Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Right to Sell Telecomm Load Does Not Include Endangering Law Enforcers

But the concept of Press Freedom espoused by Rina Jimenez David and those nice clever folks at the Philippine Daily Innuendo, apparently does! In their need to scoop each other, or at least not to be scooped, the Mass Media are no different from our shabu-addicted bus drivers on Edsa, who have a similar need, attitude and behavior towards the Law...Who can deny that Journalism is a lucrative commercial enterprise that buys and sells information, entertainment, DATA of every conceivable sort, and is murderously competitive. The Media has been pouring pious holy oil all over itself and, full of hubris, won't admit they screwed the pooch at the Manila Pen!
WHAT'S THEIR BEEF (Philippine Daily Innuendo): There is no law that says journalists are obligated to follow the orders issued by law enforcers in the midst of a conflict. A warning to vacate the premises simply means that journalists who do not wish to die alongside their subjects, or inhale the painful fumes of tear gas, should leave as soon as possible.

But neither do I think that those journalists who chose to stay with Trillanes, Lim and their cohorts did anything wrong. Whatever their motivation -- to stand witness, to produce a story as the events wound down the wire, to stand as human shields against a police assault -- the media people were well within their rights and were following their reportorial instincts. If they were willing to bet big, and you can’t get any bigger than with your safety and life, then that was their and their editors’ look-out. But they did not deserve to be handcuffed and processed for doing their jobs.

And neither does the Philippine media community deserve the pre-censorship, to be held back before the fact, simply on the say-so of some paranoid old man.

Well, there you have it folks, the Mass Media are basically ABOVE THE LAW that applies to "non-journalists" who, the last I checked are ALL obligated to obey the lawful orders of competent authority in situations of public crisis and emergency. What Rina and her ilk consistently ignore in situations like this is that it is the police law enforcers who are most in danger of getting killed or injured in a situation like that which arose at the Manila Pen. (It's them that the Magdalo might have killed while hiding under your silly skirts of illogic, Rina!)

But I am pretty sure that neither paranoid old men nor big fat lady pundits are gonna be able to hold back the Media people from getting in the way of law enforcers to stand as human shields for rebellious putschists, get themselves handcuffed and gleefully photographed.

It's all part of the Edsa Envy Syndrome, a peculiar mental affliction in which the subject fantasizes of becoming a famous and esteemed hero by participating in a bloodless, peaceful, but utterly victorious Revolution, ideally as a brave journalist covering and protecting the military rebels and civilians fighting the Fascist Dictator (even if it's just the dipsomaniac Erap), and serving the ever loving Public's Right to Know by selling telecomm load and movie star gossip.

But Ms. David really comes off the rails with this:
About the only legitimate reason I can see for curtailing media coverage of a crime or violent situation is the preservation of evidence.
Really? How about the prevention or the minimization of death and destruction from violent crime so that perhaps evidence won't be so necessary? The Mass Media KNOW that they really screwed up at the Manila Pen. They overstepped their own professional and ethical bounds, but the supreme hubris that infects them means they will not admit it and will only use the incident to inflame the situation further.

11 comments:

Jego said...

Jimenez-David: Whatever their motivation -- to stand witness, to produce a story as the events wound down the wire, to stand as human shields against a police assault -- the media people were well within their rights and were following their reportorial instincts.

Agree.

But they did not deserve to be handcuffed and processed for doing their jobs.

Wha-?? To quote Will Munny in Unforgiven, 'Deserves got nothing to do with it.' Youre in a crime scene where the cops dont know friend from foe, youre going to get processed. Handcuffed even. Reporters duty is to report, cops' duty is to uphold the law and keep the peace.

BUT to be fair to our whiny reporters, that police memorandum-whatever-it-was that said the 'suspects/bystanders/whomever' should be processed at the nearest police camp has to be removed. In a situation where innocents might be mixed with perpetrators, they should be processed on-site.

DJB Rizalist said...

Yeah, I guess they were just being a little mean. But if I were a policeman and I thought some smart ass media person had just endangered not only his life but mine too, I might be tempted to be a lil mean myself! Police are citizens and people too.

rr said...

Djb, I did not think that you can be such an asshole! You comment reads like a paid basher. I just hope you're not on gloria's payroll or trying to be on it. It's too late for that. You'll be sorry. Hala ka diyan.

