8 Things Mocha Uson Will Need to Learn Now That She’s a Real Columnist (and Fast)
By Tim Henares
Mocha Uson has transcended being a Facebook pundit and has now managed an air of legitimacy as the latest columnist from the Philippine Star. After heaven knows how many months of calling the mainstream media “presstitutes,” it does the heart good to know that Mocha would deign to join their very ranks.
There’s nothing wrong with that, really, because it’s a free country. But now that Ms. Uson has to contend with the very same machinery she has relentlessly railed against for the longest time, it might be good for her to realize that for all her bluster, being a columnist isn’t exactly as “anything goes” as she has made it out to be. For example, she needs to learn that…
8. Her opinions can’t stay being uninformed.
When a columnist runs their mouth about something they clearly know nothing about, the slack we’re normally willing to give them is pretty minimal, unless their name ends in “Tulfo.” In Facebook land, Mocha was free to spout whatever opinion she has and pretend nobody can counter her points with basic facts. Mainstream media doesn’t quite work that way, because even the most slanted Winnie Monsod or Kit Tatad column still has to back up its opinions with even just a modicum of facts.
Being a columnist might not be hard journalism per se, but it isn’t exactly just shooting from the hip with no regard for facts, either.
7. She has to contend with an editor.
Inasmuch as freedom of speech exists, when a newspaper pays you for your words, it will have to go through an editor, who can and will tone down anything that outright becomes libelous or too incendiary. Even an entertainment-focused website like 8List has an editorial team who makes sure our jokes don’t go too far, so you can be sure any newspaper worth their salt will not let any columnist run wild unchecked.
6. She can no longer block out dissent.
In Facebook land, Mocha had all the power in the world to block naysayers from viewing or commenting on her page. A newspaper does not afford her the same level of protection, as is what clearly just happened with the Belmonte clan.
5. She will need to have a semblance of objectivity.
To the untrained eye, the average Winnie Monsod column might seem earnest and even irrefutable, but that’s because Professor Monsod’s writing is generally so data-heavy that when her opinion creeps in, you can’t help but agree if you don’t actively consider the source. Mocha cannot employ her current writing style and expect to achieve similar results as her Facebook page. The more obvious her slant is, the less credible she is, more so if it doesn’t take someone who is knowledgeable enough about Philippine politics to sniff out her alignment.
This isn’t a matter of her not being as smart as other columnists, so much as it is a challenge to rein in one’s fanaticism externally so that one could internally push said fanaticism better and in a more acceptable package.