Art by Lazir Caluya
Secretary Martin Andanar has once again chastised the media for deigning to publish things that the president has said, this time referring to his statements concerning martial law. For fear for further aggravating the presidential mouthpiece and professional Mocha Uson fan, we here at Rogue have attempted to put together a handy guide for journalists so that they may avoid the perils of their professional irresponsibilty.
RULE NO. 1: DO NOT ABUSE YOUR POWER.
As members of the press, as professionals with a platform, you are granted a modicum of power. As we’ve all learned from Spider-Man, with great power comes great responsibility. You do not have the right to abuse your power. It’s only the administration that has the right to do that.
RULE NO. 2: DO NOT ATTEMPT TO INTERPRET WHAT THE PRESIDENT IS SAYING
President Rodrigo Duterte is a man capable of complex expression, and the average journalist, in spite of years of study and experience in the parsing of language, is not equipped to figure out what it is that our glorious leader wants to say. Leave the interpreting to us.
RULE NO. 3: DO NOT JUST PUBLISH THE THINGS THAT THE PRESIDENT IS SAYING
It is also not right to simply post an unadorned transcript of our president’s public statements. Without the help of official interpreters like Andanar, the president may be misinterpreted. Like when he says that nothing can stop him from imposing martial law, he is not actually saying that nothing can stop him from imposing martial law. Andanar has made that very clear, you dummies.
RULE NO. 4: YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO BE OFFENDED BY ANYTHING THE PRESIDENT SAYS, BECAUSE HE’S JOKING
You just don’t get Bisaya humor. It doesn’t matter if you’re actually from the Visayas, and grew up surrounded by Bisaya people who didn’t, for instance, make off-color comments about a woman who was raped and murdered. You just don’t get Bisaya humor.
RULE NO. 5: LEAVE MOCHA USON ALONE!
Leave her alone!
RULE NO. 6: PUBLISH OUR PRESS RELEASES VERBATIM, BUT IF PEOPLE REACT POORLY, THAT’S YOUR FAULT
It also isn’t enough to defer to the government’s official statements. As journalists, you should have the good judgment to know when the administration has inadvertently written something that might paint their glorious efforts to better this country in a bad light.
RULE NO. 7: STOP ASKING QUESTIONS
We realize that your schooling taught that journalism involves the asking of questions. But this is no longer responsible. In this instance, Andanar has really become the model for the rest of the country. He is certainly a journalist that is no longer asking any questions. He’s just taking it as it comes.
RULE NO. 8: SHOW NO OPINION WHATSOEVER, UNLESS IT’S “THE PRESIDENT IS GREAT!”
As we all know, showing any shred of displeasure at any of the actions of our president makes you a colonel in the Yellow army. This is unacceptable. The freedom of expression may be guaranteed in our constitution, but…I don’t know how to finish this sentence.
RULE NO. 9: STOP, JUST STOP
You know what? We give up. Just stop journalists. In Andanar’s world, this seems to be the only way to truly be responsible.