The trying hard to "re-balance"

Too little too late is how I’d describe the token gestures of the and its bricks-and-mortar rag to deliver “balanced” news. The Inquirer editor has been so imbalanced for such a long time that his efforts to be a bit more balanced comes across as quaintly infantile.

Consider the cover of today’s Philippine Sunday Inquirer, (2nd May 2010). Arnel Endrinal in his report on how the Inquirer is behaving today concludes that “judging from the news contents, including the photos featured, the Inquirer Front Page today did a favor to [presidential aspirant Gilbert C.] Teodoro”. And I gotta agree with Endrinal’s astute choice of words. It’s all just a favour, delivered with the sort of non-class that Filipinos are renowned for.

Indeed, Endrinal has been monitoring The Philippine Daily Inquirer Front Page since the 15th of April 2010. He has since kept score of how much coverage each candidate has been getting in that venerable institution of self-described fairness. Each day he assesses the Inquirer and decides on which candidate or set of candidates were given primary coverage on that day and assigns one point to that candidate or set of candidates for that day.

Here are the results as of today, Sunday, the 2nd of May after more than two weeks of monitoring:

Number of times the Inquirer favoured
a particular candidate on its front page:

Aquino: 12
Estrada: 1
Villanueva: 1
Teodoro: 1
All the rest: 0

Needless to say, the Inquirer editor has a lot of catching up to do if he is to meet commonsensical criterial on what it means for a newspaper to be fair and objective. But then with just seven days to go before the elections, Mr Editor has only got seven or eight points with which to work with to re-balance — not enough to tip the scales away from the elephantine 12 points popular presidential candidate Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III enjoys with that venerable relic of 1980’s emo politics. Considering too that those are seven points that have to be spread across four major competitors of Noynoy Aquino, that’s an evenly-distributed 60+ percent of people who will be voting against Noynoy who won’t be too happy with the way Inquirer has been living up to its responsibility to the Filipino people.

Look who’s laughing
all the way to the bank…


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19 Responses to The trying hard to "re-balance"

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  2. Rob' Ramos says:

    You should see the “Special Report” by the Inquirer on political dynasties.

    That excellent blog doing a critique on the Inquirer’s front page, though, didn’t see how it benefited Aquino and the LP, but it did benefit the Chosen One and his accomplices.

    Part I had around a third, or even half of it, with Rene Saguisag waxing eloquent about his reasons and thoughts about public service, specifically, if I read the article right, with regard to serving Cory. I don’t know how such… reminiscing adds to an article about Congress and its inability to stop political dynasties except to once again harp on the “Cory magic.”

    Part II didn’t mention Tarlac (it seems) and hit the Gordons – not only Dick by JC, too – in its listing of Zambales dynasties, and Gibo in the Pangasinan one.

    Part III hit the rivals of LP candidates, particularly the Suarezes (Quezon; Gov. Raffy Nantes is the LP leader in the province, and, was, or is, the LP National Treasurer) and the Remullas and Revillas (Cavite; if I remember correctly, Ayong Maliksi has “gone back to the fold” and rejoined the Drilon-Roxas-Aquino LP).

    I haven’t done checks with COMELEC on who really is listed as allied to whom, but I’m basing this on what I last know of who’s with whom.

    If someone will correct me, I’d welcome it.

    • Rob' Ramos says:

      oh, drat: typo.

      That should be “…not only Dick BUT JC, too”


    • benign0 says:

      I think the Edsa “revolution” being then associated with “people power” and termed a “revolution” were all innovations engineered by the Media at the time. Even the religious affiliation of that event was hi-jacked by the Catholic Church as evident in the church built at the intersection of Ortigas and Edsa that goes by the name “the Edsa Shrine”. So much for that whole event being a non-denominational multi-sectoral Filipino (and not just “Filipino” of the Manila-based Catholic variety) occasion.

      More importantly, this Edsa “revolution” thing became an Aquino franchise. For all the emphasis on it being a force of “the Filipino People” it is now seen more to be a magical spell that could be cast on “evil” dictators by anyone bearing the Aquino name (or wearing a yellow shirt). That is evident in how Noynoy wields the concept like a deadly weapon today — threatening to invoke it in the event that he perceives himself as a victim of “cheating” this coming elections.

