicide victim in the Philippines — a clear double standard considering no such photo specially of Western nationals would be tolerated in Western settings.

NB: Image altered by GetRealPundit to conceal identity of the deceased.

As Callamard herself cites, the offending photo even won a “World Press Photo Award” of some sort for photographer Ezra Acayan. Perhaps Filipinos should look more into the sorts of photos that win these so-called awards and see if photos of European nationals are showcased in such a disrespectful way.

Double standards the likes of which Filipinos always end up on the losing end seem to simply fly over the pointed heads of foremost Filipino “thought leaders” like Rappler CEO Maria Ressa. Ressa, in this instance, conveniently overlooks the blatant impropriety in Callamard’s online behaviour to seize an opportunity to do a bit of social climbing

Perhaps, being an American and raised in a Western setting, Maria Ressa too fails to appreciate the appalling double standard in the treatment of sensitive images of the deceased when it comes to Third World societies.

Clearly, manners go out the window when it comes to social climbing on social media.

Misleading @gmanews report by Llanesca T. Panti is inciting hatred for foreign workers among Filipinos

A report published on the GMA News Online website states, “Illegal foreign workers should not be allowed to steal jobs from Filipinos, Vice President Leni Robredo said Tuesday.” However there seems to be nothing in what is quoted verbatim from Robredo’s statements in the report itself that shows she was referring to illegal aliens when she hinted that foreign workers “steal jobs” from Filipinos.

Did Llanesca T. Panti, author of the report LIE? If she did, then this is a grossly irresponsible piece of journalism that should not be tolerated.

Panti also reports in the same GMA News Online story that “President Rodrigo Duterte said that illegal Chinese workers in the country can stay since deporting them could mean a backlash for Filipinos who are working in China.” However a report published on The Philippine Star quotes Duterte verbatim:

“Iyong mga Chinese dito hayaan mo ‘yan na dito magtrabaho. Hayaan mo (Allow the Chinese here to work. Let them),” Duterte said in his speech during the campaign rally of PDP-Laban in Laguna.

Clearly, nowhere in his statement did Duterte suggest that “illegal Chinese workers in the country can stay” as Panti reported on GMA News Online.

This is a case of media deliberately spreading disinformation about an important issue that could cause unnecessary animosity between Filipinos and both guest foreign workers and permanent residents of foreign origin living among them.

This is both irresponsible and dishonest journalism and should be dealt with by the management of GMA News Online immediately.

#DefendPressFreedom is just the latest snowflake fashion statement

“Attack on press freedom”. Seriously? If that notion even remotely made sense, then there’d be an industry-wide backlash. The fact is, there isn’t one. It’s really just Rappler CEO Maria Ressa raising a big stink about this mythological “attack”.

Why does Maria Ressa believe “press freedom” is “under attack”? Perhaps it is because her failed project Rappler is under legal and financial attack. Thing is, legal and financial attacks are real adult problems. “Attacks” on “press freedom”, on the other hand aren’t. The latter is just a quaint girly fantasy created by a failed CEO to distract people from the reality that much of what troubles her are problems of her own making.

Maria Ressa needs to woman up. She needs to set a good example to womandom and take accountability for what she really did — neglect her duties as CEO to run Rappler as a business the way a professional manager would. Instead of doing that Ressa instead dragged Rappler and the fortunes of her investors and the careers of her employees into the dark world of her personal adolescent peeves.

Inquirer editor John Nery’s (@jnery_newsstand) intelligence-insulting FAQs on Maria Ressa’s “press freedom” circus

Inquirer editor John Nery asks himself a simple question in his column today, Assault on press freedom? Q and A:

“If the cyberlibel case [against Maria Ressa] was presumed regular, why is it an assault on press freedom?”

You’d think Nery would take this opportunity to articulate a really precise answer to this question to clarify all the confusion surrounding Ressa’s “assault on press freedom” circus. But no.

Here is his CONVOLUTED answer:

It relies on an extreme legal strategy that imperils everyone who posts online or on social media. In that sense, it is an assault not only on the freedom of the press but on freedom of expression itself. But the case must also be understood as part of a pattern: It is only one of nine cases filed against Rappler, with more investigations under way. Only those who refuse to see will fail to recognize the orchestrated character of the attacks on Rappler — and thus on a free press.

