Don’t get cute with her
Malou Mangahas, formerly of the PCIJ (Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, formerly editor-in-chief of Manila Times when its owner Robina Gokongwei had to apologize to then President Estrada) did a short (maybe a ten minutes) investigative piece last night on Channel 7, late night show after the news, on Mike Defensor and Chiz Escudero, with the lead, “Sila nga ba ang mukha ng `bagong pulitika’? etc. Dapat ba silang ituring na modelo, etc. silang tinitilian ng kanilang mga tagahanga (or something), karapatdapat nga ba silang tularan ng kabataan?” (“Are they the faces of new politics? etc, Should they be imitated as models, etc. they who make their fans scream in adulation (or something), are they rightful role models of the youth?”. She then follows with interviews of the two. Now, the two probably thought it was a personality interview or a feature or a promo, they were showing off their shoes, clothes, hobbies, houses, cars. They didn’t know Malou was conducting a lifestyle check. So, Malou zooms in on their favorite shoes (Kenneth Cole for Mike and Louis Vuitton for Chiz) then she freezes the frame and then runs a chargen of the tag price: $800 to $2,000 a pair. Then they show off their collection of shoes of those brands. Then she does the same for their shirts: La Coste, Ralph Lauren, Armani, then she freezes and puts a tag price: $1,000 or something. She even zooms in on Mike’s kids’ shirts, freeze, then tag price. Then the two show off their collection of cars: vintage cars for Chiz and four-wheel drives (Prado’s) for Mike, and it was a collection, not just one or two, in the garage and driveway. Then she puts a tag price: tens of millions of pesos. Then she runs a chargen of their salary at P40,000 a month less taxes at P30,000 a month. Then their Statement of Assets and Liabilities, which does not explain where they are getting the income or their wherewithal. Then she shows that their old net worth of hundreds of thousands of pesos jumped to P8 million or something in one year. Then she finishes with many questions like, where are the two gentlemen getting their money to support such a lifestyle? (and this was just a ten-minute-segment, imagine what she could do if she had been given more time). Then she finishes with a strong: “Sila ba ang bagong mukha ng bagong pulitika o bagong mukha ng lumang pulitika?” The short segment had so much impact that her co-hosts, Mareng Winnie and Miriam Quiambao, seemed a little shocked and asked her, where are these two young men getting their money to buy all of that, etc. Heretofore, all news stories, feature stories, magazine stories, on Mike Defensor and Chiz Escudero, had been all PR or promo articles/ pieces. And you’re going to see more PR pieces this election time on politicians both government and opposition. (PCIJ and other reporters did investigative pieces on corrupt reporters and editors (journalists on the take or on the payroll of politicians). Buy the book if you want the complete picture. ) Journalists are paid off by politicians to do promo pieces on them. Not Malou. She’s been known to spend three months on an investigative piece, she would trek to the home province of your parents and stay there for weeks talking to neighbors of your parents to find out what you were like. If you had any dirty linen, or good linen too, she would find it. The funny thing is, the two new subjects, Chiz and Mike, thought Malou was doing a cute piece on them, and were trying to look cute the whole time, showing off their hobbies. And the moral of the story is: Malou is not doing a fluff piece on you, silly, she’s not a model-turned-all-of-a-sudden-broadcast-journalist-because-the-public-doesn’t-know-better. She’s a real journalist; and those are her roots.