DJB Rizalist said...

rr,
asshole? paid basher? c'mon rr, you can do better than that. engage the argument, not arguer. it almost sounds like you read something you don't want to agree with but can't help it. hehe.

rr said...

Oh, my bad Djb. I thought your comment about what an irked cop would do was enough explanation. Mild mannered terrorirsts(your role playing in your comment) have a way of affecting my sensibilities.

It's just that I heard the same explanation from a ranger capt. from Laur when his men bashed my friends head in. He said for him to be thankful he's getting away with his life.

Hehehe, his rangers were armed and with shield and claims my friend put their lives in danger. Yeah, with my friends saliva.

But then being a laptop warrior you may have no experience of this sort. So as street talk goes - My bad.

DJB Rizalist said...

C'mon RR. No fair. You can't be casual about murder and heads getting bashed in either and then say I'm a laptop warrior.

But what about this post bothered your sensibilities?

Do you agree that the life of a policeman is at least as valuable as that of a journalist?

Do you further agree then that between the two, the police are more directly responsible for people's lives than the journalists, for preserving public order and preventing chaos?

When journalists insist that their job can be done without interfering with the job the police are doing, they are actually endangering not just their lives but that of the police and all other persons there present.

What am I missing? I think the Media screwed up at the Manila but are so arrogant and stuck on themselves that they won't admit it.

That's really all there is to this.

rr said...

Djb, you com'n the police are armed to the teeth and the journalists are not. The police are trained to protect themselves, and as a rule, they protect themselves first.

Your points bother me because they are used to justify police brutality.

Yours is the same excuse used by the ranger capt: My rangers felt their lives threatened. This is his justification for bashing my friends head in.

Have you seen blood exploding off of a guys head, Djb? I tell you it's not fun.

But then you know that the pen case is more than just a case between the police and reporters. I am not going to patronize you by trying to explain it to you.

Hey how about that DOJ ass, Goonsalez. I am sure he shares your view.

Ok, you think laptop warrior is unfair? How about cyber warrior. It has a nicer ring to it. Does that suit you better?

DJB, I liked you better when you were with the force and not the dark side.

Dave said...

I see that the PI has their version too of what El Rushbo calls "the drive-by media".

They sort of remind me of the psychopath who murdered his parents and siblings and demanded to be set free because he was an "orphaned only child".

domingo said...

The often quoted Bill of Rights provision proclaims: “No law shall be passed abridging”--

(1) the freedom of (a) speech, (b) expression, (c) the press, or
(2) the right of the people to peaceably assemble.

The “freedom of the press” is, therefore, merely one of three distinct--but equally significant--“freedom” categories the Constitution commands that no law shall abridge.

So, if, indeed, and to quote the PDI Editorial you cited, “There is no law that says journalists are obligated to follow the orders issued by law enforcers in the midst of a conflict”; then, if only to be consistent with the PDI claim, there should also be “no law” that obligates ordinary citizens (the usiseros)--who can likewise assert to be simply exercising their equally important constitutional “freedom of speech, of expression”--“to follow the orders issued by law enforcers in the midst of a conflict.”

And if, as claimed, there really are “reportorial instincts” that drive “media people” or journalists “to stand witness, to produce a story as the events wound down the wire, to stand as human shields against a police assault”; then, for equality’s sake, ordinary citizens (or the usiseros), individually exercising their “freedom of speech, of expression,” should also be allowed to enjoy these “rights” PDI now asserts in the name of the freedom of the press that the same constitutional provision relied on to justify similarly protects from abridgement.

But the Bill of Rights also provides that while “The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized”; however, “Access to official records … shall be afforded the citizen [as distinguished from “media people” or “the press”], subject to such regulations as may be provided by law.”

This “right,” to repeat, remains “subject to such regulations as may be provided by law.”

DJB Rizalist said...

Very well said, Domingo!

tiki said...

The mass media screwed up at Manila Pen? Aren't you forgetting the fact that Trillanes and others were able to simply walk way from the courthouse with no police or military stopping him? How did that happen?

How many times have we seen this, where one conveniently walks in and out of prisons or is convicted after a lengthy trial and then suddenly pardoned?