January 26, 2017

College sorority blog Rappler's Chay Holifena and her delusions

I have less than two hours to write this article. But it's just a rebuttal for a Rappler article, so two hours is all I need.

Rappler Rants

In “Inside Martin Andanar's man cave", butthurt college sorority blogger Chay Hofilena, with help from fellow college sorority bloggers Paige Occenola and Pia Ranada, brazenly accused PCOO Sec. Martin Andanar of using taxpayers' money to fund bloggers Sass Rogando Sasot and me, Thinking Pinoy.

Hofilena clearly attempted to disparage major social media players like Sasot and I for the benefit of “journalists”, whatever Rappler's definition of “journalism” is.

And Hofilena failed.


Let me address Hofilena's points one by one.

Hofilena's B.S.

Hofilena wrote:
Early on, after Duterte won as president, the first thing that Andanar asked the MalacaƱang Press Corps (MPC) officers was if bloggers like "Thinking Pinoy" could be accredited as members of the press corps. Clear about the distinction between the role of the press and that of pro-Duterte bloggers, the officers said no.
Chay, what exactly is the role of the press and what does it mean to be a pro-Duterte blogger? For you to be able to call me a pro-Duterte blogger, you must have read the 200-or-so articles I wrote in the past year.

Are you a closet ThinkingPinoy fan? I am seriously flattered.

To refresh your memory, I have castigated Duterte for his rape joke, scathingly criticized the PCOO, exposed the dirt involved in the the Senate Presidency power tussle between Senators Cayetano and Pimentel, humiliated Pimentel for his indecision, and even went as far as calling out the massively popular PNP Chief Bato dela Rosa for his ill-timed Las Vegas trip.

Does that make me a Duterte apologist? Supporting an administration is different from being an administration apologist. Using your logic, Rappler would be Robredo apologist.

And trust me, at this time, being a Duterte apologist is way, way better than being an apologist for Leni Robredo.

Moreover, who exactly is MPC to define the role of the press?

Which constitutional body accorded MPC that right?

Gandang-ganda sa sarili? Ganern? 

Social Media beats Mainstream

Darling, MPC membership is a privilege and not a right, and you might have forgotten that Malacanang has the final say on who gets into MPC and who does not, and Malacanang simply exercised prudence when they chose to adopt MPC's decision on the matter.

And I agreed with Malacanang, not because you said no, but because despite my exclusion from MPC, I have been kicking mainstream media's ass for the past year. Just imagine my delight when I learned how to use Facebook Page Insights and discovered that mainstream media has lost its monopoly on information.

Today, even without MPC membership, my engagement figures have exceeded Rappler's and Inquirer's figures COMBINED.
Actually, TP > CNN + Rappler + Inquirer, but I like CNN Philippines.

So please, stop trying to make it sound like I am itching to get into MPC.

MPC has lost credibility, the same reason why you got your panties in a bunch right now.

The tables have turned, Ms. Hofilena, social media has taken over the task of shaping public discourse.

Truth be told, it's the same reason why I was initially apprehensive to write a rebuttal, as I do not want to give you publicity.

Today, it's mainstream that needs publicity from social media, and not the other way around.

Stop deluding yourself.

Iayon ng arte sa ganda.

Taxpayers' Money

Hofilena wrote:
An apologist of the President and a public official who gets paid by taxpayers’ money, Andanar is embarking on a dangerous path of propaganda and media control... Palace insiders said that, starting September 2016, money was released to “groups” that had maintained an online presence in support of the President. The same insiders said some of these groups are identified with Andanar.
Again, here we go with Rappler's all-too-familiar anonymous source, a device that Rappler has all-too-often used to justify its rants.

You see, Miss Hofilena, a writer can use anonymous sources only if the writer possesses enough credibility in the eyes of the populace, something that everyone in Rappler sorely lacks.

And you're a Rapplerrette, just in case you forgot.

And you seriously believe that Rappler still has that credibility?

After Paterno Esmaquel publicly humiliated a Rappler reader, after Pia Ranada editorialized an article despite the requisite neuron count, after Ressa launched a four-part rant with nothing but anonymous sources?
Seriously, Hofilena, get a grip: your ego gets in the way of your logic. Face the reality that the public sees you as self-entitled, self-absorbed assholes.

Have you not learned about what happened to Pia Ranada not too long ago?

Darling, heto ang kape, at nang kabahan ka naman.

