National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales recently warned that communists have infiltrated media’s ranks.
We are in no position to contest the factual accuracy of Gonzales’ claim. After all, for many decades now, from the time of Quezon and Roxas to the time of Marcos and all presidents who followed him, the communists have been accused of infiltrating all walks of life – labor and farmers’ groups, youth and women, professionals, business, churches, lawmakers, and so on.
In fact, militarists had complained that Cory’s 1986 cabinet included a handful of communist coddlers, and a few of the close advisers of Ramos, Erap, and GMA respectively, are themselves self-confessed former communists.
Thus, communist or Leftist presence among media is not the real issue. Executive Secretary Ermita said as much when he clarified that “for as long as they are not committing any [crime], anybody who is left of center can go about their activities.”
But in the same breath, Ermita also said that communist influence in the newsroom poses a security risk. What he said next is chilling: “Mass media is a potent force in government. (What the Left) cannot win in combat, they try to win by propaganda.”
It is chilling, because it is only half the truth. The unspoken reverse truth is this: “What the Rightists cannot win by propaganda, they try to win by combat.” When fascists cannot win the people’s hearts and minds, they shoot up people’s chests and brains.
Thus, when Gonzales and Ermita say that media itself is infiltrated by communists, the veiled threat is that they can turn media into an arena of combat, coercion and violence, with media people as fair targets.
We fully agree with the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines in reacting to these fascist rants as “just another attempt to sow fear in media and instill a climate of fear that would discourage independent reportage.”
Such tactic ultimately failed in the martial law years under Marcos. It merely gave birth to the alternative anti-dictatorship press. It won’t succeed now. #