RSS

Monthly Archives: April 2019

‘Matrix’ and ‘Yellow Journalism’

“We don’t go into journalism to be popular. It is our job to seek the truth and put constant pressure on our leaders until we get answers.”
–Helen Thomas

By Alex P. Vidal53359519_10213652762096226_7463939624646213632_n

NEW YORK CITY — We can compare both resigned The Manila Times associate editor Felipe “Ipe” Salvosa II to the brave American journalist Richard Harding Davis and Times publisher Dante Ang to Davis’ former boss, William Randolph Hearst, the alleged “father” of “Yellow Journalism” and publisher of the pre-World War I New York Journal.
Like Salvosa II, who resigned on April 24, 2019 two days after Ang insisted on publishing a story linking media organizations to an ouster plot against President Rodrigo Duterte, Davis, the the first American war correspondent to cover the Spanish–American War, the Second Boer War, and the First World War, resigned after his story about the Spanish police boarding an American ship and “stripped the three Cuban women passengers in a search for the documents” was paraded as headline story in the New York Journal dated February 12, 1897.
“I want to be able to teach and still look my students straight in the eye,” Salvosa told Rappler on April 25.

-o0o-

Salvosa tendered his resignation after Ang, Times owner and chairman emeritus, fumed over his Twitter post questioning Ang’s “matrix” story that identified the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), Vera Files, Rappler, and the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) as being involved in a plot to oust Duterte.
Davis was 32 when Hearst sent him to Havana to cover the conflict there between Spanish authorities and Cuban insurgents in December 1896.
Already a popular culture hero through his reporting, his fiction, and his stylish manner, Davis was offered by Hearst $3,000 for a month of reporting from Cuba, according to Michael Schudson in his book, Discovering the News.
Hearst, by the way, also sent Frederic Remington, a 35-year-old artist, to accompany Davis.
Because Davis and Remington were barred from the “war zone” by Spanish military authorities along with other reporters, news was hard to get.
“Rumors and minor incidents were generally the best the correspondents had to offer,” wrote Schudson.
Discouraged, Remington wired Hearst: “Everything is quiet. There is no trouble here. There will be no war. Wish to return.”
Hearst responded, “Please remain. You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.”
Remington left Cuba after a week despite such encouragement.

-o0o-

Davis stayed in Cuba and wired the controversial story on February 10, 1897 that the Spanish police, on board the US ship, claimed that the Cuban women were carrying messages to insurgents leaders in New York when stripped.
The Journal placed the story on front page under the headline: “Does Our Flag Protect Women? Indignities Practiced By Spanish Officials on Board American vessels. Richard Harding Davis Describes Some Startling Phases of Cuban Situation. Refined Young Women Stripped and Search by Brutal Spaniards While Under Our Flag on the Olivette.”
Accompanying the story on page two was a two by a half-page drawing by Remington imagining the scene from New York, showing one of the women naked and surrounded by Spanish officers going through her clothing.
Nearly a half million copies of the paper were sold and it was a good stuff for Hearst’s purpose of building a circulation.
But the story was not quite true.
The drawing, in particular, was not accurate.

-o0o-

Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World, the leading paper in New York in 1897, interviewed the Cuban women when they arrived in Tampa and discovered they had been searched by matrons, not by the Spanish officers.
The New York World immediately ran a front-page story that one of the Cuban women, Clemencia Arango, denied being searched by Spanish officers.
The article “popped the (New York) Journal’s balloon of scandal and outrage,” according to Discovering the News. “Richard Harding Davis considered the revelation a reflection of his integrity, and so he wrote to the (New York) World to defend himself.”
Pulitzer’s newspaper featured on page two a story headlined, “Mr. Davis explains” on February 17, 1897 where Davis argued that not he but Remington was responsible for any misrepresentations.

