This opinion piece by Raul C. Pangalangan simply shows that both the op-ed writer and his employer
just don’t get it.
Obviously a politically correct Inquirer apologist, Mr. Pangalangan pathetically described political cartoonist Pol Medina’s controversial cartoon as “derogatory”, “offending”, and “defamatory”.
Yet Pangalanan made the following unequivocal admission:
Our Reader’s Advocate, Elena E. Pernia, has conducted an inquiry and her findings are most assuring. She found that the comic strip was rejected by the art section precisely for insensitivity when it was first submitted last April. It was a sound exercise of editorial discretion within the art section, and the author accepted it. The strip was published on June 4 by mistake—a technical mix-up in the art section—showing that there was no intent to malign, that editorial judgment had been exercised responsibly, and that the author himself, to his credit, had accepted that editorial decision. (emphasis mine)
The last sentence was obviously creatively crafted to pin the blame solely on the poor artist. Pangalangan is trying to tell his reader: “Yes, we made a mistake by publishing the rejected cartoon but the thing is, Medina was cool with that ‘editorial decision’.”
Personally, I think Pangalangan is brazenly lying through his teeth, which exposes his own mediocrity and hypocrisy.
The truth is, Medina was somehow shocked that his “defamatory” cartoon was published two months after he submitted it to Inquirer. This is evidenced by his “consPIGracy” Facebook status, which read: “if you zoom in on that particular strip that got me fired, you’ll see that the strip first appeared in MARCH. no reaction then. it was reissued after i made a series of anti-marcos strips, then BOOM! nag-trending sa twitter. interesting. i smell a consPIGracy….”
Now Pangalangan and perhaps others from the Inquirer are blaming Medina for being a ‘very naughty’ artist. But that’s what artists are. Most artists are not that cool with strict guidelines. They’re not comfortable with rules that restrict their artistic freedom.
What Medina did is that he simply tested the limits of propriety in order to find its breaking point. He found it. He knew his works would be subject to Inquirer’s editorial discretion, which the latter adequately, freely exercised.
Medina naughtily submitted his controversial cartoon with the curious thought, ‘Will it pass their criteria this time?’ Certainly it didn’t, as Pangalangan admitted the cartoon was rejected by the art section for ‘insensitivity’, but it was nonetheless published ‘by mistake’.
Medina’s job is to submit cartoons. He knew the rules. He received guidelines from the Inquirer and was told to abide by the rules.
In fact he said: “Kasi sinusubukan ko kung hanggang saan ako pwede lagi eh. Tapos pumapayag yung editorial staff ng Inquirer na ilabas. Kaya naging bold ako eh… aba okey ah, nailabas yung strip ko tungkol sa black comedy. Lumabas yung strip ko tungkol sa race. Tungkol sa religion. Eh open-minded naman pala. Sa kaka-push ko nang ganun, na-overstep ko yung threshold ng good taste. ‘Yun yung nangyari dito talaga. Totoo to eh, inaamin ko.”
He tested the limits of propriety and found it. He’s not part of the editorial decision-making process. In fact he works from home. Who made the decision? The Inquirer. So, it’s the Daily Pravda’s fault, period!
As I stated in a previous blog:
People who are familiar with how media companies operate understand that they have the right and authority to require their staff to follow and abide by certain rules and editorial policy. It is the job of high-ranking newspaper editors not only to vet and edit news and opinion stories, but also to decide what and what not to publish.
Evidently the Inquirer statement shows that it exercised its agenda setting and vetting role, but due to unfortunate circumstances (some ‘negligent’ people in the arts department might have mixed things up in the comics section), Pol Medina’s controversial March comic strip “was picked up for publication”.
Pangalangan further wrote:
“Since the defamatory nature of the cartoon was admitted by the author himself, one would have to be more popish than the pope to say it ain’t so. On the other hand, I can actually imagine a number of defenses. There was no malicious intent, as shown earlier. It was a cartoon, not a news item that purports to state facts. And—while truth is no defense and malice is assumed in every defamatory imputation—some readers have pointed out that Pugad Baboy merely speaks of a practice rather widespread in many same-sex schools. But the fact remains that St. Scholastica’s College was singled out for ridicule even if it hadn’t provoked or invited such attention. The slur was gratuitous. The situation called for an apology.”
What a load of nonsense! How can one get the facts correct yet still make an illogical, non-factual conclusion?
Medina did not admit the alleged “defamatory nature” of his work. In fact, he didn’t have to admit anything except the simple, categorical fact that he authored his controversial ‘Pugad Baboy’ comic strip, which he then submitted to his employer for approval and publication. Every piece of work he submitted was scrutinized and approved by the art section. Medina should be proud of his controversial cartoon because it exposed the hypocrisy of the Inquirer and our politically correct society.
But as some vigilant Inquirer commenters said, Pangalangan’s pathetic, politically correct opinion trash was removed and then re-posted to perhaps get rid of negative comments.
This commenter said: “Pagkatapos makatanggap ng negative comments…inalis, tapos pagbalik, voila! back to zero ang comments! Susmaryosep! ganyan na ba kayo kababaw! haha”
What other commenters said:
- mumbaki ak: “bakit mukhang nabura ang mga comments dito?”
- concern_netizen: “Napakadali naman burahin ng Inquirer ang mga comments. Di ba sukdulang kabastusan to?”
- lostRunes: “Nice inquirer. How very classless… staying true to your color, aye?”
It’s very ironic that Inquirer deleted negative comments on an opinion piece that shamelessly exploits the words “democratic space”.
What a shame…
I visited Mr. Pangalangan’s opinion piece and found that it was finally taken down. I know it was removed because I linked his article on this blog. Here’s the URL of his deleted op-ed: http://opinion.inquirer.net/54731/serious-look-at-cartoons-2 .
Here’s a screenshot:
Here’s another proof that the link Pangalangan op-ed was taken down. Fortunately, I posted the op-ed on my Facebook site a day before it was removed (LINK).
Here’s a screenshot of my Facebook post:
Perhaps they had to remove it to get rid of the negative comments, such as the ones I posted above.
But still, you may read Pangalangan’s opinion piece here. Apparently the Inquirer posted Pangalangan’s anti-Medina 1 and 2 identical op-eds on their site.
I like these comments on Pangalangan’s final anti-Medina opinion piece:
beeznet: “How sad that PDI through Dean Pangalangan would go the way of weak excuses. Why arbitrarily suspend Pol Medina when an investigation was still on-going? It doesn’t make sense. All materials go through editors and so Medina’s editor should have been the one suspended and investigated? And now they blame Medina because he was “out of reach.” PDI obviously shot from the hip and is now trying to justify that. Maybe Pangalangan should suspend himself for making such ridiculous statements. Please remove the “fearless views” as your slogan. You no longer deserve it! Rappler is where I will now go for my news and views.”
Dean, you did not actually explain at all why PM Jr. was suspended. The fact that the cartoon strip actually showed print proves that it was an editorial error – something that the cartoonist has no control over. If you had to preventively suspend someone, it should have been whoever was in charge of approving the strip’s release.
You screwed up, plain and simple. Stop making it look like PM Jr. is solely at fault here.
The Daily Pravda obviously misunderestimated the intelligence of their readers.