My apologies for the melodramatic, even somewhat inaccurate, title; I couldn’t resist.
1. The return of Dante Ang, or at least Ang’s "Ina ng Bayan" image for the President. Her "bad boy" speech before KBP executives on Thursday assumes that there is a mother figure to set the bad boy of media straight. (It is the President, of course, who gets to do the spanking.) This is all of a piece with her "chasing the bully around the schoolyard" speech the other month; that one assumes a stern schoolmistress — another mother figure — with the disciplinary rigor to lay down the law.
2. The return of Bobi Tiglao’s "strong republic." Bobi may be headed for Greece, but the President’s crisis of legitimacy has given new life to the policy-slash-image-slash-strategy he put together when he was on study leave in Japan. In her "bad boy" speech, the President used "strong state" (apparently the version she prefers now) almost like a mantra.
3. The reemergence of ABS-CBN as broadcasting industry leader, with Gabby Lopez’s speech in the same KBP conference in Baguio hitting the right high notes; it was a gracious but firm assertion of the truth on the Julius Babao case. It isn’t only that GMA, the ratings leader in the country’s dominant broadcasting market, has its own problems with admittedly problematic KBP; it’s also because media leadership is not and cannot be a matter of ratings alone. It also comes from taking a stand.
4. The confirmation (if confirmation were needed) of Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye as a spokesman who would say anything, even lie outright, to extricate his principal from problems of her own making. His comments after the President’s KBP speech mark a new low.
PS. I must say, though, that I was rather put off by the "initial reaction" statement issued, on behalf of NUJP, by one of its directors, Rowena Carranza. As I teased Joe Torres in a text message, what was the ontological status of that initial reaction? Does the NUJP, among whose leaders I count several as good friends indeed, issue collective statements? If it does, why is there an "initial reaction," purportedly for the entire NUJP, from one of its directors, followed a couple of hours later by the official statement (under Joe’s name)? I have no quarrel with either statement, as a matter of fact. But consider the example of the most recent post of NUJP secretary general Caloy Conde. It is right on the money, but there is no doubt that it is his own position. Of course other NUJP members share his view, but the post is all his. (And still newsworthy on its own.) Just wondering.