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Finding a better use for the mainstream Western media

“MAGANDANG pambalot ng tinapa” (Good as a fish wrap). This is how flea market vendors refer to the way they make use of newspapers after they have bought them and read their contents, which, of course, is the practical way of doing business.

And the way the Western mainstream media (WMSM) had purposely threaded the path towards total discredit over the decades, this is the only practical purpose we can see each time we hold any one of them—as a fish wrap. In our language, pambalot ng tinapa.

Back in the ‘70s, under the turbulent and controversial presidency of Richard ‘Tricky Dick’ Nixon (1969 – 1974), both the New York Times (NYT) and the Washington Post (WaPo) established themselves as “models” of independent and credible journalism that are always expected to speak truth to power. In a way, both papers became the “mirror” of the integrity and credibility of the entire WMSM.

WaPo gained respect by exposing the corrupt essence of Nixon’s presidency thru the infamous ‘Watergate Scandal’ that subsequently resulted to his resignation under the threat of being impeached from office.

The NYT, in turn, gained global respect for publishing the ‘Pentagon Papers’ that exposed America’s deceptive policies towards its aggression against the people of Vietnam since the time of President Dwight Eisenhower, despite the lawsuits and harassments it had to endure from the Nixon Whitehouse.

However, the entire WMSM become observably coopted by their own respective ‘Establishment,’ the ruling elite and oligarchs who wield actual power, parroting the propaganda line of the world’s ruling clique by acting as, among others, drumbeaters for wars, shielding war criminals such as many American presidents and EU leaders, and whitewashing war crimes committed by Western governments over the decades against the hapless population of the Global South.

Nowhere is this despicable role of the WMSM more revealed than the recent NYT’s “exposé” of the alleged resort to mass rape of Israeli women by the Hamas during its attack on Israel last October 7, 2023. The article, ‘Screams Without Words: How Hamas Weaponized Sexual Violence on October 7,’ came out last December 28, 2023.

The story came out at a time when Israel is already under global pressure to stop its barbarism against the Palestinians since October 7 on the false claim that what it has done—and continues to do– is an “act of self-defense.”

To add credibility to this bogus narrative, the NYT lend the name of one of its “respected” reporters, Jeffry Gettleman, a Pulitzer Prize winner, to the story written by two neophyte writers with no actual background on serious journalism. One of them it turned out, Anat Schwarts, turned out to be a member of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) that should have sent alarm bells ringing inside the NYT.

No thanks to the NYT’s complicity with Israel’s genocide in Gaza thru this shameless act of disinformation, over 30,000 Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank have since died with more than a third of them (over 13,000), children.

The whole embarrassing episode, is now under investigation, claims the NYT. But to our mind, this is not a case of human failing or “lapse of judgment” on the part of the NYT fat cats.

What happened is proof of the depth of depravity and corruption of the WMSM these days. And having totally discredited themselves again for the nth time, what better use for these newspapers and mainstream Western media but as “pambalot ng tinapa?”

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