-o0o-

“I never wrote that she was searched by men…Mr. Frederic Remington, who was not present, and who drew an imaginary picture of the scene, is responsible for the idea that the search was conducted by men. Had I seen the picture before it appeared, I should never have allowed it to accompany my article…”
Davis broke with Hearst over this incident and never again wrote for a Hearst paper.
“This was an important moment in journalism, but its importance needs to be carefully defined. On the surface, it appears that the significance of the incident is that a reporter, proud of his professional standing and faithful to the norms of factual reporting, stood up to the evil influences of a circulation-building editor-publisher,” Schudson wrote inDiscovering the News.
“Here, fidelity to facts is identified with reporters and threats to accuracy, with publishers, their eyes on the cash box.”

-o0o-

The Spanish-American War, was the first press-driven war, according to many historians.
“Although it may be an exaggeration to claim that Hearst and the other yellow journalists started the war, it is fair to say that the press fueled the public’s passion for war. Without sensational headlines and stories about Cuban affairs, the mood for Cuban intervention may have been very different. At the dawn of the twentieth century, the United States emerged as a world power, and the U.S. press proved its influence,”stressed the PBS Learning Media.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo)

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 27, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Ilonggo journalists aren’t the enemies

“Journalism is what we need to make democracy work.” 

–Walter Cronkite

By Alex P. Vidal53359519_10213652762096226_7463939624646213632_n

NEW YORK CITY — I AM a Filipino community journalist and not an enemy of the state.
I belong in the so-called Fourth Estate, the chief vanguard of democracy that serves as the catalyst of change and watchdog of the government’s three major ribs: the Executive (First Estate), the Legislative (Second Estate), and the Judiciary (Third Estate).
I believe that the alleged “Oust Duterte” matrix supposedly plotted by some journalists and human rights lawyers is not only a dud but also a hoax.
It does not exist in reality and is only a figment of imagination.
It is meant to shift public attention from the bigger national issues and scandals and to scare those who are critical against the Duterte Government.
It was intentionally coined by spin masters and members of the Palace “think tank” to cushion the impact of media flak especially if the criticism has become effective and has influenced public perception about how the government is being managed and ruled.
By using logic and common sense, the jobs of journalists and lawyers are apolitical by nature and, unlike the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the Muslim separatist groups, ousting a sitting president does not and will not benefit them.
This is not new actually.

-o0o-

We experienced the same hara kiri or “belly cutting” threat from the previous administrations, which all failed to bring us down and even backfired.
In 1991, the Cory administration, which could not handle the intense media criticism against her “Kamaganak, Inc.” believed to be siphoning the taxpayers’ money through iniquitous means, and the spiraling cases of human rights violations, fired back at the press by letting loose a Bulldog named “Oplan Malunggay.”
The “Oplan” tagged several journalists as members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) and, henceforth, were now “enemies of the state.”
Then Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Gerardo “Gerry” Flores (now a congressional candidate in the first district of Iloilo), had served as Tita Cory’s “Gen. Oscar Albayalde,” who recently threatened to “investigate the journalists and the lawyers in the matrix without waiting for an official order from Malacañang.”
Flores and his police “witch hunters” had threatened to arrest “the communists” in the press and charge them with sedition.
The “witch hunters” gathered phony dossiers and spied on some journalists listed in the “Oplan” like they were cosmic terrorists on a mission to launch an intergalactic battle.
It had some chilling effects on many of us, in one way or another, since we feared we could be abducted and disappeared any time; but we were unfazed and continued to blast and lampoon Tita Cory’s administration over issues with paramount public interest.
Media killings had started to rear their ugly heads five years after Marcos was toppled in the EDSA Revolution.

-o0o-

The spying and harassment against critical journalists continued subsequently under the FVR, Erap, and Ate Glo administrations even as incidents of media killings had continued to pile up in an alarming rate.
FVR, who was black-eyed in the scandalous multi-billion Amari land deal, used the carrot and stick tactics to ward off humiliation from the expose made by the determined press.
Erap miscalculated and underestimated the power of the press when he engaged it in an unorthodox arm-twisting power play, pressuring advertisers to nix critical newspapers and broadcast networks.
Ate Glo allegedly helped make many critical but corrupt journalists rich by awarding them “lucrative” government positions if not making some of them as “dummies” in some multi-billion anomalies allegedly perpetrated by the First Family and their cronies.
No dictator or aspiring dictator has succeeded in muzzling the press to hide and keep his or her shenanigans under wraps.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo)

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 24, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

The ‘Ilonggo Bikoy’

442fa-13612173_10206678118334491_1779360806990529016_n“I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but I was a big favorite with the Mafia.”