    • BenK says:

      You’re right about Maliksi.

  3. rhum says:

    have you seen Pat Evangelista’s article on Gordon? it was her opinion column alright, but I am beginning to question whether she wrote it as a friend of Erwin Romulo (who called Gordon chicken shit on air, by the way).

    • ArticleRequest says:

      @Rhum: This?

      Method To Madness
      People call me Dick.
      By Patricia Evangelista
      Philippine Daily Inquirer

      First Posted 21:38:00 05/01/2010

      Filed Under: Elections, Politics

      Most Read

      Other Most Read StoriesxClose this

      THERE ARE MANY AND VARIED REASONS WHY RICHARD Gordon is not number one in the presidential race. It is because the public is made up of fools who idolize candidates by virtue of a free T-shirt. It is because of survey companies that are “stealing the people’s minds” by publishing false ratings to a conditioned public. It is because the media are biased. It is because the public mind is unable to understand he is better than those Aquinos, or that Villlar. It’s because of the oligarchies and monopolies and the sad state of Philippine democracy.
      That Gordon is not leading the charge to the Palace cannot possibly be because of Gordon himself. In the wonderful world of the man called Dick, the flowers bloom red, the sky is papered with his posters, and crowds of ballot-clutching jingle-singing voters reach out to touch his hand.

      “Name me another candidate that has become Con-Con [Constitutional Convention] delegate at a very young age, who’s a lawyer that became a mayor, that became chairman of Subic Bay, that improved our economy dramatically and took out the yoke of American presence here, that became secretary of tourism against a sea of negativism, then became senator of the Republic, did all those laws, and at the same time, spent 43 years fighting disasters.”

      That the senator has an impressive resumé has never been in doubt, a list that includes class president, he reminds Karen Davila on ANC. Perhaps he forgets that leadership is not just a function of achievement, it is also one of character.

      This is Richard Gordon, presidential candidate, who spent his RockEd radio interview insulting the Cojuangcos of Tarlac, insinuating all manner of foul deeds. This is Gordon, straight shooter, offended at a caller’s curious question asking him if he thought the Cojuangcos were really corrupt. This is Gordon, presidential candidate, howling at his interviewer for calling him a coward for answering the question with an angry question. And so the best man for the job ripped into Erwin Romulo, UNO editor, RockEd member and Free Press publisher. “You’re just the son of Bert Romulo,” said the red-faced little man, forgetting the live webcam. “You’re nobody.”

      It may not be the most advisable act to call a presidential candidate “chickensh-t,” even if it’s true. Then again, the MILF members toting stolen Kalashnikov rifles may not be so careful with their language on the peace-negotiating table, and I sincerely doubt the sight of the president of the Philippines screeching chickensh-t to leftists burning his effigy will result in anything less than a bloody revolution outside Malacañang. It is odd for me to write this, as temperamental writers should be the last people to judge temperaments, but neither am I aspiring for the leadership of over 80 million Filipinos.
      “I’m frank,” he says in an interview, after he finished a tangent on the idiocy of everyone but Gordon. “I don’t give a damn what anyone thinks.”

      There is a difference between being frank and being a downright jackass, a difference that seems to have been blurring the closer we get to May 10. The sniping online and on air is reaching mammoth proportions, everyone and their mother accused of suddenly either being a whore or a moron. There is no concept of opinion or democracy, only right and wrong, color-coded by baller band. Gordon is on another level altogether—a presidential candidate who throws national tantrums, tosses sexual innuendoes at female reporters, and goes ballistic at the suggestion Dick Gordon is not the most popular boy in class. “You people,” is how he refers to everyone on his rants, “you people are the problem.” For this man, a ballot that does not circle Dick Gordon is a result of some conspiracy against him or a failure in intelligence. It is odd for a man so contemptuous of people to claim he is a man who will represent them best.

      He has sued survey companies for brainwashing the public, says the problem of this country is that people do not think. He is contemptuous of the running mate who has had nothing but praise for him. Ask him about Bayani Fernando, and the tandem that took the country by surprise. Ask him why he decided on Fernando. “I did not choose him, he was the one who came to me.” And then he will laugh at his own wit.

