Congressional hearings do not have a monopoly on flaring tempers and drama. The action can spill over into the sidelines as journalists covering the Congress beat found last week when two reporters from rival networks almost came to blows.
Witnesses say the fight started when one veteran reporter lady, let’s call her Long Time, tried to cut off younger lady reporter, let’s call her Ingenue, who was getting an exclusive* interview with a resource person at one Congressional hearing.
Ingenue had waited for Long Time to finish her interview with the resource person, a former accountant for a shady company, out of respect. After all, Ingenue was just there as back up, and Long Time was both older and bigger.
When it was her turn, though, Long Time cut her off and told her to wrap up. One source says Long Time did it because a separate press conference was about to start and she didn’t want to offend members of Congress. Another source says, however, that it was so Long Time coud claim her interview was truly exclusive.
Long Time later texted another reporter, from the same network as Ingenue, to complain. Our baby mouse says Long Time called Ingenue an “epal,” a Tagalog slang word for someone annoying and who butts in where she is not wanted.
Now, in kindergartens and elementary schools across the land, that is a fighting word, and that is exactly what happened. When Ingenue found out, she confronted Long Time and threatened to beat her up. According to a witness, Ingenue told Long Time that although, as a TV reporter, she dresses well, she was also ready to throw down and “mambasag ng mukha (break your face).” This earned her muted applause from everyone else from the press office. After all, everybody loves a good sound bite.
Long Time, probably shocked that someone actually stepped up to her, was speechless.
She later allegedly explained on her Facebook** wall why she didn’t fight: her mother told her to pick her fights. To which Ingenue replied with a post on her own Facebook wall that she pitied Long Time’s mother “for having a daughter like you.”
Meanwhile, a clue. Both reporters are from channels with prime numbers but debatable prime time shows. Ingenue shares a name with a Spanish fashion house while Long Time might be related to a former city police chief who hated hoodlums and whose life was made into a movie starring either Eddie Garcia or Eddie Gutierrez (or both).
*Those exclusive interviews you see on TV are often not such unless big shots like Jessica Soho and Lynda Jumilla are involved. Reporters take turns asking questions and having their cameramen shoot them doing apparently one-on-one interviews.
**Facebook has become the weapon of choice for reporters now, apparently. At another beat, a reporter for a business newspaper has reportedly taken swipes at two younger reporters for wearing dresses to a fundraiser for a colleague fighting cancer.
He supposedly called them whores for dressing nice. Which is a really classy thing to do when you are old enough to be the father of both younger reporters. For context, the back story is here.
[Edited third and fourth paragraphs because they made no sense.]