They’re no longer the Fourth Estate, supposed guardians of truth and impartiality. They have become vehicles for promoting partisan politics. They have assumed the role of accusers and litigators, ignoring the revered principle of “innocent until proven guilty.”
Such is the case with The New York Times, when its editorial board published an opinion piece calling on the world to condemn Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte for allegations of “extra-judicial killings,” albeit citing numbers concocted by similarly partisan news media in the Philippines.
Such is the case with CNN, when, in reporting about U.S. President Donald Trump’s invitation for Duterte to visit The White House, it tagged the Philippine leader as an “admitted killer.”
I can say that I’m a sinner or a saint, but that doesn’t make what I say the absolute truth without the necessary evidence. But to CNN, The New York Times and other Western news outlets, evidence is no longer important. Ratings and profits are.
I can say George W. Bush is a war criminal, but really, only factual evidence and the proper forum or venue can make that judgment.
Is it any wonder then that the news media have lost their credibility, and that social media have become the more reliable source of news and information?
The Philippines’ online news outlet, Rappler, continues to bitch about the need to take back the Internet, as if it owned the World Wide Web, and that it had the sole domain of being the arbiter and deliverer of truth. And yet, it peddles nothing but lies.
Rappler’s CEO Maria Ressa even proclaimed that “Democracy is dead,” while being free to use its outlet and the news media to criticize the Philippine leader and his programs and policies which threaten the survival of the oligarchic machine that’s funding her business-oriented ‘news’ outlet.
And lest we forget, social media did not invent fake news. The news media did!