Rappler hires EXPENSIVE lobbying firms to help Maria Ressa in “foreign relations campaign against Duterte”!

A CNBC report reveals that Rappler CEO Maria Ressa has engaged the services of “lobbying juggernaut” Covington & Burling to boost her PR campaign against Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Ressa is currently being charged in the Philippines with a number of offenses in relation to her management of media firm Rappler.

The United States’ Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 requires that any engagement of lobbying services in the US be disclosed as a matter of public record. The CNBC report cites one such disclosure filed on the 16th August 2019 documenting the hiring of Covington & Burlington partners Peter Lichtenbaum and Kurt Wimmer to “build awareness and concern about the unfounded charges brought against Rappler and its CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa in the Philippines.” Ressa is indicated as the “client” in this engagement.

“We anticipate that in addition to providing U.S. legal counsel, our role will include briefing U.S. policymakers who are concerned with freedom of expression and the rule of law so that they understand all of the facts surrounding the Philippine government’s treatment of Ms. Ressa and Rappler,” Wimmer said.

Ressa and Lichtenbaum did not respond to requests for comment.

This confirms the extent to which Maria Ressa and Rappler are going to employ all means possible to slander the Philippine government and invite the intervention of a former colonial master into the Philippines’ domestic affairs.

It seems Rappler continues to draw from a deep pool of financial resources to fund endeavours like this. It would be interesting, indeed, to find out where those resources are coming from.

Rappler spins SWS survey on free speech negatively, possibly to save CEO Maria Ressa’s position!

A recent study conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) found that Filipinos disagree with Maria Ressa’s “assault on press freedom” fear mongering. Most of the major Big Corporate media outlets reported this consistently. Here is a rundown of the key headlines issued by these major media organisations.

Rappler bias in summary
(Photo source Twitter)

Note how one of them, albeit one not of the same standing and profile in the industry and professional community, begs to differ.

And here are the links to the above headlines:

Freedom of speech ‘very strong’ under Duterte admin — SWSInquirer

SWS: Pinoys ‘very strongly’ agree they have personal freedom of speechPhilStar

Pinoys agree: Freedom of speech ‘very strong’ – SWSManila Times

SWS: Most Pinoys find freedom of speech ‘very strong’ under DuterteABS-CBN News

SWS: 6 in 10 Filipinos feel free to speak up under Duterte administrationCNN Philippines

Amidst all that traditional media firepower, here, in contrast, is what the Rapplerettes at Rappler think:

Majority of Filipinos think it’s dangerous to publish anything critical of Duterte admin

Sofia Tomacruz, author of the above “report” quotes Mahar Mangahas, president of SWS, asserting that…

SWS assessed respondents’ fear not by asking them their fear of being a victim of extrajudicial killings, but by asking them to agree/disagree with the following statement: “I can say anything I want, openly and without fear, even if it is against the administration.”

Tomacruz refers to Mangahas’s noting of the difference in survey responses to a question framed in different ways. She lays out a rather convoluted story that cuts across opinion pieces written by Mangahas and former Inquirer editor John Nery last week to describe statistical nuances that she uses to support the preferred headline of her Rappler editor.

There is a point in there, perhaps. But it is lost in Tomacruz’s incoherent forced spin of a finding potentially damaging to the personal “activism” of their CEO Maria Ressa.

Rappler and Maria Ressa: “JOURNALISTS FOR RENT”

The mystery persists. Why would anyone believe a government initiative presumptuously billed a conference on “media freedom” that is conducted by the Omidyar Group? Omidyar are deeply-invested in many media companies most of which are so-called reporters of “news”.

This is the confronting question posed by Ezra Levant to the various organisations that participated in this chi chi event. Levant observes, however

No-one here cares. They all want some of that sweet, sweet cash. When @mariaressa said a $4.5 million grant from Omidyar no big deal, you could see everyone here salivate like Pavlov’s Dog. That’s what this conference is about: Omidyar wants to rent hundreds of “journalists”.

Right there is the reason why Big Corporate Media are no longer credible channels for unbiased news reporting. Anyone who receives money from “investors” they have direct relationships with are, in principle, no longer objective.

Unless Big Corporate Media find a new model for funding their “news” operations, they will never regain their lost credibility in that field. For now, they should be content just delivering entertainment. Entertaining an audience, after all, does not require objectivity. Besides, entertainment is more profitable, something Maria Ressa’s Rappler should put a bit more focus on — becoming a profitable enterprise for the sake of its shareholders.

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.

Media firms @PCIJdotOrg, @VERAfiles, @CMFR, and @RapplerDotCom all BAYARAN???

Mr Bobi Tiglao couldn’t have been more succinctly on point in his explosive Manila Times article today.

We are a sovereign nation. Why do we allow a foreign power to fund media entities dedicated to painting the duly elected president black, in the hope that the masses, or the military, would be roused to topple him?

But that is exactly what Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), Vera Files, the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), and Rappler are guilty of to the tune of millions of dollars in funding from foreign governments according to Tiglao.

