Opposition “thought leaders” like communist “journalist” Inday Espina Varona take a typical position on the Filipino public’s response to Rappler CEO Maria Ressa’s junket to Oslo, Norway to receive her Nobel “Peace Prize”. It seems that comments flooding social media accounts and posts associated with Ressa’s award expressing disagreement with the occasion had been significant enough to prompt Varona to react. However, rather than accord some benefit of the doubt that a good proportion of these online reactions reflect a big enough subset of Filipino public sentiment, Varona was outright dismissive.
Those trolling the Nobel page & accounts featuring Maria Ressa’s Nobel Peace Prize aren’t causing her embarrassment.
They’re graphic evidence of the toxic sludge linked to disinformation campaigns by abusive states and enablers among rapacious tech firms#HoldTheLine #CourageOn
— inday espina varona (@indayevarona) December 11, 2021
How does Varona simply conclude that all this online commentary that does not fit her preferred narrative of Ressa being God’s Gift to Philippine Journalism are all the work of “trolls” who form the “toxic sludge linked to disinformation campaigns by abusive states and enablers”? It seems Varona is guilty of the very behaviours of the average “consumer of mass disinformation” her kind disdain as she herself uncritically regurgitates sound bytes from Ressa’s acceptance speech (full text here) to adorn the above tweet.
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Varona conveniently omits important context when she summarily jumps into conclusions like these — that an overwhelming majority of eligible Filipino voters do not subscribe to the view she and her cadre of Maria Ressa cheerleaders are propagating. This is evident in survey after survey over the last couple of years showing that Filipinos remain supportive of Duterte’s government. In recent months, these same reputable survey firms have issued reports clearly showing that Filipino voters are set to elect “the dictator’s son” Bongbong Marcos and The Enabled’s daughter Sara Duterte to the presidency and vice presidency come May 2022.
Given these facts, Varona should apply a bit more circumspection the next time she parrots Ressa’s ululations lest she falsely accuses hundreds of thousands — possibly millions — of Filipino social media users as collectively forming mere “sludge” in what are essentially public fora. She should, like the way she preaches in those “webinars” she gets invited to grace, at least be a bit critical of what she consumes from the Net, right? This is specially in considering that those “peace prizes” are artifacts invented by the very Western European powers her comrades in that “people’s revolution” we keep hearing about being waged in the Philippine countryside rail about for their continued “imperialist” oppression that victimise the peoples of the Third World.
Here’s Maria Ressa in all her ad nauseum glory playing to the chi chi crowd in Oslo…
I didn’t know if I was going to be here today. Every day, I live with the real threat of spending the rest of my life in jail because I’m a journalist. When I go home, I have no idea what the future holds, but it’s worth the risk.
“No idea what that future holds”? Ressa need only (1) consult her lawyers with regard to the prospects of her winning the legal cases she faces once she returns and (2) be a real journalist and put her ear on the ground to get a good picture of the political landscape taking shape in her “home”. Perhaps she can gain enough information to implement some overdue updates to her little playbook and make the public statements she makes about this “home” a bit less insulting to her supposed compatriots. Then maybe she will get better more flattering comments from Filipino social media users. Perhaps then, parrots like Inday Espina Varona will start squawking less lies.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.