If there’s one thing I totally agree with in deposed Chief Justice Renato Corona’s testimony, it’s his — and the rest of the civilized world’s — observation that Philippine mainstream media ganged up on him, as if by order of the Godfather (or a head of state with close ties to media moguls).
Being neither former President Arroyo’s or President Aquino’s fan, I didn’t decide to favor or oppose the then chief magistrate in his impeachment trial. I was for truth. Let the process go through its course, then let’s see and judge, I thought.
Unfortunately, news superstars Inquirer, ABS-CBN News, and even newcomer Rappler seemed to dismiss attempts to render fair reportage, destroying chances for audiences to know what really happened.
I cannot speak much for how the others fared (as I only “studied” them occasionally), but I sure noticed how the Inquirer gave us a brazenly anti-Corona, pro-Noynoy stand.
Just do a cursory (but careful) check of the paper’s frontpages in the past few months, and you’ll see evidence screaming at you. Corona was guilty until proven innocent.
Once, the paper even swam in the murky regions of “bad taste” through that Vicente photos blunder — in what seemed to be a case of character assassination.
And look at how they projected this country’s head of state as “hard at work” (with a dramatic photo, no less) at the height of the “Noynoying” hype.
I am moderately happy with the conviction, of course; anyone you call “Justice” (and a “Chief” at that) should be a paragon of his namesake, down to the detail of reporting wealth scrupulously.
But I am sad for him, because others who are surely worse are basking in the general triumph of democracy, as if they were immaculate and bright all along, as if catching a fellow wrongdoer would exonerate them of their own wrongs. But sadder still, because media has ruined one man’s family — unfairly — with what seem like strings attached to the presidential Palace.