Recall earlier that top Yellow blogger Jover Laurio of Pinoy Ako Blog too was exposed as a paid hack. Following these exposés, including ones from RJ Nieto’s Fact-checking the fact-checker: Over 50% of Vera Files funding from CIA-linked orgs, these supposed “truth sayers” have been exposed as receiving foreign funds. They are all anti-Duterte. And to think they have been accusing us for years of receiving funds from the Marcoses even without providing proof. Such hypocrites!

I’m pretty sure the journalists tagged as receiving foreign funds will cry foul and accuse the Duterte govt of trying to stifle “dissent”. But as journalists, they should be publishing facts, not opinions. And besides, if they broke the law, they have to pay the price.

Yellowtard-led Opposition spreading unverified information in last ditch effort to win 2019 elections!

They’re up to the same tricks again, spreading unverified reports of “narco-lists”, whistleblowers named “Bikoy”, and accompanying documents of dubious authenticity. The Opposition led by Liberal Party partisans (a.k.a. the Yellowtards) are making good once again on a track record of dishonest “information” campaigns.

Back in 2012, then-newbie “new media” site Rappler dot com sprung up out of nowhere propagating factoids surrounding the impeachment trial of then Chief Justice Renato Corona. It’s as if this “social news network” headed by its CEO Maria Ressa was created specifically for the job of demonising Corona.

Then came Pinoy Ako Blog just in time to boost the comms requirements of the Yellowtards in the campaign leading to the 2016 elections. Again, another channel magically springing up out of nowhere spewing drivel to contribute to the cause of getting the Yellowtards back in power.

A video is one thing and a cadre of “cooperative” corporate media organisations to help spread it is another. But the big question one needs to ask is whether the “evidence” in these videos will pass the standards of real Philippine courts. Do the Opposition have a legal roadmap to bring to justice those characters in the video whom they suggest have done something wrong? Unlikely. Their aim is not justice but merely to slander.

Maria Ressa TOO SCARED to file libel charges against Bobi Tiglao!

Rappler CEO Maria Ressa is on a rampage following Bobi Tiglao’s explosive series of exposés on her dishonesty and hypocrisy.

Tiglao points out that Ressa is an American, bashing the Philippines and that as part of her commitment to American citizenship, she is sworn to “absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which [she had] been a subject or citizen.”

But Ressa “acquired Filipino citizenship in 2004 to make it legally easier for her to work as a manager at ABS-CBN Broadcasting, a media company where foreigners are banned by the Constitution from participating”, as Tiglao writes in his follow-on piece Rappler’s Ressa is a colossal con man. Indeed, she does have a “distressed career” to salvage. She today mounts a textbook Victimhood Campaign involving “her portrayal as a hapless journalist struggling against a powerful state”. And yet, in actual fact, “she is under the protection of the world’s most powerful nation” — her true motherland, the United States of America.

Understandably, Ressa is livid. But then asked by humble Netizens why she should not just file libel charges against Tiglao, Ressa responded in her usual arrogant, condescending, and haughty demeanour.

Of course, any schmoe can dismiss the opinion of a respected columnist as mere “fantasies”. She can even tweet that dismissal to her millions of followers as much as she wants. However, the way the world works today makes containing that growing sentiment a bit more difficult than merely throwing a sophomoric tantrum.

Ressa, of course, has the option of suing for libel. That’s when it gets interesting and what will separate the men from the boys. Your move, Maria Ressa.

Maria Ressa in BIG TROUBLE for falsely accusing Duterte supporters of being “paid trolls” who are under “marching orders”!

Maria Ressa is supposedly incensed by a protest activity instigated by activist Mark Lopez who visited the office building of Rappler to express outrage over her global campaign to vilify the government of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (watch video on Twitter and on Facebook).

Ressa claims that online trolls paid for and directed by the government are under “marching orders” to harass her. Lopez begs to differ

Lopez, in a Facebook Live video, said he made the visit with his friend Jovybev Aquino in order to “express our outrage” at Ressa’s statement.

“We can’t take that tweet. Di namin kinaya ‘yan. Malaking sampal po iyan sa amin, sa atin dahil ‘yung sinasabi po d’yan eh tayo daw na mga trolls lang na tumatanggap lang ng marching orders from somebody else. So we’re here to prove to Ms. Ressa that we are not trolls, that we are here to express our outrage,” he said.

Lopez also carried a poster which read: “As a Filipino, I am going to hold Maria Ressa and Rappler accountable for destroying the image of my country.”

It is interesting to note that a similar protest action was done by Yellowtard “activist” Carlos Celdran back in 2010. Celdran at the time and until now is lauded by the Yellowtard community for his stunt which involved barging into a gathering of Catholic clergy people and holding up a placard with the name “Damaso” written on it.

Ressa’s response to Lopez’s protest action today is an example of the selective manner with which the Yellowtards apply their nebulous “principles”.

Ressa who apparently has close personal ties with Facebook executives and is in a cosy “fact checking” arrangement with the company is seemingly pulling strings to silence Lopez and her other critics on the planet’s dominant social media platform. Following his protest activity at the Rappler offices, Lopez’s Facebook account was suspended but later reinstated after he reportedly appealed to Facebook’s Singapore regional head office.

#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.