ell of course it is, just as the Tribune editorial claims. But I guess I have to support ABSCBN's decision to go ahead and air a video of Gen Danilo Lim withdrawing support for the Arroyo administration last February. He said some nice things anyway. What were they gonna do? Sit on it? That would be inconceivable from a purely journalistic standpoint. However, I do have some criticisms of the ABSCBN coverage so far (I don't pay much attention to the Star, which has beome more of a classified ads newspaper):
(1) From the very beginning ABSCBN's headline and sound bite was that they had uncovered evidence of the "coup plot" involving Danilo Lim that the govt has been accusing him of. Yet they refuse to give details about the provenance of the tape for obvious ethical reasons. This is their right, but it also means that the public must accept their conclusion or interpretation of the ultimate meaning of this video material on faith.
(2) Strictly speaking we do not know when it was made, by whom, why it was made, for whom, and if it had actually been seen by anyone else than those who made it. The last is important because NOW it has been seen by millions, and an interpretation of its meaning has been drummed in by Bandila, by the Star, and by continuous ABSCBN coverage for three days. It might even be said that an illegal, perhaps libelous use of unverified electronic material has been aired against the reputation of an active military officer who has not been charged with any crime thus far and whose reputation has thereby been impugned. (I'm not practicing to be a lawyer but I think this is part of the public debate Maria Ressa and Charrie Villa and Marichu Villanueva say they want to start.
(3) ABSCBN News did make it seem that getting this video was the result of perspicacious investigative reporting on their part and the careful cultivation of "trusted sources" -- but if truth be told it was dropped off at Madre Ignacia Avenue wasn't it, on the way to Max Soliven's new pad?
(4) There is no doubt that the Palace will be toasting champagne and warming up lots of brandy tonight over this magnificent usage of the Mass Media. All in the name of the Public's right to know, of course. So though they deny it, both ABSCBN and the Philippine Star did become players and create the news that even bloggers are paying attention to!