–Brenda Lee

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — Some relatives and loved ones of candidates in the May 2019 elections are the ones who are more jittery and restless as the final days approach.
Some of these nervous relatives have sought the help of the social media and other public platforms to appeal and campaign for their beloved candidates especially when they weren’t doing good in the surveys.
In some cases, the worried relatives are the ones initiating the “house-to-house” campaign for their candidates.
Children, parents, cousins, uncles, aunts have joined in the frenzied efforts to woo the voters and convince the public their bets are the Real McCoys in a genuine public service.
This is normal.

-o0o-

Some Filipino family members always want to share the prestige and glory–big or small- achieved by their loved ones in any field.
Even in school and community competitions, we cheer and “pray” for the victory and success of our relatives in the hustings.
When they make it, the pride, joy and satisfaction felt by our victorious relatives reverberate in our hearts; we feel like the honor and reputation of the entire family have been lifted and stimulated.
When they go down, our pride and self-esteem sink; and we also suffer from emotional and mental strains in one way or the other.

-o0o-

Iloilo City has its own “Bikoy” (an anonymous self-confessed former drug syndicate member who recently accused President Duterte’s family of alleged involvement in narco business) who “survived” after he left the syndicate to live in another country.
The Iloilo Bikoy is knowledgeable of the ins and outs of the drug syndicate in Iloilo City.
He was once one of the most trusted by the syndicate’s top echelons because of his profession.
The Bikoy Ilonggo version came to me on several occasions to appeal that I bring him in some of my international trips in the 90’s “to escape the heat in Iloilo City and disappear thereafter.”
He and his family left the country after a former top-ranking official of the defunct Narcom (Narcotics Command) in the region allegedly wanted him dead for being a “rat.”

-o0o-

The Ilonggo Bikoy swore he wasn’t a traitor or a “double agent.”
He surmised it was not the former Narcom big boss who wanted to silence him.
The Ilonggo Bikoy recalled that he “earned the ire of (former) Metrodistrict Command Col. Vic Neptuno after a big fish had slipped away in a dawn raid conducted in the house of a drug trafficker in Jaro district.”
The Ilonggo Bikoy and the drug trafficker who escaped Neptuno’s dragnet were classmates in high school.
Two cops working under Neptuno had pointed to the Ilonggo Bikoy as the one who allegedly tipped off the drug trafficker.
“Nakakarami na siya. Sakit na siya sa ulo (he has been a headache to our operations),” Neptuno was reportedly angrily heard complaining.
Meanwhile, the former Narcom official, who spent several months in jail for his involvement in illegal drugs, once came to our editorial office in Sun Star Iloilo dressed like a priest.
Like the Greeks in the Trojan War, he was carrying a gift for our lady reporter who had no idea about the Narcom official’s dark secrets.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo)

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 22, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

A deeper look at JP’s Onanism

“Physics is to mathematics what sex is to masturbation.”
–Richard Feynman

By Alex P. Vidal442fa-13612173_10206678118334491_1779360806990529016_n

NEW YORK CITY — ENEMIES of Jim Paredes (JP) have fired everything at him including the kitchen sink, but none of them has ever thought the guy could be suffering from a serious mental health issue.
Thus instead of denouncing him, they should have, at least, recommended an immediate medical attention for him, only if they care.
By the way, let us clarify that we don’t see anything wrong for any human being, including JP, to engage in masturbation–as long as it is done privately and does not harm or inconvenience anyone–man, woman, plants, and animals.
JP shouldn’t be guillotined for practicing a biological obligation, or something what all of us has also been constantly doing: Onanism.
As everyone who has read the Bible or learned from history subject knows, Onanism is synonymous with the “withdrawal method” of birth control.
Onanism, by the way, is given a broad definition, encompassing withdrawal (coitus interruptus), masturbation, and any other “improper emission of seed” within Judaism.

