The social irrelevance of noontime TV shows and telenovelas
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - November 5, 2019 - 12:00am

With great sadness and dismay, I am constrained to say that all the leading TV and radio networks, and even most print media organizations in the Philippines today, are feeding the minds of the people with trash and dirty garbage that distort the values and sense of purpose of the young and old alike. Noontime TV shows poison people and telenovelas distract them from social and economic realities. Dirty jokes, lewd dances, and vulgar language pollute the airwaves and poison the Filipino soul.

Communication is very powerful in the formation of the national sense of purpose and priorities. Print and broadcast media are so important they are called the fourth estate. Radio and TV hosts, announcers, commentators, directors, and producers strongly influence the formation of a national thought, culture, and paradigm. In the Philippines, most of these media are just in it for the money. They don’t have any sense of patriotism or love of country. It’s pure business for them, all they are after are ads, circulation, and to some, even “envelopmental journalism,” being bribed to push a selfish or insidious advocacy. They don’t think of the larger implications of what they publish to the long-range strategies and objectives of the nation.

What the people see and hear reflect the kind of nation we have. The print and broadcast media here in the Philippines (and in fairness, in many other third-world countries) are fixated on making money through ads to fuel consumerism and market liberalism, disregarding the loftier purposes of value-formation to build a strong nation and a people of sturdy character and values. The national government agencies that regulate print and broadcast media are either manned by incompetent executives who are political appointees without a noble purpose, or are being bribed not to censor or suspend erring practitioners and networks.

In our country, giant TV networks feed the Filipino masses with noontime shows and telenovelas that don’t have any redeeming social relevance. There is a noontime show that propagates the peoples' culture of mendicancy. The host gives money and jackets left and right and some women try their best to shed tears just to ignite commercialized compassion from the host. Women and even men narrate tragedies and miserable experiences while crying, and the host dramatically opens his wallet to show the whole country how many thousands he gives to those mendicants. Another program in another network sends people to homes of the poor to give cash and rice while playing dirty jokes at the misery of the poor. It’s sad that one of the hosts of this show is a senator.

Still, another network did a series of contests among cross-dressing gays and asks them silly questions on the spot, and pokes fun at the quality of their thinking and spontaneous analysis of trivial matters that are entirely alien to the social and economic problems of the nation. This network then shifted to blind dates of ageing matrons and widows and pairing them with blindfolded old men seeking a last chance at romance. I have no problem with gays and matrons, many of them have a better character than the host. My question is very simple. What is the social relevance of all these? What are their redeeming social values?

I have very high respect for Boy Abunda, he is one of the more sensible TV hosts, which include Karen Davila, Ted Failon, and Tina Monzon-Palma. But Boy Abunda's hackneyed questions: "Sex or chocolate? Lights on or Lights out" irritate me. What do these questions have to do with building a strong value system and national character for our nation and people? I pause for any reply.

TRASH
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