Guess what, Philippine Daily Inquirer? Funny faces are only funny when theyâ€™re made on purpose, and not when theyâ€™re the uncontrollable result of a debilitating cerebrovascular accident.
With all the elegance of a national broadsheet stooping to unethical levels that would make a tabloid blush, todayâ€™s PDI published incredibly tasteful photographs of witness Demetrio Vicente grimacing his way through a testimony. On the front page, even.
The photos have been called â€œunflattering,â€ â€œtasteless,â€ and â€œmean.â€ We donâ€™t mince words. The decision to publish those particular photographs of the septuagenarian stroke survivor was downright cruel.
Inquirerâ€™s instant statement amidst the backlash was the exact opposite of their usual coverage of the impeachment trial: on the defense. Their claim that the four-frame collage of Mr. Vicenteâ€™s facial expressions contained â€œthe only photos availableâ€ is shut down by the fact that there are actually only two photos, with the other half of the quadrant being zoomed-in versions of the first two. What did you think that editorial call was, PDI? A stroke of genius?
As if the photographs werenâ€™t funny enough — and by â€œfunnyâ€ we mean â€œinsulting to Mr. Vicente and stroke survivors and people with basic human values everywhereâ€ — PDI couldnâ€™t resist digging their elbow a little deeper into the side of ethical journalism. Which, by the way, isnâ€™t ticklish.
â€œâ€˜CHARACTERâ€™ WITNESS The many faces of Demetrio Vicente on the witness stand. Heâ€™s no ordinary witness after all. Heâ€™s the cousin of the Chief Justice whose wife sold him seven parcels of land in 1990, where he now grows bonsai.â€
Oh, I get it! Heâ€™s a â€œcharacterâ€ because he canâ€™t control his facial muscles! Also, he is a witness! So witty, Inquirer. â€œCharacterâ€ is properly ascribed to vintage furniture and James Earl Jonesâ€™ voice, not disabilities. People who come up with quips like these are the same people who Photoshop Mickey Mouse ears onto pictures of hydrocephalic babies.
(Thx, Indolent contributor Lady Dada!)