      Not that this isn’t true. Fernando admits it when asked why he chose Gordon. “He was the only one left.”

      Gordon admires many things about Fernando. “In spite of his visage, he’s very humble.”
      He says he admires the man’s forthright and straightforward manner. He says he admires what Fernando has done for Marikina. Most of all, Gordon admires Fernando’s admiration for Dick Gordon.
      “You know, I’ve heard him say, ‘I learned this from Dick Gordon.’ He would say that on TV and radio. That impressed me.”

      “After I am president, after that exposure, Bayani can be president. Then we’ll have to look for somebody else who will continue.”

      I never met Gordon before the election season. Whether this is who he really is, or whether the ranting and raving is a reaction to stress and pressure and the survey numbers he swears he cares nothing for, this is not what I want from my president. Presidents are not exempt from humility, and those who think they are end up tyrants and dictators. It is a waste of what would have made a good leader; perhaps a long time ago Gordon knew how to inspire. That Gordon now spends most of his interviews complaining about his opponents, blaming the survey companies and harassing his interviewers explains much about the personality of this man.

      “I knew I could have won easily,” he says about running for senator. “I have a pretty good track record. I’m pretty good at what I do. I would be turning my own back on the country if I didn’t run for president.”
      There are many and varied reasons why I will not vote for Richard Gordon, and it is not because Noynoy Aquino’s parents were allied 20 years ago with the TV station I write for today, or because Gilbert Teodoro’s people gave me a free T-shirt. Neither is it because the surveys have stolen my mind, or because of oligarchies and monopolies and the sad state of Philippine democracy, or because of any bias for any particular candidate. I would like to put it on the record: I will not vote for Richard Gordon because he is Richard Gordon.

  4. rhum says:

    “I will not vote for Richard Gordon because he is Richard Gordon.”

    And with this statement she seemed to have forgotten about Gordon’s ability to lead, and instead focused on something intangible.

    • ChinoF says:

      Wala eh… it’s the Filipino penchant to want someone more pleasant. Ayaw ng serious. Gusto puro ocho ocho in the office araw araw. Hence, the country remains backward.

    • J.B. says:

      Evangelista to me is looking for something that is a desirable trait e.g. humility and she didn’t find any.

  5. ArticleRequest says:

    She may have exaggerated a bit but I think her column is honest. Gordon’s lawsuit wasn’t well timed and his interviews, although tama naman yung sinsabi niya, give people the impression that he is a bit too boastful, mayabang, and arrogant. I dont think the Gordon I used to know is arrogant and boastful pero this past 2 weeks I think he’s been overdoing the Gordon style 2 much. Show people you are qualified pero sabihin mo nang maayos. Do it the way u did 4 months ago.

    • bokyo says:

      I tend to agree. That was a major putoff on some Gordon supporters because of that unexpected display of attitude. I felt it was a bit too much,

      Still it’s not an excuse not to vote for the what I think is the most qualified candidate for presidency

  6. benign0 says:

    Here’s ABS-CBN patting itself on the back for getting a “90% neutral” rating from Media “watchdog” Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR):

    The CMFR said 90% of ABS-CBN’s election stories were neutral while GMA-7 had 64% neutral reports. For NBN-4, 41% of its reports were seen as neutral.

    The CMFR said the reporting done by the major networks was generally responsible during the period.

    CMFR’s findings are reflected in an April 2010 survey of Pulse Asia, which found 63% of respondents believe that ABS-CBN has been the most credible in covering the polls, followed by GMA-7 at 55%, and NBN-4 at 27%.

    The venerable network is also not above appealing to the renowned victim mentality of Da Pinoy:

    As mudslinging among candidates intensifies, so are the attacks against the media.

    Media watchdog Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) said that in a situation like this, it is usually the media that is caught in the crossfire.

    Indeed, in the Philippines everybody is a victim. If it quacks like an Aquino and walks like an Aquino then it must be… 😀

    Pinoy nga naman talaga
    Parang aso
    Matangkad lang kapag naka-upo

    Kaya tuloy maraming “watchdog” kasi nga parang aso.

  7. nelman says:

    If violence against journalists cannot be completely stopped, it should at least, be directed to these kind of journalists.

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