-o0o-

We are only worried here that JP recorded the act on video, which is something unusual or weird, to say the least (Gee whiz. We knew a lot of couple filming their wild trysts, but not a solitary sexual act).
We say mental health issue because we normally refer to those caught in public exposing themselves to women while playing with their genital as “sex maniacs” and “neurotic”.
Only an individual with a deep psychological problem can perform such horrendous act in broad daylight.
When most of these “exhibitionists” are caught and arrested, they normally can’t explain why they were doing it.
Police and ordinary people who immediately inflict physical assault on them don’t believe when these “perverts” insist “they don’t know” or “they can’t remember” having masturbated in front of terrified girls and adult females.
Only some of the doctors will believe them, and will recommend for their rehabilitation, not imprisonment.

-o0o-

This abnormal sexual behavior shouldn’t be taken for granted as the patient, or the person doing the eerie act, is already a cinch away from committing a heinous crime of rape and even murder.
Could JP, who already admitted he was the person doing Onanism in the video that went viral these past days, be suffering from a certain level of neurosis thus he filmed himself while relieving erotically?
If JP is being badgered by a health issue, he should be rapped in the knuckles for the bawdy habit and indiscretion; but he could not have sinned.
Even Onan’s sin has been historically skewed by a great amount of confusion.
His sin was actually not masturbation. Onan’s sin was his greedy, selfish refusal to sire a son on behalf of his brother, which, anyway does not even apply to our modern culture.
Onan was of the tribe of Judah, the kingly tribe and the tribe of the Messiah.
That’s why we will never ridicule or cast aspersion at JP or anyone caught in flagrante delicto while engaging in masturbation.
But, please, no advertisement.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 3, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Jay Razon’s respect

“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.”

–Bryant H. McGill

29572661_10210915151185240_5653732937757158570_n

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — JAY Atienza Razon, 64, was not in the group of my Filipino-Canadian friends who hosted a despedida party for me the night before I left Vancouver to Blaine, Washington on April 8, 2012, but he became one of my regular callers from Canada when I was already in the United States.
In my brief visits in Vancouver in 2008, 2009, 2010, I heard and read a lot about Jay Razon–both positive and negative–but we didn’t know each other yet.
I was the editor of the Surrey-based Philippine Asian News Today (PNT) published by 1976 Montreal Olympian Reynaldo “Rey” Fortaleza when I first met Jay Razon, who came to our editorial office to submit a basketball story to sports editor Alex Mino.
Our second meeting was on December 21, 2011 during Jay Razon’s 56th birthday, which he celebrated on crutches, 12 days after undergoing a surgery for Achilles Tendon.
I got several calls from Jay Razon in August 2018, where he relayed an information that he was “unfairly targeted and singled out without any due process.”
He was referring to the advisory posted by the Consulate General of the Philippines in Vancouver, Canada on its website on July 30, 2018 which screamed, “The Philippine Consulate General (PCG) in Vancouver advises the general public about the unauthorized and unlicensed recruitment of Filipino workers being conducted by ‘Harvard Immigration.’”

-o0o-

Jay Razon, who owns the Harvard Immigration, protested the advisory and sought my help to clarify certain information which he claimed weren’t true. He said he had documents to back his story.
He remembered me “because I believe in you, Alex. I know that you have many readers; I know that you are fair and balance and willing to air both sides of the coin. I respect you as a journalist.”
Jay Razon admitted the issue faced by his immigration agency was “against all odds because of some false information fed to the RP consulate” but he “was only asking to be given the opportunity to air my side.”
I gave him the benefit of the doubt and lent him my ears.
In the spirit of fair play and balance reporting, I gave forlorn Jay Razon a space in my blogs and newspaper column. No strings attached.

