Pacquiao sucker punched by the media

I absolutely love Trending Topics on Twitter. Obviously, they let people see what has the most buzz surrounding it at any given point. What I don’t like, however, is when I see an intriguing trending topic, but can’t figure out what has actually occurred by reading the tweets associated with the topic.

For example, this afternoon I saw that  “Manny Pacquiao” was trending. Now, as much as I am not a fan of boxing, it caught my eye and I was wondering what the athlete did to generate so much conversation. From the massive list of tweets I was confronted with, I was unable to figure out exactly what that was. So, I went ahead and did the work that I usually look for someone else to have already done.

I investigated.

Over the weekend, Pacquiao was interviewed by Examiner.com. In the interview, the athlete was asked about his opinions regarding President Barack Obama’s recent support of same-sex marriages, to which he responded,

“God’s words first… obey God’s law first before considering the laws of man.”

Now, that might not be something that I agree with particularly, but Pacquiao certainly isn’t the only person that feels that way, and it doesn’t seem like he said anything overly offensive to anyone. However, the writer of the Examiner story, Granville Ampong, took it upon himself to suggest that Pacquiao was referencing Leviticus 20:13, a Bible verse.

“If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”

Despite being a Catholic, Pacquiao admitted that he hasn’t even read Leviticus yet, which would make it pretty hard for him to quote the verse. In other words, this blogger for Examiner.com put some very extreme, offensive words into the mouth of Pacquiao.

In the aftermath, The Grove, a shopping and entertainment center in Los Angeles, cancelled an upcoming interview with Pacquiao that was scheduled to take place on the property.

 

Furthermore, Change.org has been putting a petition together to persuade Nike to drop the athlete as an endorser.

I’m sorry, but aren’t the actions of this journalist defamatory?

I just took my final exam for a Freedom of Expression course last week, so I happen to have the definition handy:

Speech is defamatory if “it tends to lower a person’s reputation before others, cause that person to be shunned, or expose that person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule.”
If you don’t think Pacquiao has been exposed to these things, a quick visit to Twitter would change your mind.
At the very least, this Ampong guy is very far from being a good, unbiased journalist.
I think he should have to get into the ring with Pacquiao.
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About Jim Mignano

Jim Mignano is a young professional practicing and learning Public Relations in Rochester, NY. He is passionate about the possibilities that digital media provide and loves utilizing new platforms for a variety of functions. James' blog is about people and the technology they use. It's about communication and persuasion... the old and the new ways of doing things... the struggle between sticking to the tried, true recipes and experimenting with intuitive, innovative ideas. It's an extension and reflection of James himself: the convergence of ambition & ability.
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One Response to Pacquiao sucker punched by the media

  1. Mark Trova says:

    I really don’t understand how people can defame someone like that. Pacquiao is entitled to his opinions, and whether or not you agree with them, he can say what he wants. By making him out to be a villain, Ampong (and, The Grove by not doing their proper research), he is now viewed as homophobic in some eyes. Don’t the people who make these egregious statements realize that by making these people (anti gay marriage people) out to be different, they are doing the same thing to people who are against gay marriage that legitimate homo phobics do to gay people?!

    Regardless of that, I feel that (and you would know this better than me, Jim) journalists have to sometimes stretch the truth, if not completely break it, in order to get their name out there. Taking something completely out of context has hurt athletes, politicians and basically everyone else at some point in their lives, why do we continue to do it?

    Great post Jim! Glad to see a sports-related post out of you

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