January 4, 2017

Mainstream Media's love affair with Leni Robredo

Vice-president Leni Robredo’s extremely conspicuous absence during and immediately after Typhoon Nina’s onslaught, along with mainstreams media’s treatment of the issue, has led me to a series of realizations that go way beyond the usual disgust for Leni’s hypocrisy.

#NasaanSiLeni: The Background

Despite having knowing full well that a super typhoon was about to pummel her own hometown, Vice-president Leni Robredo still proceeded to fly to the United States, purportedly to attend a family reunion that was, in the words of her own spokesperson, “planned over a year ago” [TP: Thief in the Night].

The typhoon made landfall in the Bicol Region on the day Leni arrived in Newark Liberty International Airport. From that point forward, all we heard from the VP were through tweets, official written statements, Facebook posts, and announcements from her spokesperson Georgina Hernandez, i.e. messages that could have easily been written not by her, but by her support staff.

From the time Typhoon Nina struck Naga on Christmas Day up to Media Noche, VP Leni was nowhere to be found. Despite the proliferation of cheap communication technologies like Facebook Live, Viber, Whatsapp VoIP, and Snapchat, she failed to spend even ten seconds to send a personal message of consolation for the hundreds of thousands of people that Nina terrorized.

Yes, she wasn’t even able to spare a few seconds out of the three minutes she spends waiting for her poop to drop into the toilet bowl.

She was THAT preoccupied. But with what?

Your guess is as good as mine, but I am not the kind who’s fond with mindless speculation, so I tapped onto my network of contacts.

I found out that she had dinner with a geriatric pregnancy doctor the night before she left for Manila, at the risk of missing her long-overdue flight [TP: Pregnancy Doc].

She found at least an hour to spend with this doctor despite her inability to spend even ten seconds to record a personal message for Bicolano Typhoon victims.

What’s even more confusing? The Robredo camp claimed the VP was attending a family reunion, but it appears that Leni’s siblings — the Geronas — were mostly in Canada during this period.

Now, if that doesn’t raise more than a few eyebrows, I don’t know what else will.

Leni Arrives in Manila

From December 25 to January 1st, mainstream media was largely mum about this issue, with the only news bit being the VP spokesperson’s statement that Robredo went to the US for a family reunion that was planned over a year ago.

Yes, that’s basically it for mainstream, despite mainstream’s vast resources, despite them having news bureaus in the United States.

Yes, there was deafening near-total silence on the issue, and its extremely disturbing.>
Leni arrived in Manila in the morning of January 2nd via a Cathay Pacific flight from New York City, with short a layover in Hong Kong. I have announced her arrival several hours in advance, and my over 300,000 followers (plus Mainstream Media people who follow my blog) knew Leni was arriving in a few hours.

Despite this, not a single mainstream media outlet was waiting at the airport to ambush-interview the vice-president. Not a single mainstream media outlet felt that the people deserve an explanation for the vice-president’s negligence. Yes, it’s as if everything is A-OK.

Leni, despite her propensity for calling too many press conferences, did not immediately call for on upon her arrival. Hours passed and she said nothing, only to suddenly appear in NIA road where a massive fire occurred days before her arrival, apparently to show that “Leni still cares”.

Too bad she was caught laughing while inspecting the site.

Leni’s Press Conference

In a press conference held a day after her Manila arrival, VP Robredo said [ABS]:
"Andun ako (sa US) na ang sama sa loob na may nangyayari dito na wala ako...masama yung timing ngayon. Masama yung loob ko na nangyari yun na wala ako," she said, as she met with victims of the typhoon in Naga City.
TRANSLATION: I felt really bad while I was there and something was happening here. The timing was bad. I feel bad that I was not there (in Bicol) when it (Typhoon Nina) happened.

Robredo also said she found it hard to book return tickets as December was peak season.

Robredo added:
"Napakahirap maghanap ng limang tickets kasi kasama ko yung tatlo kong anak at nanay ko na 80 years old."
TRANSLATION: It was hard to look for and book five tickets. I was with my three daughters and my 80-year-old grandmother.

I think I now have a better idea as to why Leni went on radio silence the entire time she was in the States.

The reason? She’s too stupid for her own good.

First, there is no such thing as a well-timed natural disaster. Did Leni seriously expect Nina to RSVP before it hits the country?

Second, she knew at least a day in advance that Nina is arriving, yet she still left. This clearly shows where her priorities lie. Bayan muna bago sarili (Country before self)? Leni knows nothing of that sort.

Third, two of Leni’s children are already adults. It’s not like they will be helpless if Leni goes back to the Philippines and leaves them behind for the lack of available flights. Bicol needed a vice-president, not the vice-president entire family.

Despite Leni’s lame excuses, mainstream media still appears to be so convinced that Our Lady of Naga is still the best vice-president this country has ever had.

