Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Evidently, “social news network” Rappler can dish it out but cannot take it. After a journalistic fiasco that laid bare the abject sloppy journalism of its “reporter” Carmela Fonbuena the girls of Rappler led by top Rapplerettes Pia Ranada and Natashya Gutierrez have banded together in a big “girl power” online powow to get behind their embattled colleague.
In a mid-January “investigative report” Fonbuena alleged that Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go “intervened” in an on-going project involving the acquisition of two brand-new warships from Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries. The report got Rappler and the Inquirer (which also ran a story on the topic that also mentioned Go) in the crosshairs of a Senate probe on the deal. During the probe, accusations of “fake news” were thrown at the two news media firms. The Inquirer has since released a statement defending its reports by citing evidence that it remained focused on facts and maintained balance in its reporting.
Rappler also released a similar statement. However, unlike the Inquirer‘s, the Rappler statement came across as just as sophomoric as the Fonbuena report it was trying to defend. The Rappler statement remained hinged on the same information that had already been clarified and contextualised in the Senate probe and in earlier statements made on record by Go and other people involved in the brouhaha. And, unlike the Inquirer statement, Rappler included a rather adolescent appeal to emotion that was laden with mere speculation on personal intent and not on sound self-evident facts…
It bothers us how public officials resort to branding as “fake news” legitimate, verified, and vetted news stories when they refuse to explain or address unpleasant facts presented to them.Is “fake news” the new defense of public officials against public scrutiny?
This and everything else written in the Rappler statement neither addresses nor clarifies Fonbuena’s use of the word “intervened” in her report to describe Go’s involvement in the brouhaha — a word that does not appear in any of the Inquirer reports to refer to Go’s inclusion as a person of interest.
It is interesting the way Rappler would put up a strawman to divert attention from the core fact of Fonbuena’s unethical journalism. Interesting, because it is consistent with the way its CEO Maria Ressa sneakily made an issue that was about her company’s violation of regulation applicable to media businesses into one about “press freedom” a while back. It’s a hard habit to break, evidently.
Father José LaBoy, LC
Jesus said to his disciples: "In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This is how you are to pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. If you forgive men their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions."
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I am aware that you know what is best for me, and that is why I believe in you. You are more interested in my spiritual well-being than I am, and that is why I trust in you. You always give me your loving forgiveness in spite of my sins, and that is why I love you.
Petition: Lord, teach me how to pray.
1. Prayer is the Fruit of Silence: Some people like to talk. They demand to be listened to, but they don’t have the same interest in listening. However, you usually can’t listen if you aren’t used to silence. St. Theresa of Calcutta once wrote that prayer is the fruit of silence. Jesus wants us to understand that prayer is more about listening than about talking. When you are with someone who knows much about a topic that interests you, you limit yourself to asking questions and dedicate yourself to listening. Jesus is the revealer of God the Father. That means our main interest in prayer should be asking Jesus, our Lord, about his Father and then dedicating ourselves to listening.
2. God is Our Loving Father: Jesus tells us that God the Father knows what we need before we ask him. Still, we should ask, because in asking we become aware that we have needs that only God our Father can grant us. We learn to ask God what we most need for our salvation. That is why Jesus taught us the “Our Father.” Praying the “Our Father” reminds us that he is the father of all, and therefore every human person is truly our brother. In praying the “Our Father,” we essentially ask for three things: that God have the first place in our lives, that he give us our material and spiritual sustenance, and that he grant us his forgiveness.
3. Forgive in Order to Be Forgiven: Jesus emphasizes the importance of forgiveness. As the First Letter of John reminds us, we are all sinners (cf. 1:8). One of the essential characteristics of Christian life is seeking to encounter Christ’s loving mercy. We can really experience it only when we put it into practice ourselves. We can admire a person who parachutes off a plane, but we won’t understand the experience until we skydive ourselves. We grasp the true meaning of mercy when we forgive others. Our mercy will not be the same as Christ’s: He never sinned, and therefore he forgives us even though we don’t deserve it. If Christ has forgiven us, how can we dare not to forgive others?
Conversation with Christ: Lord, I thank you for teaching me to pray to the Father. I don’t always pray as much as I should. Please help me to pray more and better. Please help me to want with all my heart to give God the first place in my life, preferring his will to mine. Help me to treat others as I would like them to treat me, forgiving them when they offend me.
Resolution: I will dedicate a specific time to prayer each day.