Carmen Mislang: if thine speech writer offended thee, cut it off

Eminent columnist John Nery today published a quaint attempt to diffuse some of the flames burning through the blogosphere over the latest gaffe of a member of the Yellow Horde. This of course, has to do with the venerable speech writer and erstwhile rocker Carmen Mislang who, upon sampling some of the local wines of the excellent Socialist Republic of Vietnam (officially Cộng hòa xã hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam), promptly posted on Twitter: "Wine sucks", and went further to criticise the facial qualities of Vietnamese malehood.

Here are some of his "arguments"...

One mistake, you're out.

Nery, in essence, asks for "benefits of the doubt" and for people to be cut some slack. This is an easy one to comment on and I do so as only "benign0" can: Tough luck, dude. Who said life is fair? Perhaps you should tell that to other folk who didn't get second chances and paid a lot more dearly for their indiscretions. Some get away with murder, some don't. It all comes down to the roll of the dice -- specially in the Philippines where application of rules (such as The Law) is all but bafflingly random or, at best, dependent on the "will" or "graces" of our Catholic God.

The "evolving nature of online social networks" - a "source of concern".

Nery asks whether it is necessary for a writer to ask permission from a person who posted content online (say, on Facebook or Twitter) before said content can be reported on in a public journal (such as a newspaper, news site, or blog). For me the guiding question is quite simple: Was said content posted on a public forum? Perhaps there is a need to ask permission had the content been posted in a limited access online forum which may include but is not limited to:

(1) your personal "profile" in any one of these "social media" sites with privacy settings (either inherited from the overarching user account or of the specific content posted) set in a way so that only a defined set of people (such as one's "friends") can view it.

(2) an online members-only forum. Facebook, for example, now allows privacy and access settings to be tweaked in the forum facilities it provides to its users.

Having said all of the above, that does not stop exclusive members of any of the above from leaking information to the outside world -- like post it on public forums (such as and blog comment threads. From there, it is fair game in my view. Whilst perhaps the person who leaked information from a limited access online facility may be guilty of impropriety, in this case a blogger or "reporter" picking up the leaked information is within his or her rights to use it. Tough luck.

Some commentors, for example, criticised me for exhibiting real people and their faces (plus links to their Facebook profiles) when I launched an exhibit on featuring the moronism of Filipinos expressing their anger on Adam Carolla's very public Facebook page. Indeed, Ellen Tordesillas herself does the same thing, exhibiting image grabs of Mislang's offending "tweets" on her blog "Tweets are forever" (even after the offending Twitter account and even the Facebook account of Mislang had been taken offline).

In short, ultimate accountability can ultimately be traced back to the ultimate originator of the offending content. If you do not want a piece of information broadcast, then don't post it online (whether in a private or public forum) to begin with, right Ms Mislang?

A "greater distrust of government"

Upon reading this, I thought at first that Nery was spot on on this one. But then he went on to say...
[...] perhaps it is because greater distrust in the government, no matter how popular, is yet another lasting legacy of the Arroyo years?

That's one hell of a punchline, Mr Nery and a tired ho-hum use of classic Eeeevil-Empire-of-Arroyo fear mongering that is so last year. You conveniently leave out the possibility that this distrust in the government could now have its origins in the the rapid-fire gaffe machine that was President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III's first 100 days in power.

Nice try, dude. Fact is, Ms Carmen Mislang set herself up big time. Perhaps it's time you visit your Public Relations 101 textbook where there is a simple principle that you can apply to yourself: When you see a stinking pile of turd on the ground, it's best you walk around it and not look back lest the stink rub off on you.


  1. classic evidence of victim complex again by the yellow hordes. President Noynoy was quoted by Malaya to have advised Mislang that noon simple lang daw pero ngayon iba na -- which is referring to Mislang's tenure under the GMA administration

  2. How many aides has President Noynoy Aquino defended since day 1? I forget.

  3. Someone should put up an online register of disgraced staff members being coddled by the administration...

  4. If it were any other group of people, I'd be shocked that strict guidelines for the use of any form of communication were not put into force before everyone even punched in for their new jobs. Kind of says something about the level of professionalism of the supposed media "professionals" who are supposed to manage this sort of thing.


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