Yes, despite the fact that it shameslessly defies common sense.

Another Anti-Duterte media blitz

Criticism against Leni were confined in social media, as mainstream mass media chose to see no evil and hear no evil.

LP must be hemorrhaging millions in exhange for that deafening silence.

A day before Robredo flew to Manila, we were again witness to another anti-Duterte media blitz using the discredited witness Edgar Matobato, with CNN’s Will Ripley leading the pack, with Ripley even going as far as using the words “Killer with a conscience” to describe Matobato. Then followed the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Croatian Telegram, the Swedish Dagens Nyheter, the Philippine Canadian Inquirer, among others.

Is this media blitz an attempt to divert public attention from Robredo’s faux pas?

Your guess, again, is just as good as mine.

Regardless, one thing is clear: if one really wants to learn what’s going on, the last place to learn it would be mainstream media.

Now, I would’ve have joined the Filipino public in its righteous indignation over mainstream’s betrayal of public trust, but I am not the kind of person who unnecessarily gets mad.

I do not get mad: I get even.

A rock to bash one’s own head with

I think that by now, it’s already clear that each time Malacanang invites mainstream media to its doorsteps is another opportunity for mainstream media to f*ck them over.

Not too long ago, I wrote an open letter addressed to President Duterte, with a tacit “CC” to Presidential Assistant Christopher “Bong” Go:
Dear Daddy D,

Good evening Mr. President.

I heard the news that you invited five news outlets so they can each conduct an hour-long 1-on-1 interview with you. Interestingly, all these come from the mainstream, and social media does not even have one representative.

You see, Daddy D, I understand that you come from a different time so you may not have the most comprehensive understanding of social media, but I want to respectfully let you know that mainstream is dying, and that you may inadvertently be neglecting the same platform that helped you win last May.

Honestly, we are the ones who actually help prop up your image despite the nonstop barrage from mainstream media.

Why do you still score high on satisfaction surveys? Among other reasons, it's because we help counter the unwarranted shit thrown at you.

I do not harbor ill feelings about your choices in this matter, but Iet me say, with all due respect, that you basically chose the five organizations that are more likely to fuck you over for the nth time.

Social Media is what galvanizes public support for you. Social media is what will help gather the warm bodies who will defend you if and when an ouster attempt materializes.

You know that. We know that. And that's why I wrote this short letter.

There's no point in beating a dead horse, Daddy D.

Please listen to those who listen to you.

Lovingly yours,
And my claims here cannot be truer in light of what’s happening today.

What exactly am I trying to say?

I urge Malacanang to stop treating social media entities like second class citizens. Yes, I heard that they are planning to grant social media access to Malacanang, but that access is nowhere near what mainstream media historically enjoys.

Mr. President, help those who help you.

Just look at my case.

I have been writing as TP since 2015, and despite the painstaking citations in each of my blog posts, I still am struggling to gain legitimacy in the eyes of public, thanks to mainstream players who feel threatened by the fact that scantily-funded political blogs like mine gain much more traction than their social media arms.

I have funded ThinkingPinoy through personal savings, Google Adsense revenues, and voluntary reader donations. That isn’t a lot of money, but I have to make do with it because that’s the reality.

I mean, just look at my situation right now: I have received a couple of death threats for publishing my latest article so I am currently hiding in a foreign country to shield myself from potential assassination attempts.

To make matters worse, I have dealt with death threats in as early as April 2016, when I exposed Sen. Trillanes’ hacker connections.

I have been dealing with death threats since then, and I have trained my brain to think of them as a fact of life. Despite all these, I still write with passion, with every fiber of my being, because I believe that the future of the Filipino is more important than my own.

And I receive nothing in return, except the hope that in the event of my death, I will be seen as a hero by a few.

You are what the people want. And I want to give the people exactly that.

So why, Mr. President, are you making it hard for us to help you?

Why, Mr. Go, why?

What can you do?

But enough of my ranting. Let’s talk about you, the regular Filipino.

Powerlessness is one of the worst feelings anyone can have and you, the regular Filipino citizen, should be very familiar with it, especially after your collective interests have been chronically subverted by mainstream media for the past year.

But you are mistaken: you are not powerless.

Voice your thoughts on social media. You may lose friends in the process, but you will be able to sleep more soundly at night, with the knowledge that you did your part in making the Philippines a better place for your children and your children’s children.

Be not afraid. Make your presence felt.

Gone are the days when a single voice means nothing. Today, anybody can be the next Mocha Uson, the next Sass Rogando Sasot, or the next ThinkingPinoy.

Trust me, no matter how small your voice is, if it screams in unison with the rest of the masses, then no mainstream media outfit can drown it.

Speak your mind! This is the best time to become the best Filipino you can ever be!

Let’s protect the Filipino democracy.

Be with me. [ThinkingPinoy]

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