-o0o-

I advised him to focus on news websites and not to respond to attacks by anyone in the social media because the slanderous comments have no substance and are only temporary; they don’t have the depth and permanence–unlike the articles that appear in the news websites that surface online anytime when Googled and stay there permanently.
Jay Razon was the founder and president of the Filipino Plaza Society of British Columbia in Canada.
He was then advocating for the restoration of the Filipino Plaza, a landscaped park located in Vanness Avenue, west of SkyTrain’s Nanaimo Station in the city of Vancouver.
I heard a lot of opposition from other factions in the Filipino-Canadian community; there were those who believed in his leadership, while others doubted Jay Razon’s capability to pursue and finish the project, which needed a gargantuan budget.
Jay Razon, a retired nurse and civil engineer by profession, told me he was determined to prove his critics wrong despite the brickbats.

-o0o-

I learned from our common friend, Tom Choy, that Jay Razon died on March 28.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police reported on that day the following:
“This afternoon at 2:15 p.m., Burnaby RCMP and a number of other agencies including the Coast Guard, BC Emergency Health Services, Burnaby Fire Department, Coquitlam RCMP and the Vancouver Police Marine Unit responded to a report of an adult male kayaker who had capsized in the water at Barnet Marine Park and not resurfaced. At 3:20 p.m., the adult male kayaker was located deceased.”
Jay Atienza Razon left too soon without any warning.
His demise came about 24 hours after he wrote “Good reporting, Alex”, his last comment on the “live” report I made in the Times Square in New York City posted on my Facebook account.

Rest in peace, Jay.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo)
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 1, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Iloilo City from ‘most shabulized’ to ‘like Singapore’

“Never forget that you only have one opportunity to make a first impression – with investors, with customers, with PR, and with marketing.”

–Natalie Massenet

By Alex P. Vidal53359519_10213652762096226_7463939624646213632_n

NEW YORK CITY — WHILE President Rodrigo R. Duterte called Iloilo City as “the most shabulized”, Supreme Court Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin was all praises for the City of Love, calling it as “like Singapore.”
The President based his statement on “intelligence report” while the Chief Justice based his on what he and his wife, who accompanied him during the 17th National Convention of Lawyers held at the Iloilo Convention Center from March 28-31, 2019, saw with their own eyes.
While intelligence reports can mislead us, our eyes can not.
Chief Justice Bersamin and his wife were simply amazed by Iloilo City’s cleanliness, especially the highly regarded Iloilo River, one of the best rivers in the world.

-o0o-

When important and credible people say nice things about Iloilo City based on their personal experiences and independent scrutiny, those who say negative and spread derogatory words about Iloilo City based on hearsay and muckraking, will sound and look like fools, especially if they have ill-motives.
When the Bersamin couple and the 3,000 lawyers who attended the recent convention went back to their respective cities and provinces, they would surely spread the good impression they have gathered about Iloilo City.
No amount of brainwashing and twisting of facts and reality from people with ax to grind against Iloilo City and its leaders can change or influence the favorable and truthful impressions.

-o0o-
Now that the heads of the two branches of government–the executive and the judiciary– have expressed their contrasting views about Yrong-Yrong, Ilonggos will be waiting for the honest-to-goodness opinions of the Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III and House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo about the erstwhile “Queen City of the South” (the title the Ilonggos allegedly “lost” to Cebu City) to complete the tango.
Having been in Iloilo City more than a dozen times in the past, both leaders of Congress’ upper and lower chambers would never lie if asked about their own impression of Iloilo City under the new local administration and the administrations to come.
Other recent convention attendees, including foreigners, businessmen and dignitaries, must have seen what the Bersamin couple have seen in Iloilo City.
Or more than the cleanliness and orderliness in the metropolis, if they stayed longer.
-o0o- 

Candidates for the May elections who will “win” in surveys–bogus or genuine–to be conducted anytime this month should not react as if they hit a lotto jackpot.
As much as possible, they should refrain from “thanking the people for their trust and confidence; for their unwavering or continuing support, etcetera.”
The more they react this way, the more will people suspect the surveys where they “win” are rigged or staged as part of mind-conditioning.
If the surveys are legitimate, the outfits that commissioned the surveys will be the ones to report them to the media.
Let them convey the message to the public.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo)

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 1, 2019 in Uncategorized