Influencers once had their day in the sun – during their heyday, all you needed was an Instagram account and an iPhone to fake a career. It provided hope to a generation – reality TV stars who couldn’t secure their own spin-offs, IG models who could now make their living promoting weight loss tea, and once-promising sports personalities who now depend on hosting gigs to cling to relevancy. But the “influencer” job description has lost its appeal and even the social media platforms, which were once their breeding grounds, have now begun to combat their obvious business scheme. Simply put, influencers are always trying to sell you something. Often, they do this through shady means that circumvent the standards that traditional advertisers must pass.
Basically, that introduction was to call out Gretchen Ho’s ridiculously transparent attempts at self-preservation after her failed attempts at biased reporting. Just like the influencer industry she embodies, she’s flopping, crashing, burning, and we’re all somehow witnesses.
Recall Ho’s interview from last week of Singaporean volleyball player Mark Shen. To sum it up briefly, it was a train wreck. Ho, herself a former volleyball player who peaked in college, obviously had no interest in knowing Shen’s actual experience as an athletic representative of his country. She was only interested in getting a soundbite which she could use to attack the administration, the Games, and the organizers. It was a fishing trip, not an interview.
Shen, of course, had nothing but positive things to say about the Games. Sadly, he was not given a chance by Ho to talk about his plans for his event or the preparation the Singaporean team underwent to get to this stage. He was just given loaded questions about the transportation and the food. When he told Ho how both these small and irrelevant details have been unproblematic – good, even – Ho abruptly cut the interview short.
The hilarious attempt has been called an interrogation, not an interview. Ho knew what she wanted to hear and moved on as soon as she figured out that she wouldn’t be getting it from Shen.
Now that we’ve discussed her obvious bias, we can move on to the ridiculous news that Ho is “calling on the government” to support grassroots sports initiatives.
Realizing she was losing her battle, Ho quickly changed to the Team SEA Games side and backhandedly complimented the event. On her Twitter, she expressed her “hope” that the government would continue its investment in Filipino athletes, starting on the grassroots level. Yes, the same Twitter account where she once called President Duterte’s supporters eggheads and paid trolls while supposedly defending democracy.
High morale ang lahat ngayon dahil sa #SEAGames2019. Sana ituloy natin yung ganitong pagpapahalaga sa mga atleta.— Gretchen Ho (@gretchenho) December 5, 2019
Para umunlad ang sports sa Pilipinas, kailangan tuloy-tuloy ang suporta ng gobyerno at private sponsors. Hindi lang sa mga sikat ha? Sa grassroots.
As if…that isn’t what the SEA Games was ushering in… As if the government wasn’t already doing that…
Obviously, the massive infrastructure investment in sports facilities, the initiative to put up a National Academy for Sports, and the possibility of hosting the SEA Games in 2030 are not proof enough for Ho that the government is bringing attention to the value of sports. Oh, sorry, we also forgot how PHISGOC chairman and Speaker of the House of Representatives Alan Peter Cayetano, Senator Bong Go, and even President Duterte have all said multiple times that the country needs to focus on strengthening youth participation in sports on a grassroots level. Guess that wasn’t relevant or authentic enough for Ho.
Ho’s change of tune has only further exposed her tone-deaf, blind allegiance to the anti-administration narrative. And while this author is not personally in favor of cancel culture, this situation seems to warrant it. It’s time to take Gretchen Ho off the airwaves and out of the public eye. It’d be for the good of the children.