There’s no other way to put it
The Internet is on fire over a recent episode of ‘Toni Talks’, which saw host Toni Gonzaga get chummy with Bongbong Marcos for 30 minutes. In the episode, Bongbong tries – tries – his best to humanize his late father, Ferdinand Marcos, painting us a picture of how the former dictator/plunderer/EJK purveyor is actually a softie on the inside.
At one point in the interview, BBM shared the perspective of Marcos Sr. during the final moments of the EDSA Revolution, when protestors were on the brink of ousting his family into exile.
He claims his father refused to take up arms against the protestors, saying, “I have spent my entire life defending Filipinos. I cannot hurt them now”. This quote comes on the tail-end of a regime that claimed 3,257 Filipino lives and robbed billions of dollars in taxpayer money.
Again, Marcos Sr., a natural teddy bear and ‘defender’ of the people.
Aside from the patented historical revisionism, much of the criticism is levied at Toni and her choice to give Bongbong Marcos a platform.
For her part, Toni has been clear on her stance of featuring people regardless of their background, reasoning that everyone, both good and bad, has a story to tell. Aside from Marcos, other politicians that have guested on ‘Toni Talks’ were Vice President Leni Robredo, Chel Diokno, Senator Grace Poe, and Mayor Isko Moreno.
The interview itself saw BBM do much of the heavy lifting when it comes to glamorizing his family’s past, with Toni mostly asking generic questions about the former’s life. For a show that aims to highlight human stories, no one bothered to address the elephant/s in the room, such as the well-documented human rights violations and plunder cases that plague the Marcos clan to this day.
Now, we can all debate all day long the ethics and responsibilities of having a platform (‘would she feature Hitler?‘). We could argue that Toni’s refusal to ask the ‘real’ questions only serves to echo fake narratives. Or that at 4 million followers, she needs to be reminded that “with great power comes great responsibility.”
But what gets lost in the criticism is that we are also largely to blame for the continued relevance of undesirables because we keep falling for their sh*t.
Here’s the truth: No amount of tweets will derail Toni’s show or Marcos’ aspirations in the upcoming national elections. In fact, all of your likes, dislikes, comments, and shares only further the narrative (hello, social media engagement). Bongbong Marcos, Toni Gonzaga, all of them will remain relevant, regardless of your opinion. That’s just how the world – and the algorithm – works.
But if someone constantly shoves piles of crap on our faces, do we automatically open wide and eat said sh*t? Or do we have the moral obligation and common sense to turn away and say “This is just nasty”?
And in case you’re still unsure whether eating manure is toxic or not, there is countless proof on the Internet that say yes, it is. There are no shortage of fact-checking bodies, historical documents, and eyewitness accounts that confirm that a dark time in our history did happen, and that the family behind it holds little to no remorse for their actions.
If after all of that available information and you still choose to eat feces, that is no one’s fault but yours. People will understandably cringe, declare you insane, and wonder aloud how you can be so warped. That is self-inflicted stupidity, and the only cure is your willful choice not to be ignorant.
But if you have the presence of mind to not ingest horsesh*t when you see it, then congrats! You beat the system. Common sense will save us as social media continues to give voices to people, both good and bad, especially in the upcoming 2022 elections.