There is really nothing wrong with clickbait headlines. Entire industries rely on such devices all the time and no one calls them out for it. Frankly, we also do the same whenever we feel like it would help drive people to the story.
But here’s the thing – if you want to use clickbaits, then stop being so hypocritical about it. Stop pretending that you are ‘journalists’ in the service of ‘truth,’ and be like us – biased bloggers with a clear agenda that we’re not afraid to shout to the world. Believe me, the freedom you get from this admission is exhilarating. It feels great waking up every morning knowing that you will write about something you believe in, and not having to lie through your teeth about it.
You see, unlike you, we are ok with who we are. We do not have any pretensions of being better, more truthful, more dedicated to saving the world than everyone else. We are just us – plain and simple Dutertards. And while we will never have the big budgets that you do, that doesn’t really matter as long as we are enjoying what we do. Which is to call out puff pieces masquerading as real news from people like you whenever the opportunity presents itself.
This is especially gratifying when it comes to the kind of anti-Duterte crap that you have been putting out lately. Not only do we get the chance to defend the President, but we also get expose you for the journalistic frauds that you are.
Case in point is the fast one you tried to pull with your recent post that read “We watched police operations from a distance and this is what we saw,” which was accompanied by the photo of a dead man with a cardboard sign thrown atop his lifeless body.
Really Rappler, you saw nothing wrong with this? C’mon if you’re going to claim to be journalists, shouldn’t you start acting like one? That mistake was so glaring that it could only be a deliberate attempt to mislead people, or a monumental Freudian slip on the scale of Ted Kennedy’s “breast and the brightest,” and Hillary Clinton talking about “first time home-boners.” Either way, it sorely tests your assertions of impartiality, and editorial competence.
While taken individually the text and the photo are legitimate news elements, combined they create a perception that had nothing to do with the story. At all. I read through it several times just in case I missed the connection, but there really wasn’t any to be found. Something that even you had to eventually admit in your Editor’s Note by saying that the post was “tweaked” so that it would “be more accurate in the description of what you saw.”
Again, just to repeat – we see nothing with these kinds of stories – so long as you are honest about what they are.
So Rappler, here’s our last word of advice. Stop pretending you’re any better than us in telling the truth. Admit you don’t like Duterte and would rather see him cast down into the dirt where you can sneer at him (and by extension those of us who support him), while screaming ‘justice has been done’ to the high heavens. Maybe then, and not that it seems to matter to you, you will be able to earn our respect.