So after Jessica Soho completed a set of interviews for presidential candidates, there was an elephant who wasn’t in the room, and the main reason cited was that Jessica Soho was, ermm, “biased.”
First, here’s the obvious problem: if Jessica Soho is “biased,” and clearly, ABS CBN, being shut down and all, is also clearly “biased,” then who isn’t? Are we going to close up GMA-7 next? Where does it even stop?
Before we continue, it really is important to remember that an adversarial free press, warts and all, is a necessity in any functioning free society. With that in mind, here’s why Ms. Soho’s brand of questioning isn’t at all being biased:
8. Everyone is subject to the same line of questioning
Jessica Soho famously rankled PNoy in the last admin. If she makes politicians from all sides uncomfortable, you know she does her job well.
— 🚲This Machine Fights Climate Change (@goodkidbikecity) January 22, 2022
A bias implies that Ms. Soho will go hard on certain candidates and go easy on others. This could not be any further from the truth.
The reality is, in her series of interviews, Ms. Soho asked every single candidate the hard questions – relative to them. If a candidate, say, has zero issues of corruption associated with them, why would you expect Ms. Soho to grill them on corruption? She would of course focus on actual issues that actually need to be discussed surrounding these candidates, and they will not necessarily be flattering to whichever candidate is in question.
Again: you can’t accuse someone of bias if everyone is subject to the same thing. Either everyone gets hardball questions, or nobody does. Ms. Soho did just that.
7. Being “anti-” isn’t the only sign of a bias
Does being anti-evil make you biased? Maybe towards the good. Is this a bad thing? Probably not. But how about a topic that has two sides to it? Let’s say smoking. Being anti-smoking is a bias, right? Definitely.
But how about being pro-smoking? That’s also a bias, right? Of course, it is! So why is it someone would think bias is only about someone or something being against them, while anything for them is considered all right? Isn’t that just the exact same bias across the other end of the spectrum?
6. Hard questions can be an opportunity to shine
Why? Did you think those beauty pageant questions they answer all the time happen to be easy? Demonstrating grace under pressure actually showcases your ability to present yourself as the real deal.
5. The only bias that matters is…
…. Which BTS member is your favorite, right? Right? But no, seriously — the only bias that matters is one that’s aimed towards the good of this country, and surely, nobody can hold anyone at fault for asking some hard questions in the service of that.
4. Jessica Soho? Biased?
BBM: [calls Jessica Soho “biased” for doing her job] Jessica: pic.twitter.com/VTGquB1lwr
— chessy (@chescagonz) January 22, 2022
You can make as many fat jokes as Vice Ganda did about her and she’d still interview you fairly. That’s how much of a straight shooter Jessica Soho really is.
3. There’s only one word that goes with “biased” for Jessica Soho…
… And that’s “diumano.” That’s about as far as you can get accusing her of anything, because anything beyond that is plainly slander.
Yes, that’s two entries defending the integrity of Ms. Soho. Got a problem with that?
2. Who says the questions are actually hard?
“Are human rights violations something we must condemn?”
“Is it wrong to steal?”
Who said these questions are hard? Even a grade school kid knows the answers to them! At best, we can say questions are relative, and only “hard” for certain types of people. A calculus question would absolutely be “hard” for anyone who has no background in calculus. A basic question about ethics and morality would definitely be “hard” for anyone who… never mind.
1. These questions, hard or otherwise, are not for the benefit of the asked.
In 2012, former senator Juan Ponce Enrile was visibly irked by Jessica Soho’s question whether he had filed all his SALNs truthfully. “There’s a limit to questions,” Enrile said, saying he’s been investigated but came out clean.
Later, Enrile was charged in PDAF scam. pic.twitter.com/ExvC9cklN1
— Lian Buan (@lianbuan) January 22, 2022
It’s for the benefit of the askers, and by askers, we don’t mean Jessica Soho. We mean us, the voting people.
We ask these questions, hard as they may be, not because we dislike the candidate in front of us. It’s because we want to know for ourselves, in the end, who we should actually be voting for. If they think they’re too good for our questions, then they think they’re too good for us.
So why are they asking to curry our vote if they’re looking down on us like that?
What do you think? Sound off in the comments!