Random Thought #7

A former colleague in a newspaper I worked for ages ago has been lamenting the U.S. media coverage of the Roe v. Wade case. He’s a conservative and leans right, and his issue is that the press – media outlets that he said he’s always looked up to and admired – seems to have been demonizing the court decision.

The guy is a certified newsman, a grizzled veteran, regardless of his political leanings. But the fact that a veteran journalist is still perplexed at how the legitimate news outlets – outside of Fox News, of course – decided to contextualize this issue is still amusing to me.

For me, the simple answer is that honest media of any kind is going to do stories on subjects that make people uncomfortable. That doesn’t imply a liberal bias or even a left-leaning bias; it’s a journalism bias.

Secondly, demonizing the traditional media, which has been happening in the Philippines since time immemorial, is a political tactic to use when honest reporting clashes with a candidate’s platform and beliefs (or in the case of Bongbong, his nonexistent platform).

This has reared its ugly head most especially during the six years of Duterte; of course he always claimed that the mainstream press was biased against him. That doesn’t make it true, though. The traditional media mostly just REPORTED on the fact that he killed drug addicts (a fact that he admitted), that he doesn’t have respect for women (a fact that you can readily find on YouTube), that he was coddling his appointees in government despite charges of corruption and graft (again, Google this, I dare you), that he was on an uncontrolled borrowing spree while using the pandemic as an excuse, etc., etc. etc.

The U.S. media has reported that women’s reproductive rights have been taken away from them, which is true. Philippine media has reported that Duterte sucked as a president, and facts are there to back up that claim. Traditional media outlets have also zeroed in on Bongbong Marcos’s nonpayment of taxes, his lying about his educational background, his recent partying despite the rising prices of commodities in the Philippines (making life miserable for ordinary Filipinos), and Bongbong’s family history of plunder under his father’s administration. Guess what? All these are based on facts. All these news stories have credible sources behind them.

If you think that traditional media is biased and it’s better to turn to the “new media” like bloggers and vloggers and TikTokers, then I have news for you (pun definitely intended):

It’s not the media’s fault for making you uncomfortable. It’s your own personal bias that’s making you uncomfortable, especially when confronted with the truth. Traditional media exists because we all deserve to know the truth, even if the truth hurts.

Maybe it’s time to check your own bias – conscious or otherwise.

 
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Rant #12

The FB post where CDN shared this article is overflowing with misinformed – but laughably overconfident, I might add – antivaxxers who, most probably, voted for either Mike Rama or Gwen Garcia as well as BBM and Sara Duterte. I just can’... Continue →