Huh??

It’s a baldly dishonest answer. For one thing consider how he describes those who disagree with his point of view whom he lumps under the label “Those who refuse to see”.

This is an unfounded judgemental label that altogether shuts down any further debate on the matter as far as Nery and the chi chi members of his clique’s points of view are concerned.

Mr Nery should apply a bit of humility to his writing. The fact is, there are many who put forth WELL-ARTICULATED arguments that he and his ilk REFUSE to consider. It’s an irony that flies way above their pointed heads.

Maria Ressa dismisses her critics as “trolls”, believes she holds a monopoly on being RIGHT!

Maria Ressa dismisses Filipinos who challenge her claim that she is being targeted by the Duterte government by labelling them as “trolls” who are merely following “marching orders”. That’s like saying her critics are all non-humans who have nothing of any worth to say. This is the height of arrogance.

It is indeed fitting that Maria Ressa will now be facing a real judge presiding over a real Philippine court. This marks the end of an era where Ressa served as sole self-appointed judge over whether anything she says is right or wrong. Finally, a third and authorised party gets to rule on the question over how right about certain things Ressa really is.

Maria Ressa is a media personality who abused her position as chief executive of a channel that has access to millions of Filipino eyeballs. She measured validity on the basis of popularity and used popularity to enforce validity. That’s as crooked as any media executive could ever get — a bald abuse of a power that entails enormous responsibility. It’s time Maria Ressa pay dearly for that abuse.

“Press freedom” is not the Philippines’ most important issue. It really isn’t.

If one uses Twitter to sample the general sentiment of the Filipino public, you’d think “press freedom” is top of mind for the majority of Filipinos. With the shrillness of the rhetoric of “activists” that populate social media, one would be forgiven in thinking that “press freedom” is the game-changing issue that will determine this year’s elections.

Sadly, this isn’t true. Most Filipinos don’t give a shit about “press freedom”. It doesn’t help that “activist” personalities who champion the cause of this dubious advocacy have come to be seen by many as elitist social climbers who are just out to satisfy their virtue signalling addiction.

The Philippines’ foremost activists like the left-leaning Inday Espina Varona and Tonyo Cruz come across as elitist even as they supposedly champion issues important to the masses.

The data shows that “press freedom” is not a strong election issue — which is why the primary poster person of this “cause”, Maria Ressa, is increasingly isolating herself and possibly dooming her organisation, Rappler, to a spiral towards insolvency. Rather than be a CEO, Ressa seems to prefer the embrace of the snowflake community. Rather than be a journalist, Ressa would rather be an emotional blackmailing shill. Rather than focus on her legal troubles, Ressa would rather seek comfort in an echo chamber she engineered for herself.

It seems, though, that the majority of Filipinos no longer fall for this sort of phony melodrama, and politicians are taking heed. Even the Liberal Party claim to be listening to their constituents’ concerns this time. Indeed, if they focus on the basics — listening and evaluating real data — Filipino politicians need no longer waste precious campaign resources on non-issues like Maria Ressa’s pet “press freedom” tantrum.

Maria Ressa needs to take a break from #DefendPressFreedom — because she is the CEO of Rappler!

If I were a shareholder of “social news network” Rappler, I’d be really pissed. You hire and pay a CEO big bucks and what does she do? She gets my company into a heap of tax trouble and exposes it to a big libel case. Worst of all, she gets arrested and spends most of her time in rallies and schmoozing with “activists” who espouse nebulous causes.

Most CEOs worth their salt are measured on the basis of shareholder added value. It seems Ressa has not only exempted herself from compliance to Philippine law, she’s also unilaterally exempted herself from measures that make most CEOs tremble on their leather seats.

If there is anything that exhibits just what an awful business executive Maria Ressa is, look no further than the business she was supposed to be leading. Rappler was once a star “new media” entity. Now it is so short of cash that it resorts to soliciting donations to fund its quaint legal battles.

Ressa is covering up her failure as a CEO with the dishonest “activism” around “press freedom” we are subject to today. That’s a really dishonest initiative that is sucking precious attention span away from more important national issues that truly matter to ordinary Filipinos. It’s time to put a stop to this nonsense and call out the failed CEO that Maria Ressa really is.