The “movement” to #DefendPressFreedom is all about Maria Ressa and not much else

If #DefendPressFreedom was the burning national issue Maria Ressa makes it out to be, why aren’t politicians making it a cornerstone of their campaign? The fact is, it isn’t relevant because it is a non-issue. Maria Ressa was arrested for charges related to her conduct as leader of a news media organisation. Her case has nothing to do with press freedom. For that matter, press freedom was never “under attack” to begin with.

Last we heard it is only Maria Ressa supposedly being “harassed”, supposedly. We don’t hear any other media personality throwing a tantrum even remotely similar to Ressa’s rants. There is no #DefendPressFreedom. Only defend Maria Ressa. Maria Ressa is calling on Filipinos to #DefendPressFreedom because SHE was arrested for LIBEL. Let that sink in for a moment then realise just how ridiculous the notion is.

Who is Ressa anyway? Why screech #DefendPressFreedom over a CEO who failed her shareholders, her employees, and her readers for being a mediocre executive and a dishonest “journalist”?

The only person who can decide Maria Ressa’s LEGAL case is a judge. Judges aren’t moved by activist drivel slogans like #DefendPressFreedom. Only morons are.

Arrest of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa is NOT an “attack on press freedom”. Not at all!

Members of the community of cluckity Netizens that orbit the cult of personality of Maria Ressa, CEO of “social news network” Rappler are up in arms. As I write this, agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) are reportedly serving a warrant of arrest and taking Ressa to custody for offenses related to libel. In response, Ressa’s fans are crying bloody “attack on press freedom”.

But, really, all this has NOTHING to do with “press freedom”. The charges against Maria Ressa have to do with the DISHONEST “journalism” she and her henchwomen are evidently free to propagate. Until now, that is.

One Netizen desperately asks, “Do you think this still has nothing to do with suppressing press freedom, Sir? Help me understand your stance re this.”

To that I say, you need to step further back because the premise that frames your question is flawed. Step back and ask whether “press freedom” is “under attack” in the Philippines to begin with.

The truth is, press freedom was NEVER under threat to begin with. There is no evidence of this dishonest claim propagated by Maria Ressa.

The core issue here is around the charges against Ressa submitted within the framework of the law. Screeching “press freedom” does nothing to mitigate Ressa’s trouble with the law. If Ressa’s supporters want to be smart, they should respond with legal arguments rather than the obsolete street theatrics and crybaby stunts they are likely already planning to mount.

#Debate2019 proved that “press freedom” is NOT “under threat” and that Maria Ressa is a LIAR!

As everyone knows by now, Rappler CEO Maria Ressa is on a global campaign to propagate a lie — that “press freedom” in the Philippines is under threat and that it may, possibly, be already dead.

The most recent proof that Ressa is full of shit is the recently-transpired debate held between senatorial candidates in this year’s elections. The debate was a showcase of true “fearless” journalists throwing the hard questions at the debate participants as Netizens have attested to…

Mel Tiangco, Arnold Clavio, Howie Severino, Jessica Soho are fearless in throwing questions to the senatoriables 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 so pleasant to see Vicky Morales and Pia Arcangel as moderators, they are so beautiful on screen… ✔️✔️✔️ #Debate2019

It does not take much to prove that Ressa is a liar and will probably take even less to prove she is not only a negligent CEO who let her shareholders, employees, and audience down, but also, very possibly, a crooked carpetbagger with a chip on her shoulder.

Kudos to the real journalism professionals who organised this debate and ensured that press freedom is not “dead” as some liars keep insisting.

People who claim “press freedom” is “under threat” are LIARS

Is Philippine media REALLY under threat? Opposition “thought leaders” keep shrieking that it is. But there seems to be absolutely no evidence that this is true. At best, the notion remains DEBATABLE. Trouble is, Yellowtards aren’t willing to have that debate and prefer, instead, to latch on to their mere beliefs and the preachings of quacks like Maria Ressa. Indeed, Maria Ressa, the foremost “champion” of this ululation, to cite a high-profile example, silences anyone who dares challenge her dogma on the matter.

For that matter, many “thought leaders” of the Opposition don’t set a very good example when it comes to being open to having their views scrutinised and challenged. One such example is Opposition senatorial candidate Florin “Pilo” Hilbay who is renowned for his quick trigger finger when it comes to blocking dissent.

Proponents of the idea that the media and, for that matter, anyone associated with the Opposition are “victims” of some sort of conspiracy to “attack” them seem to turn a blind eye purposely to a really plausible alternative view — that, perhaps, the real threat to media is NOT curtailment of freedom but the degenerating quality of Filipino journalism and, even more disturbing, dishonest journalists.

This is the real debate that is begging to be had. It’s time those who latch on to one inbred view open themselves to that important debate lest they become the villains in the very narratives of “victimhood” they reassure themselves with.

Kris Aquino lawyers issue threats of LIBEL lawsuits against media covering #PABoost scandal!

It seems Kris Aquino Inc is on the warpath and is mobilising its vast resource to crush the spread of information deemed damaging to the personal brand of the Crazy Rich One.

An excerpt from correspondence sent out by law firm Divina Law to various media organisations was featured in a report published by PEP.ph and exhibits the veiled threats issued by Aquino’s attorneys…

While we recognize your constitutional right to free speech, free expression and press freedom, we reiterate that Libel is not protected speech.

Thus, we caution you from airing or broadcasting these interviews without verifying the allegations or securing the side/explanation of our client.

Every defamatory imputation is presumed malicious (Article 354, Revised Penal Code).

Liability for defamatory statements published by radio or television may be had from the owner of the station, a licensee, the operator of the station, or a person who procures, or participates in, the making or caused the broadcast or publication of the defamatory statements.

