Jeers to the press for its focus on the love life of President Benigno Aquino III ad nauseam to the detriment of discussion of other issues. Television programs and newspapers were again agog over Aquino’s admission last Feb. 1 that he was dating Korean TV and radio personality Grace Lee, who has been staying in the Philippines since her family moved to the country when she was 10. Among the issues that could have been given more attention at that time were the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona, the death of Negros Occ. Rep. Ignacio Arroyo, and the hunt for fugitive retired general Jovito Palparan.
GMA News TV, where Lee works as an entertainment anchor for Balitanghali, aired Aquino’s admission and Lee’s reaction several times. For at least three times since Jan. 27, Balitanghali anchors bantered with their segment host Lee on her alleged romantic involvement with Aquino and later, the President’s admission.
Aquino’s admission and Lee’s reaction, as well as the reaction of Aquino’s sisters, were aired on GMA News TV’s State of the Nation with Jessica Soho. GMA-7, mother station of GMA News TV, also carried the reports in news programs 24 Oras and Saksi. GMA-7’s showbiz programs such as Showbiz Central also reported the issue. News programs from other stations such as TV Patrol and Aksyon aired it on Feb. 1.
“From ‘Coke Zero’ to kimchi: Aquino dating Korean,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer featured the story last Feb. 2. The report, complete with photos of Lee and Aquino, was published above fold of the Inquirer front page.
Manila Standard Today also published a story on the subject and a photo of Lee last Feb. 2 on its front page. (“Korean anchor adding zest to Aquino love life”) Manila Bulletin had its own story on the front page together with Aquino’s photo last Feb. 2. (“PNoy confirms dating Grace Lee”)
Other papers published the story on their front pages but had photos only in the inside pages. (such as The Philippine Star’s “P-Noy admits seeing Grace”, Feb. 2; The Manila Times’ “Aquino admits dating South Korean TV host”, Feb. 2). Business papers Malaya (“Noy confirms he’s dating
TV personality Grace Lee“, Feb. 2) and BusinessMirror (“Aquino confirms dating TV personality”, Feb. 2) placed the story in their inside pages. BusinessWorld did not have a report on the subject.