Blatantly one-sided stories planted in news sections. Comical refusals to acknowledge massive elephants in the room. Abusive attack-dog “columnists” on destructive missions. Half-assed “reporting” that relies on he-said, she-said claims for basic facts that should be independently confirmed.
The chronic failings of some of the nation’s largest media outlets are so routine, enormous, obvious, and shameless. And they’re coming into clear focus once again because of the squabble over the lucrative Makati property known as “Mile Long.”
You know the basic story: The property is owned by the government and leased by Sunvar Realty Development Corporation, which is in turn owned by the families who also own the majority stake in the Philippine Daily Inquirer — sadly the nation’s largest-circulation newspaper — which they are in the process of selling out, perhaps under government pressure, to a big supporter of The Thug in Chief.
There’s a long-running legal dispute over the property, and the Sunvar-Inquirer clan has retained possession while appealing an adverse court ruling.
The Thug’s legal mouthpiece let loose a broadside the other day, accusing Sunvar of illegally “squatting” on publicly owned land, which the accused have denied.
Which party should ultimately prevail in the court case is anyone’s guess, but that’s not the subject of this polemic.
The subject is the pathetic lack of journalistic integrity.
The Inquirer initially ignored the Solicitor General’s broadside, then published a completely one-sided article trumpeting Sunvar’s (that is, the Inquirer majority owners’) argument refuting the “squatting” claim.
The one-sided aspect was bad enough, but the Inquirer story never even mentioned who owns Sunvar, or that it was even connected in any way to the newspaper that was publishing the one-sided missive.
That’s such an obvious failure of basic journalism ethics. And it’s a really stupid one, too, since Sunvar’s ownership is no secret to the portion of the audience that’s paying enough attention to even want to read about the dispute.
So why omit such key facts?
Would it really have been so hard to include a simple acknowledgment of the obvious conflict of interest here, by simply stating that “Sunvar is owned by members of the Prieto and Rufino families, who are the majority owners of the Inquirer and have recently announced their intention to sell their shares in the newspaper”?
And the Despicable Shitrag is just as bad, publishing a completely one-sided second attack by The Thug’s solicitor general that threatens an imminent court ruling against Sunvar, and also omitted any mention of the Inquirer ties.
And the Shitrag’s attack-dog propagandist, shameless sleazebag scribbler Rigoberto Tiglao, stoops about as low as possible by attempting to link this financial dispute to support for rebuilding Marawi after it is finally brought back under government control following the badly bungled ongoing military siege there.
It should be noted that the Inquirer is Tiglao’s former employer, and is an obvious major competitor to his current employer. He’s such a creepy piece of shit. Not even worth commenting on further.
The Star at least published a reasonably balanced story which acknowledged that “Sunvar is owned by the Prieto-Rufino clan, which controlled the Philippine Daily Inquirer that has been perceived to be critical of President Duterte and his administration.” But the Star just drops the subject there, and omits any mention that the clan’s sale of its Inquirer stock may be the result of government pressure over the Mile Long dispute.
This whole thing is such a cornucopia of sleaze.
Frankly, if the Inquirer clan gets its ass kicked, they completely deserve it. They have badly abused their position of public trust for a long, long time.
That said, nobody should have any illusions that the Despicable Shitrag or The Thug are any better, or that any of these parties have the nation’s best interests in mind here.
This is strictly another personal feud among the shameless squabbling elites that have wrecked the Philippines for so long and sucked it dry for their own selfish benefit.