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Paid Hacks...every Dirty Trick In The Book!

Every dirty trick in the book

Wednesday, 02 24, 2005

The revival of GMA Films (together with Ronnie Rickett's Rocket Productions and Ben “M7” Yalung's Cine Suwerte) is a positive step towards improving the dismal state of Philippine cinema. But with the way paid hacks mangled Star Cinema's Dreamboy in the print medium in order for GMA Films' Let the Love Begin to come out ahead of what they set as a head-on collision, such revival has been marked by a shameless deception never before experienced in the entertainment industry.

Paid hacks used every dirty trick in the book to do an excellent demolition job on Dreamboy, initially focused on the much ballyhooed practice of trend-setting. Trend-setting is used by spin doctors to sway the public by establishing an early trend such as in an election in order to influence its result in favor of the spin doctors' client.

Paid hacks have been doing this even before Dreamboy. When ABS-CBN has a new show, the whole machinery would crank negative reviews, working on the bias that everything the network does is worth bashing. Since it is not the policy nor practice of the ABS-CBN Public Relations Department to use negative publicity through manipulation, deception, character assassination, etc. to gain publicity mileage for its shows and stars, it becomes extremely vulnerable to the attacks by the paid hacks.

In the case of Dreamboy, what the paid hacks did was come up with write-ups about Let the Love Begin, “killing” it in the box-office even before a real trend could be established. In the early hours of the first day of screening, they were supposed to collect hour-by-hour ticket sale readings which they dutifully reported in their respective tab columns the following day. Where they got them was suspect because such figures are not easy to acquire. Which makes it seem as if the data was either farmed out by vested interest groups or/and manufactured to substantiate the supposedly lopsided competition.

This later retrogressed in destroying the characters of the film's lead actors Piolo Pascual and Bea Alonzo, pointing to them as incompetent in their respective roles and even going to the extent of attacking them on personal issues. Paid hacks did this to make Richard Gutierrez and Angel Locsin shine, of course, at the expense of Piolo and Bea, which was a merciless comparison because it did not have any basis as much as they were malicious and shameless.

What the paid hacks did was suspend logic to make it appear that Piolo and, for that matter, Bea, are incompetent actors with zilch box-office appeal. Their blind faith made them forget that Piolo was the grand slam actor in Star Cinema's Dekada '70 and his last starrer before Dreamboy, Milan, grossed P150 million, making it 2004's topgrosser. Of course, they conveniently forgot that Kuya and Sigaw were not box-office performers. Because they are such simplistic thinkers, they overlooked the Mark Herras and Jennilyn Mercado factor.

Their movie, So Happy Together, was 2004 MMFFP's second highest grosser. Could it be that moviegoers watched Let the Love Begin to see Mark and Jennilyn? Only a formal study can determine this, but it shows that the movie's box-office performance has nothing to do with competent acting as there is much to be desired in the way the Starstruck winners projected themselves on screen. And I have not even touched on the movie's narrative. I cannot believe that such a good-looking guy as Richard will remain a janitor five years after college!

Did any of the ersatz critics among the paid hacks bother to point out this big storyline defect? Of course not!

How did Piolo react to all these? As a good Christian, with humility. During the Dreamboy presscon, I distinctly remember him stating that he wished Let the Love Begin to make money for the good of the movie industry. He also positively spoke of the movie's box-office success, crediting it as a positive accomplishment even as Star Cinema clarified his movie did not perform as badly as reported by the paid hacks. No putdowns from him, only positivism from an enlightened man. That's why he does not deserve the bad treatment he got from the paid hacks and ersatz critics.

And let me set the record straight: My expose on paid hacks (and now, ersatz critics) is a personal crusade to reveal the ongoing destructive type of reporting in the entertainment industry undertaken by them. It might not be very obvious now, but there will come a time when the public will reject their kind of demolition job, backfiring on them and the vested interest groups that perpetuate them. Of course, the law of karma is something else!


  • oh diba, kahet sino namang matinong writer, sinasabi na talagang Milan was the top grosser of 2004....

    hay nako...kakaloka ang decision ng Guillermo...Am sure me connection si Kris at Vic sa mga yan. Nabigyang ng datung? Malamang. Or maybe, seniority talaga priority nila...ang sagwa naman siguro kung Claudine and Piolo are Queen and King, tapos Vic and Kris, prince and princess...
    ang tatanda tapos prince and princess of RP? davah! :lol:
  • Kris will be the Box office queen dahil she had two movies for 2004 na parehong hit unlike Claudine na isa lang ata. Kaya Ms. RP Movies naman sya. ok lang yun...

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