Lawyer Jesus Falcis, brother and spokesman for Nicko, Aquino’s former business manager has since issued a statement denouncing Aquino’s crackdown on developing news surrounding her financial dealings with social media influencers (following excerpt also featured in the same PEP.ph report).

Kris Aquino’s attempt, through her lawyers, to intimidate and prevent the media from airing our side is like the last gasp of a delusional queen who is afraid of losing credibility and power because her fake image will be unmasked.

It can be noted that many of the Crazy Rich One’s purported business associates such as “legal consultant” Gideon Pena had gone silent since the scandal erupted. Some Netizens known to be rabid supporters of parties loyal to the Aquino-Cojuangco clan such as a certain Mia Magdalena Longid, Registrar at the prestigious Brent International School, deactivated their Twitter account altogether.

Evidently, Aquino is fighting a PR battle on two fronts. One is the “bad cop” front being led by her lawyers described above and the other the sympathy front as shown in a recent photo of her in a Singapore hospital published on Instagram.

Indeed, a true media circus by all accounts as only the Queen of All Philippine Media could mount. But her efforts to “manage” this circus will undoubtedly have a chilling effect on the entire media industry.

Maria Ressa in an interview with @karaswisher admits that journalists are now “forced to be activists”!

In a November 2018 interview with Kara Swisher, technology business journalist and co-founder of Recode, Maria Ressa admitted: “I think we’ve been forced to be activists now.” This is exactly the problem with journalism today which I laid out in my recent article, “What does Maria Ressa’s participation in New York City’s #NYE2018 festivities mean?

Ressa and her cronies have fatally-tainted the profession of journalism by engaging in this insidious campaign to raise their profile as “activists” fighting for “press freedom”. They are no longer acting as journalists and, instead, putting forth more of an activist brand.

Indeed, the trouble with “journalism” today is that its practitioners (or the sorts Ressa seem to want to mold the profession around) no longer objectively report the news as disinterested agents. Rather, they aspire to be part of the news if not the centre of the report itself. It seems Ressa would even encourage her reporters to take selfies of themselves making the news.

That’s just plain dishonest journalism. In fact that’s not journalism at all. That’s plain ol’ social media famewhoring. It would seem like Maria Ressa would like this “new breed” of “journalists” to act like the increasingly ubiquitous Snapchatting teenager!

Somebody from the remaining ranks of ethical journalists should stop Maria Ressa before she causes even more damaged to an already embattled profession.

[Credit to Twitter user @singulariDEE for tweeting the Decode article.]

Rappler recipient of “press freedom defense fund” in latest @pressfreedom fund-raising racket

The latest racket to capitalise on the “assault on press freedom” outrage fad has been kicked off seeing that the Committee to Protect Journalists and First Look Media’s Press Freedom Defense Fund Announce Legal Support to Defend Fearless Journalism.

And, surprise surprise…

The first recipients of this newly created campaign will be Rappler, the Philippine-based news organization, and its founder and editor, renowned journalist Maria Ressa.

But of course.

Any “press freedom defense fund” needs a postergirl (and girlettes) for a campaign to play the Victim Card.

The reality is that mainstream media had lost the confidence of a vast swath of its audience. Yet the latest CPJ brainwave describes Rappler as “a leading source of independent information and an inspiration to journalists around the world”.

Nice. Intellectual dishonesty seems to be the only real common denominator that binds the nebulous notion of “press freedom” and these “committees”.

Stop the BULLSHIT around Maria Ressa’s @TIME “person of the year” title already!

The editors of TIME magazine come across as lazy for choosing people in their industry as People of the Year. Someone in their meeting probably had a brain wave and said “Let’s just praise journalists this year” for doing what they are supposed to be doing – their jobs.

And so Maria Ressa is one of TIME Magazine’s “People of the Year”? Not surprising since the distinction was given by her fellow journalists who are just promoting one of their own. The irony is, these so-called “guardians of truth” can’t fact-check Ressa’s claims she is being harassed.

This tweet summarises what has been the typical mainstream story today…

TIME’s 2018 Person of the Year: Maria Ressa, CEO and executive editor of Rappler, a news outlet in the Philippines targeted by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Correction: Maria Ressa is a journalist who has been caught violating the law. She is not being “targeted” because she is a Duterte critic. There are so many critics out there who don’t get slapped with criminal charges. Stop the bullshit!

Only a Philippine court can decide whether or not Rappler CEO Maria Ressa is guilty of tax evasion

The embattled CEO of Rappler continues her dramatics all the way to court to defend herself against tax evasion charges. In a recent tweet, Maria Ressa insisted that these are charges for crimes she “didn’t commit”.

But, really, Ressa’s innocence or guilt on the matter of her tax evasion charges is not for anyone to decide other than a Philippine court.

Nonetheless, Yellowtards continue to emotionally-blackmail its peers in the industry, ABS-CBN News and GMA News Online to “speak out” on Maria Ressa’s “plight”. Thing is there really is nothing to say on the matter other than that alleged crooks should observe due process and respect the ruling of Philippine courts.

Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland (@cafreeland) seems to be calling the Philippine government a LIAR

A statement tweeted by Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, seems to insinuate a position her government is taking on the credibility of the Philippine government.

Canada remains deeply concerned for the security and safety of @mariaressa in the #Philippines. The harassment and intimidation of journalists have no place in democracy. We call for due process to be respected and stand with all journalists working in defence of the truth.

So suspected tax evader Maria Ressa is “working in defence of the truth”? Is the Canadian government implying that the officials of the Philippine government are a bunch of liars and that Ressa is telling the truth?

If Freeland is truly sincere about justice prevailing, she ought to wait for a proper Philippine court to rule on who really is telling the truth.

Until then, her government should butt out of Ressa’s case and keep her opinion on how the Philippines’ justice system is handling the matter.