Quick Thoughts on ABS-CBN’s Statement on Aug 23 Hostage Tragedy

ABS-CBN has come out with a statement on the Aug 23 hostage tragedy at Rizal Park, essentially clearing itself of any lapses in their coverage of the said incident.

To which I raise the following points:

4. All throughout the day and until the first shots were aired, we kept our cameras 400 meters away from the bus, giving us shaky video that viewers complained about. Our teams never crossed the police line.

There was no need to cross the police line, because your cameras, despite the 400-meter distance was still recording everything that happens, live in real time. You worried about viewers complaining about shaky videos but it never occurred to you that Mendoza was watching everything from inside the bus via a television.

6. After the police tried to arrest the hostage taker’s brother, our team physically stepped back to comply with police request.

Yes you did. But before that you were jostling with other networks and the police to bring the microphone to Mendoza’s brother just to get an interview while your cameras kept on rolling. All for Mendoza to see and that was all it took to push him over the edge and start a shooting spree.

7. After the assault began, we tried to limit our shots to avoid showing police movements. We stayed with extreme close-ups or wide shots.

Tried to limit shots to avoid showing police movements‘? Really? Then was Ron Gagalac just imagining things when he described in great detail every move the police made that night? Every movement the assault teams made were caught by cameras in different vantage points. It was like watching an action movie and with the viewing public, the international community, and Mendoza himself as viewers.

The gall of ABS-CBN to come out with such statements. They said they ‘exercised self-restrained’ last Monday. Oh they did, but failed.

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