Posted by/Follow Jun Abines
Maria Ressa of Rappler was ecstatic to get an online interview with a BBC guy named Stephen Sackur. She expected in the interview to be praised, pitied, and hailed as a new martyr journalist in the world. She looked like a little girl crying for help from a big brother. Only to be slapped on her face for telling lies in 24-minute interview.
For me, all mainstream media and its journalists are but puppets of international oligarchs. This includes Maria Ressa of Rappler. But this BBC guy named Stephen Sackur surprised me in the most pleasant way. He is among those very few who still can see what is true and what is not. What is right and what is wrong. He put Ressa on a hot seat and taught her Journalism 101: Get the facts, understand the facts, and narrate the facts! No more, no less.
The interview started with Ressa’s facial expression showing a poor little girl getting bullied by Philippine President Duterte. She was ready to narrate her “story” on how she valiantly and heroically fought the “tyrant” all in the name of “truth” and “democracy”. And that freedom of expression is dead in the Philippines.
WATCH THE VIDEO HERE: Stephen Sackur HardTalks Maria Ressa, tells her to GET REAL!
The First Slap!
Stephen Sackur listened like a sympathetic big brother. Until he heard something not right. He stopped Ressa on her narratives. He told her straight that it is not true that the freedom of expression is dead in the Philippines because there are still plenty of media companies operating in the Philippines, and even Rappler continues to publish online to this day!
Ressa took the slap well. She bobbed and weaved and she survived. But her facial expression showed her confidence being shaken. Her real smile slightly getting sour. She was given the chance to continue and instantly back to narrating her “pitiful” story.
Stephen Sackur of BBC continued to listen to Maria Ressa’s narrative like a big brother. Loving yet tough, soft but fair. Ressa wasted no time to paint Rodrigo Duterte as an evil man who killed thousands of poor Filipino using the BBC platform. Duterte is evil. Duterte is heartless. Duterte is a monster.
But Stephen Sackur saw the one-sided beating done by Ressa against Duterte in his own show as “too much”. She told Ressa something is not right on what she said. He pointed out that the facts and numbers showed in the last 4 years that Duterte has the support and backing of at least 80 percent of the Filipinos. All done by organizations with credibility and integrity!
Ressa this time realizes she is in a real interview with a real journalist. She is not with the kinds of Karen Davila who will lick her ugly ass, boots, and sandy face to please the yellows. She is facing a real, principled, veteran, international journalist. And the world is watching! Ressa’s composure was visibly ruined. Her smile is getting faker and faker. Her lies will not be admitted by Mr. Sackur without being challenged!
Third and Fourth Slap!
Ressa was in panic. She was on a defensive. She started narrating things indirectly telling Stephen Sackur that she is in fact a veteran journalist in Asia. That she knows what she’s talking about being an “Insider” and a “Filipina” and the topic is the Philippines. Stephen Sackur let her gain momentum. But only for a while.
Stephen Sackur interrupted Ressa telling her, her efforts are in vain. A waste of time. Simply because the China, Russia, and even the US Governments are all in praise and good terms with President Duterte. Even the International Criminal Courts or ICC did not pursue any case against Duterte. Sackur pointed out. Ressa disagreed, but defeat was all over her face. She explained further as if to dodge the arrows from Stephen’s skillful archery skills. Too late, the arrows already hit the target. Bullseye!
But Ressa was still alive and breathing. Refusing to accept defeat. She must tell the world she is a “true” hero. And Duterte is the evil one. Stephen Sackur let the prey run for a while. Very much like a true hunter who knows his shots were well placed and fatal. The wounded animal will soon be dead on its track.
Ressa went full speed. She must have uttered 500 words per minute to salvage a victory in this very important BBC interview. She must fry Duterte!
The Final Slap!
Ressa was lecturing already! Explaining how social media being used by Duterte to manipulate opinion. And that people are misinformed. That Duterte does not have the people’s mandate. Stephen Sackur had enough. He cut her! He warned her that she’s entering the dangerous ground. He was like telling her: “It seems you are killing facts with your own opinion. Are you really a journalist?”
Ressa was dead on the water. Sackur did throw questions of facts to Ressa. She was given all the time to tell the truth. All she did was explain, explain & explain!
RESSA: IF YOU TELL THE TRUTH, YOU DON’T NEED TO EXPLAIN. IF YOU TELL LIES, 24 MINUTES OF INTERVIEW WON’T BE ENOUGH.
Thanks Stephen Sackur of BBC Hardtalk.