Malacanang's “Attack dogs”

Hofilena wrote:
Through his resurrected Martin’s Mancave – with “Lifecast” attached to the brand to give the podcast a new name on Facebook – the Cabinet secretary provides the two bloggers with a platform and grants them legitimacy, both as attack dogs out to intimidate journalists and as sources of alarmist information.
Bloggers like Sass and I have gone past the phase where we still need to gain legitimacy.

If Rappler, with its self-proclaimed supremacy in Social Media, just knew how to use analytics, it's easy to see that the public already sees us as more credible than you are.

Just look at the performance of your social media posts during the past several months.

There's one word that best describes it: “nilalangaw”.

Hofilena wrote:
This shrewd artificial online boost spread like wild fire the message about the supposed plot to oust Duterte. It rattled the social media sphere of Duterte followers and generated a lot of anger about the supposed grand conspiracy.
May nalalaman ka pang shrewd online boost. Ungas, mas malaki engagement ko kahit walang boost na yan. Wag kang ilusyonada.

This is exactly the problem. The article I wrote, if you just bothered to actually read it, shows that #LeniLeaks is mainly about the OVP propaganda email and not the ouster plot.

Which part of the title “Inside Leni's Propaganda Machine” did you fail to understand, or are you too stupid to even attempt to understand it?

And “intimidate journalists”?

If you feel so secure about yourselves, you wouldn't be intimidated by “insignificant” bloggers like me. Did I threaten you with anything illegal?

Such as a sissy.

All I said was that I will be reporting Pia Ranada's every move. Is accountability too much for the Fourth Estate?

Wow, Chay, mas manipis pa ang balat mo kaysa kay Michael Jackson!

MPC's Singapore “shopping”

Hofilena wrote:
He reported that only he and a handful of others were at a hotel lobby in Singapore waiting to ambush-interview officials. However, this is not how the media works and gathers news. Journalists do not base their stories solely on officialdom but countless other sources, depending on issues they are pursuing and monitoring. Ambush-interviews likewise do not yield the best of stories because officials tend to give answers on the fly.
This is the stupidest thing Hofilena said in the entire article.

Chay, tell me, who were the “multiple sources” that Pia Ranada was so busy interviewing that she wasn't able to spare even a minute in Shangri-La Singapore's Hotel Lobby?

Does Pia think those sources are more authoritative than cabinet secretaries themselves?

Who did Pia Ranada interview, the security guard in Lucky Plaza Mall? 

Tell me, what did Pia Ranada do in Singapore during the times when she wasn't attending a press conference? I yearn to know.

Honestly, there's a part of me that screams:
"Lintik ka Pia, sana iniwan ka na lang ni Duterte sa kanal noong campaign period."

“Boosts and Failure”

Hofilena then went on to cite analytics data that – Lo and Behold! – are NOT independently veriable by third parties. Hofilena showed a graph showing Facebook interest on the #LeniLeaks issue, a graph that's customed-made by Rappler.

Kumbaga, ganda lang Rappler ang puhunan ng mga data na 'yon. 

Ang problema? Hindi naman kagandahan ang Rappler.

You still don't get it, Chay. Publishing unverifiable data requires credibility, something that Rappler lacks, something that you lack.

Hofilena then tried to attack the “newsworthiness” of #LeniLeaks by showing that the public is not interested in it. This raises two issues:

FIRST, newsworthiness isn't gauged by the number of people who read the article. Go back to journalism school Chay.

Is popularity the main criterion upon which Rappler decides which gets published and which does not? Is this the same reason why Ryan Macasaet, along with another Cebu-based correspondent, resigned from Rappler?

And if it is, e bakit nilalangaw pa rin ang mga posts niyo sa Facebook?

SECOND, you accuse Andanar of manipulating public discourse, yet you conveniently forgot the fact that #LeniLeaks is about the OVP manipulating public discourse.

So does that qualify you as a Liberal Party apologist?

And by the way, have you answered the question “Who's Pete Silva?”

Here you go lambasting Andanar for allegedly supporting bloggers like me, but you turn a blind eye on Your Lady of Naga for manipulating social media?

Tangina Chay, 'wag na tayong maglokohan dito.
Nagmamaang-maangan kayo dito. Sige, pwede niyo ipilit na hindi ito newsworthy, pero wag kayong magtaka kung bakit sinasagasaan lang ng ThinkingPinoy ang Facebook performance niyo. 

Tapos, ang kapal pa ng mukha at kaliskis ni Maria Ressa na magbigay ng Social Media seminars, e ang tatanga niyo sa social media.

