Pro ABS-CBN activists need to come up with better arguments to support their favourite mass media network. Notice how ABS-CBN supporters are making narratives out of how they and their families here and abroad are so attached to their favourite shows from the network and how it has helped them cope with life? That’s all nothing but lame emotional blackmail. They don’t address the legal issues against the owners and the hard facts surrounding the case.
At the moment, ABS-CBN is joined by partisans in collecting testimonials from patrons of their products here and abroad. They cite how the network helps them “cope” with life and homesickness. This is the all-too-familiar tactic that keeps jeepneys operating with impunity and squatters occupying land illegally in the Philippines. It has nothing to do with quality and purpose and is just another one of those non sequitur platitudes that lazy and unoriginal “activists” use habitually.
ABS-CBN supporters do not understand that the owners of the TV network have to win the battle to renew its franchise to operate in court and not on social media. This means they have to use facts and not emo arguments. They can’t tell the judge “my relatives abroad love TFC” and expect to win this one.
The network owners should also consider the sorts of activists they are in bed with. For example, they should ask themselves: Are we associated with a partisan bloc that has “loser” written all over their faces? If so, how do we expect to get the majority of the public behind us?
No wonder the Oppostion always lose whatever they are fighting for. The public is tired of seeing and hearing from a small clique of shrill voices. They are overexposed and they talk nonsense. If these people plan to win ABS-CBN’s case using the Court of Public Opinion (rather than the Court of Real Facts and Logic) they should consider how popular their postergirls are.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not their physical appearance that’s the problem, it’s the fact that they often post smiley photos. It’s hard to take them seriously — just like how it is hard to take seriously the way “vice president” Leni Robredo is always grinning even when she in a disaster zone. They look unaffected by the issues they flight for.
One wonders why these people continue to smile when, as Manila Times columnist Bobi Tiglao points out…
Is it so difficult for them to read and understand documents available to everyone, that ABS-CBN betrayed the country when it sold in 2013, about 22 percent of its effective shares — through the flimsy disguise of Philippine Depository Shares — to foreigners, 18 percent to the United States-based The Capital Group, one of the biggest investment companies in the world?
The fact is, media companies are required to be 100% owned by Filipinos. Foreign investors are allowed to own 40% of other businesses. The fact that ABS-CBN exerts such a powerful influence over Filipinos and is subject to foreign and private business influence by themselves should be cause for concern.
More important, Filipinos also need to take stock of what ABS-CBN have so far contributed to the quality of Filipinos’ intellectual and cultural lives. They should evaluate this contribution (if any) beyond the empty emotional highs they get out of watching telenovelas, noon time variety shows, adolescent “love teams”, and trashy showbiz gossip. If we are to be serious about our desire to change television programming, we should start with calling for shows that engage the intellect. Chat shows that talk about people and their love life rather than explore ideas of substance should be purged from local television.
It is high time that television be used as a medium to transform the lives of the marginalized portion of Philippine society rather than dumb it down further. TV networks need to develop shows that promote entrepreneurship and skill development. They should create original programs and not just produce mediocre knock offs of western and Korean entertainment products.
Big mass media networks like ABS-CBN can change people’s lives. One can only hope that their powerful executives can find it in their hearts to change the course of the plot so the Filipino people can look forward to a happier ending. Key to this is in thinking about whether ABS-CBN is up to the task of helping make Filipinos a smarter people and not just make money off giving them empty emotional highs.
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