Despite that futile campaign suggested by an opinion writer in the Inquirer not to vote for Rodrigo Duterte, the popular Philippine President topped TIME’s online poll on who readers think should be included in the magazine’s 2017 100 Most Influential Persons in the World.
Duterte had consistently been No.1 in the poll, the sole leader beating out Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Pope Francis and Justin Trudeau.
TIME just made an official announcement of the poll results.
Let me quote from that announcement and let’s dissect it from the perspective of fairness and accuracy:
Duterte received 5% of the total “yes” votes in the poll, which closed Sunday night. Since taking office in June, Duterte has waged an aggressive war on drugs that has killed more than 8,000 people in the Phillippines, according to Reuters. The controversial anti-drug campaign has inspired growing opposition from human rights groups and some political leaders, including Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo.
Closely following Duterte in the TIME 100 poll were Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Pope Francis, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg — all of whom received 3% of the total “yes” votes.
- TIME chose to mention the war on drugs “that has killed more than 8,000 people in the Phillippines.”
First, notice that it chose to quote ANOTHER news source, Reuters, instead of its own reporting, providing no evidence of the accuracy of that number. Does this mean TIME doesn’t have the balls to categorically make its own account of the alleged killings nor have confidence in its own “investigative” writers?
Second, notice that TIME, one of the most reputable publications, can’t even spell correctly. “Philippines” is spelled with only one “L,” Mr or Ms. TIME editors!
Sure, they spelled it correctly in the following sentence, but then it opens up the suspicion that they have probably fired all their copy editors or have employed incompetent ones.
- TIME took the liberty of providing some “context” on Duterte, again choosing to highlight the war on drugs and alleged killings, but not everything else that has made the Philippine leader extremely popular among his people and practically a “rock star” among other influential leaders from China, Japan, Australia, the Middle East and the Asian region.
Nevermind that Duterte has the support of 9 out of 10 Filipinos, including those who did not vote for him. Nevermind that hundreds of thousands of drug users have voluntarily surrendered since the launch of the war on drugs. Nevermind that Duterte has brought home billions of dollars in foreign investments from all his state visits to other countries. Nevermind that Duterte has given away homes to the homeless, provided healthcare to the sick and elderly, instituted free education at state colleges and universities. Nevermind that he has waged a no-nonsense campaign against corruption, putting his foot down even when it involved his supporters or his own appointees. Nevermind that he has inspired millions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are the country’s modern-day heroes, helping to jumpstart the economy. We could go on and on…
- TIME, while providing such context on Duterte did not even bother to do the same, albeit briefly, in as far as the other persons who topped the poll are concerned– Pope Francis, Trudeau, Zuckerberg, Gates.
So while TIME was announcing the result of a poll of its own making, it seems that it also deliberately editorialized its announcement, portraying the No. 1 person in the poll, in a negative light. It screams of bias!
Is it any wonder then, that once respectable news media like TIME are now quickly losing their credibility?