Manila Times columnist Yen Makabenta justified his last column based on a fake story about US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley’s remarks on President Rodrigo Duterte and the netizens are not happy about it.
Instead of apologizing for using fake news as basis for his September 23 column, where he echoed Haley’s fake statement on giving Duterte space to run his country, the netizens considered his latest column on September 26 as a show of “arrogance.”
Makabenta wrote “’You cannot put the toothpaste or Nikki Haley back in the tube’” to address the backlash he received from using Haley’s fake statements on Duterte, something that even the US Embassy denied.
In his latest column, he defended what he wrote by saying that he simply expressed his opinion.
“Some will continue to badger me for allegedly falling victim to fake news. Still, they must face the hard reality that all I have done is express my opinion as a columnist, based on my research and analysis. The idea will live on long after the hysterics are over,” Makabenta wrote.
He then went on to explain the materials and reports he analyzed to help him arrive at his opinion on Haley. He cited how US State Secretary Rex Tillerson’s directive to revise its mission statement and remove the part about shaping a democratic world, something that Makabenta learned about from a column piece written by former US presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan.
Makabenta also said he referred to US President Donald Trump’s UN address and the concise analysis written by the Associated Press, which was said to have interpreted Trump’s speech as him relaying his belief that countries “will and should determine the fate of the world by pursuing their own best interests.”
When Makabenta went on to Haley’s statement, which he quoted in his September 23 column, he admitted to being unable to verify its source, but he defended it, saying it was consistent with what Trump said at the UNGA and with Haley’s previous statements in separate occasions
“I could not authenticate the statement as having been actually made by Haley. I found it as similar in tone and theme as (1) a statement she made at her Senate confirmation hearing, and (2) a long statement by her denouncing the work of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC),” he wrote.
“Reading the alleged space remark and coming as it did after Trump’s UN address, I was convinced that the unverified statement was consistent with what her boss had said and consistent also with Secretary Tillerson’s directive on the state department’s mission statement,” he added.
For the netizens, this latest piece from Makabenta did not include an apology for using fake news and they wanted one.
“The guy could’ve just admitted mistake and apologized. Instead writes a long article,” a Twitter user said.
Twitter user @momblogger called Makabenta “arrogant.”
“Instead of apologising for quoting #fakeNews site, Macabenta justifies his opinion piece. Arrogant!” she said.
The comments in his column right on the Manila Times website also slammed Makabenta for failing to apologize for citing fake news.
“Where is the apology you owe to your readers for misleading them, as a man and not doing your job as a journalist?” one commenter wrote.
“andami pang sinabi. why can’t you be man enough and just admit na you have “resold” a fake news?” a certain Lanz said.
“Fake news pa rin. Cannot be proven by mere deduction or perception. If it cannot be found in Haley’s recent press statement. Then it is more imagined than real,” remarked another commenter.