Chai further wrote:
For Andanar, whether in MalacaƱang or in his man cave, the distinction between journalists and bloggers, as well as news and propaganda, are all a blur.
Here we go again.

Ms. Hofilena, there is no distinction between journalists and bloggers, and in its absence, you're not the authority to define it.

Show me books that distinguish the two. There aren't any. 

Miss Hofilena, here's a NEWS FLASH: Rappler is NOT God's Gift to Journalism. Paige, Pia, and you, are NOT God's Gift to Journalism. Truth be told, you three are a disgrace to it.

Journalist's Ethics

And now that you have raised the issue of money exhanging hands, despite having no solid proof of it, can the public start calling your articles “Fake News”?

Rapplerettes claim to be journalists, but their ethics go directly against Journalists' Code.

FIRST, Rappler used a graphic showing Facebook stats without issuing the appropriate disclaimers, in total contravention with the Philippine Press Institute's (PPI) Journalist's Code of Ethics (JCE) which states:
In using scientific polls, the sample size and the margin of error should be disclosed. 
• In using non-scientific surveys, the manner in which they were taken and their limitations should be clearly explained in print. Merely labeling a survey as “non-scientific” is not sufficient. 
• Surveys that do not meet minimal scientific standards of validity and reliability should not be identified as polls, nor should they be portrayed in language suitable to scientific polls. 
• Great caution should be used in employing non-scientific polls to address substantial questions of public policy or to describe the popularity or approval rating of public officials or public actions.
Since you love citing anonymous sources, let me cite one of mine.
SECOND, Rappler, just like what it did in the anti-Duterte P. Guevarra article, chronically fails to get both sides of the story, in total contravention with the PPI JCE which states:
All efforts must be exerted to make stories fair, accurate and balanced. Getting the other side is a must, especially for the most sensitive and critical stories. The other side must run on the first take of the story and not any day later.
A Malacanang insider informed me that Pia Ranada requested for an accounting of PCOO's expenses in during the Singapore and Beijing State Visits which, unsurprisingly, are the two state visits that I covered. The insider said Ranada requested it last week and per FOI guidelines, it should take about three weeks for PCOO to comply.

Despite that, Ranada still failed to inform Hofilena that PCOO's reply is still pending, and even if she did inform Holifena, the latter  failed to mention that PCOO has yet to reply to their accusation.

Madaling-madali na ba kayo kasi palugi na nang palugi ang Rappler?

THIRD, Rappler gauges newsworthiness through popularity, and not through its effects on public interest, in contravention with the PPI JCE which states:
Public importance. The expected news story should be of such public interest that its news value clearly outweighs the damage to trust and credibility that might result from the use of deception.
Now, which part of “Leni emails her supporters specific details on counter-propaganda” does Hofilena fail to understand?

Ay! Wait, college sorority blog nga lang pala kayo. Sorry naman.

Funding Issues: TP vs Rappler

I am about to finish this writing this article and at I feel really terrible at this point.

Why? Because Hofilena's article is so crappy it doesn't even deserve a rebuttal. 

Syet, nagpa-manicure na lang sana ako.

Rappler calling me a paid hack is the worst thing Rappler can do to itself. I, ThinkingPinoy, have over 400,000 followers, followers who have helped sustain me financially, followers who donate their hard-earned money to help me cover as many events of public interest as I can. 

My almost-half-a-million readers will not be very happy.

And now that Hofilena has mentioned money, has she forgotten that Rappler is funded by foreigners, in violation of the Philippines' foreign ownership laws? Maybe it's time for a Senate Investigation on something that REALLY matters.

Chay, assuming without conceding that I am funded by taxpayers's money, are you saying that the Filipino public, 84 percent of which are satisfied with Duterte, will find a foreign-funded sorority more acceptable than a locally-funded blog?

I do not think so.

Now, will my followers accept Rappler's accusation that Malacanang sustains my blog instead of them?

I think not.

So Rappler, I suggest that you tell your Facebook moderators that they will have to work overtime.

They will have hundreds of thousands of people to ban.

And Chai, I have one last question for you:

Who is Pete Silva?

Tanga. Oo, tanga ka. Kasimpleng tanong, di mo masagot.

Rappler, you are a college sorority blog. Nothing more. Deal with it.

Let me challenge Rappler and MPC:
Let MPC's best representative debate with me on FB Live. and I'll make him eat his shit.
And no, I will not proofread this article anymore. It's not worth the time. [ThinkingPinoy]

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