0219E: Duterte the King of Headlines

President-elect Duterte is like a journalist's dream come true - well, in a manner of speaking. The man has no filter and is quick to make ludicrous statements time and time again, which in turn make for guaranteed headline stories. His bluntness is part of his charm of course but then it's also what makes the media's life a lot easier as well. With every new statement his press team scrambles to come up with an explanation for what he supposedly meant, but seriously it's hard to come up with excuses each and every time.

His most recent headline-worthy statement is all about claiming that it's most likely that the many journalists who were killed in the Philippine probably had it coming. Given that the country is now known as the second most dangerous country for journalists, that's not at all a comforting perspective. He even alluded to a Davao reporter who had been killed many years back. The case remains unsolved but in his quip he claims he knew who did it. But in his view since the journalist was obviously corrupt or even a son of a bitch, then yeah his death was inevitable.

It's victim-blaming of a whole new level that can be inferred to mean that if you're a journalist and you don't want to die because you're doing your job, then keep your head down and don't ruffle any feathers. But that's an approach that will help any journalist challenge the system and dig deep enough to find the truth behind any story. And again it ties into Duterte's overall callous image that he doesn't have to care about all these little things. He's a man with a singular vision, and I'll give him some credit for that. But he's also a man of such single-minded focus that at times it feels like he has blinders on.

This is going to be a very interesting 6 years - assuming we all survive that long.