It couldn’t have been better timing. With ABS-CBN blinking out from the airwaves and Filipinos on COVID-19 lockdown, a new and very promising normal for Filipinos is on hand. Cooped up within their homes, Filipinos will soon learn how to entertain themselves without the perverted “entertainment” shoved down their throats supposedly “in the service of the Filipino” by this big BAD media conglomerate.
Without the Kapamilya Network’s brain candy and the isolation that could only build character in people who learn to suck it up and deal with it — specifically learn to read, be self-sufficient and not be dependent on externalities (such us idiotic TV programming) for their well-being, and work on self-improvement — Filipinos might actually emerge from this crisis a stronger people.
ABS-CBN execs and their employees may also perhaps acquire an important virtue — humility. For three decades and a half, they have been led to believe that they are God’s Gift to the Filipino people even as they pretended to live by their dishonest mission statement “In the service of the Filipino”. Unlike former Senator Ninoy Aquino Jr who died (“martyred”, we are told) and then had an airport named after him, one cannot draw parallels to Ninoy from what happened to ABS-CBN. The narrative fashioned about it by Yellowtardom perhaps succeeded in turning ABS-CBN into a living hero. Now that it is dead, the Yellowtards (partisans rabidly loyal to the Aquino-Cojuangco feudal clan) will work hard to turn it into a legend — perhaps even name an airport after it.
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The fact is, rather than serve Filipinos, ABS-CBN turned them into opiate addicts. After all, teleseryes, noontime variety shows, underage “love teams”, talentless celebrities, screeching transvestites, and, yes, tabloid news “reporting” are the opiates of the Filipino masses. To the argument that ABS-CBN provided “essential public service” through its broadcast news, one first needs to question whether the sort of broadcast “news” ABS-CBN served up to Filipinos is actually such. In truth, news and journalism under the watch of ABS-CBN was, itself, turned into low-brow entertainment and is now a pale shadow of the sober practice that it used to be when stalwarts like Tina Monzon Palma, Harry Gasser, and, perhaps later, Jessica Soho did the industry justice. Today, a typical ABS-CBN “news and public affairs” program looks more like a pinball machine and nothing like the dignified forum for delivering information it is supposed to be.
Indeed, the report “Whatever Happened to the News?” published on the Center For Media Literacy describes almost to a tee the path to degeneracy ABS-CBN took the once-noble profession down…
In the early 1960s the networks, hugely profitable but worried about their images and about regulatory pressures, expanded their news operations and largely freed them from the pressures of commercial television. The “church” of news was to be separated from the “state” of entertainment.
In the 1970s and ’80s, however, the barrier between news and entertainment has been increasingly eroded. Not all the changes of these years have been for the worse. But taken together, they raise serious questions about the future of journalism in an entertainment-dominated medium. A recent edition of the news tabloid A Current Affair, for example, ended with the tease “Coming up – sex, murder and videotape, that’s next!” It may be that this is indeed the future of television news.
It was the local stations that first discovered, late in the 1960s, that news could make money– lots of money. By the end of the ’70s, news was frequently producing 60 percent of a station’s profits. With numbers like that, news was much “too important” to leave to journalists, and a heavily entertainment-oriented form of programming began to evolve. Often it was contrasted directly with the network news. ‘Feel like you’re getting a bad deal from poker-faced TV news reporters?” asked San Francisco’s KGO in one ad, “Then let the Channel 7 Gang deal you in. They’re not afraid to be friendly.”
ABS-CBN made an obscene amount of money. It earned all of it from entertaining Filipinos, not from “serving” them. Filipinos should wisen up and stop believing the lies the Yellowtards tell them about ABS-CBN.
There is nothing wrong with making an honest buck from entertainment. But dishonestly claiming its business was about “serving Filipinos” is ABS-CBN’s biggest crime to its audience. Perhaps ABS-CBN will one day be back on air. Very likely it will be broadcasting the same rubbbish that keeps its shareholders laughing all the way to the bank. Hopefully what does change is its mission statement. It should ditch its dishonest claim that it operates “in the service of the Filipino”, and stop insulting the intelligence of its viewers.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.