May 30, 2019

Hey Karen Davila, here's my reply to your complaint

Dear Karen Davila,

My manager spoke to me recently and he relayed to me what you had to say. It's funny that this is the second time you've tried to reach me through channels, even if you can very easily get hold of my phone number by calling our common friends.

Anyhow, here's what I've got to say in return.

Your latest complaint

The latest post you're complaining about is a blind item. You weren't named anywhere on that post, so why are you so affected? 

Note that I didn't cite the post here because I do not want to make that issue bigger than it should be, or for it to take on dimensions that I didn't intend it to take. I may be an asshole, but not 24-7.

Yes, the commenters tried to guess who that person is, but is it really ethical for me to suppress my followers' Freedom of Speech just because you didn't like what they say?


Are you sure that Duterte is the dictator or is it some supposedly veteran journalist that’s so onion-skinned, she wants to silence people who don’t like her?

Going by your logic, should we blame you for the public ridicule that Alma Moreno and Manny Pacquiao had to suffer after they guested in your show?

Karen, please check the constitutionality of your requests before you blurt them out.

I personally think you have much to improve in your journalism, but I never crusaded for your involuntary silence.

Heck! I actually want you to talk even more because you, to put it lightly, amuse me every now and then. But contrary to what you would like to believe, I do not exist to torment you: it just so happens that you commit gaffes far more often than most high-profile journalists, and it would be hypocritical of me not to point them out.

Honestly, I haven't seen any other high-profile journalist commit the same kind of glaring mistakes that you do.

And why would I keep quiet about them? They are matters of Public Interest, and I am not indebted to you in any way, shape, or form.

A Code of Omerta

While it is true that there's supposedly an unwritten rule that journalists don't attack other journalists, I think that this rule doesn't apply to "our" case because:
First, you and your colleagues in traditional media don't consider us journalists but mere "fake news purveyors". Do you suddenly consider "fake news purveyors" as journalists when it's convenient for you?
Second, journalists should be able to take what they dish out. Are you telling me that you can't take criticism when criticizing people has been your job for decades? Have you never heard of Media Lens UK, Karen?
Third, you have talked about me unfavorably in your show several times, yet never have you respected my Right of Reply. Heck, you didn’t even bother to ask my side on that episode about the October 2017 Fake News Senate Hearing, despite me being the topic of that specific episode.
Who was being unethical then, Karen? And you even have the gall to ask for fairness?

But that is not to mean that I exert no effort to be as fair as possible. 

As far as I can recall, I have never made up stuff about you. Everything I’ve said about you were either based on publicly available footage or information that I have verified using at least two independent sources.

On your fake news about me

With that said, you told my manager that you were so hurt when I allegedly said Senator Trillanes bought you and your husband a pricey condominium unit. I find that funny because this was not the first time you brought that up.

About a year or so ago, you called a common friend to complain about that exact thing. I was with him when you were having the conversation.

Asked where you found that post, you said you saw it in “”, which is not my site because I own as far as I can recall only ThinkingPinoy with the top-level domains .com, .net, .org,,, and, specifically to prevent copycats from using my brand. I specifically decided against purchasing rights over .info because any decent netizen will know that they usually are used by fake news sites so I do not wanna spend my money on protecting my brand from something that is unlikely to be a threat.

Do not blame me for your technological ignorance as your ignorance, technological or otherwise, is not my fault.

I vividly remember our common friend telling you that I never wrote that Trillanes-bought-you-a-condo issue because I do not own the source site you cited yet years later, you still insist that I did what I didn’t.

Should I sue you for slander? But more importantly, why are you spreading fake news about me? Is that the kind of journalist that I should aspire to become, seriously? 

Am I really the one spreading fake news here, Karen? Should I call the CBCP so they can include you in their list?

Onion skin

You are arguably far more well-known than I am but I think that I have already suffered a sufficient amount of bashing, enough to have the right to tell you that public figures, especially those who willingly entered the limelight like you, should not be this onion-skinned.

When I was unfairly grilled on national TV by six senators for hours on end, have you ever seen me use the victim card? When Maria Ressa slandered me all over the world for god knows how many times already, have I ever cried for sympathy? When I was unjustly blamed during 2018 PH-Kuwait Diplomatic crisis for something that I didn't do, did I ever scream "Woe is me!"?

No, I took all of them in stride. I let my followers decide who’s the insecure liar.

Now, if you are still so convinced that I have unfairly and illegally maligned you, then please do yourself a favor: next time you complain, call me directly. 

But in case a multi-awarded journalist like you is too scared to talk to a huckster like me, please tell whoever common acquaintance you’ll call next the specific post and specific location concerning the specific thing you’re complaining about.

Geez, Karen, the kind of complaining you’ve done so far smacks of bad journalism. A simple Who What When Where and How is an SOP: you don’t just call random people and complain about something you can’t even describe accurately.

Truth in journalism

You see, Karen, ThinkingPinoy started as a pedestrian putok-sa-buho who got so sick and tired of Mass Media’s slanted reporting that he took it upon himself to call out the hypocrisy and the lies bombarding the masses every day.

Despite your visible dislike for our current president, be thankful that you work in the Philippines.

Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, Jon Stewart, and even the much-ridiculed pundits of Fox News would have had a field day had you been working in the United States… although that assumes you can, in one way or another, become famous enough to be within range of their radar.

And don’t even get me started with the much more virulent European Press.

Karen, had you taken considerable and noticeable efforts to improve your journalism, I would have already forgotten all about you by now. But judging from your latest stunt with Vico Sotto, it appears that you really are the gift that keeps on giving.

When you so publicly expect so much from others like Manny Pacquiao and Alma Moreno, the public will also expect much from you.

I am part of that public.

Yes, I agree that I may not be as good as the person that I want you to become, but have you ever heard me complain to you about the flak I get from the public?

Despite all these

Despite everything I’ve said so far, I actually am happy that you got to where you are right now. I know you have sacrificed a lot to achieve what you’ve achieved. I will not – and I have no plans to – take any of that from you. Your success is your success.

But getting to the top is easier than staying on top, and that second thing is the challenge you’re facing today.

Will you stay on top by complaining to lesser humans like me, or by honing your craft and stopping the hypocrisy?

Think about it.

And no, I do not hate you: I just want you to be better.

I want you to be a better journalist not for your own sake, but for the sake of those who watch you every day. Filipinos have suffered long enough, so please don’t make them suffer any further.

Legit Journalists don't act the way you do right now.

Note that I have been intentionally vague here because I tried my best to minimize any embarrassment that this may cause you. Yes, despite everything I've written, I was actually trying my best to hold back.

Pramis, hindi pa ako beast mode ng lagay na 'to.  Had I written this with beast mode activated, you would have had a splitting headache... or at least a "splitting image" of it . 

Now toughen up.


RJ Nieto
Publisher, ThinkingPinoy

P.S. Honestly, I prefer myself being called the The Splitting Image of a Dutch riding an above-ground subway in Cambridge.


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