The Paolo Bediones sex video scandal: Expectation vs. reality

By Media Newser Philippines | Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Expectation: Bediones taking a leave of absence.
Reality: News5 is pretending like everything's back to normal.

There's a widespread chitchat in media circles that raises this very simple question: How in the world did News5 executives allow Paolo Bediones to resume his anchoring job amid his sex video scandal?

So far we can only rely on the network's press statement that says it's "purely a personal and private matter in which TV5 has no involvement or desire to intrude."

We may not really know the entire story why they decided to keep Mr. Bediones even after being involved in a sex scandal, but we just don't get why the network is pretending like everything's back to normal.

Part of the network's statement that says, "We firmly express our support for our anchor Paolo Bediones in the face of a controversy that represents nothing more than an attempt to smear his reputation," serves more of an encouragement to the TV5 anchor than an apology to his viewers and netizens who felt dismayed with the release of his private video.

From an ethical standpoint, the most reasonable move for TV5 is to ask Bediones to take an LOA or leave of absence, or if the network won't initiate, then Bediones himself should opt to consider filing one on his own.

It's been proven over the years that "celebrities" can make a comeback even after a storm as big as a sex scandal (insert: Hayden Kho, Wally Bayola and Katrina Halili, just to name a few). But it takes some time. People just don't easily forget especially a controversy that's been the top trending topic on social media just a few days ago.

For ratings reasons, of course, TV5 just couldn't and probably wouldn't even dare to temporarily let go one of their lead news anchors. The reason is very simple: they need Bediones as much as he needs them. Regardless of the damage of the sex video scandal he's involved in, it's serving as a lifeline to News5 — giving them some attention they need at the moment following the much-hyped but heavily criticized Aksyon-branded programs (more on that in the coming days).

"Kung under siya kay Ging Reyes or Maria Ressa, Paolo probably doesn't have a job right now," said a veteran reporter from a rival network. "Paolo is now a news anchor and news anchors should project a certain image that they're trustworthy. In this case, Paolo is not just the news presenter but he's also at the center of the news."

If the grapevine is to be believed, Luchi Cruz-Valdes is having her "last hurrah" as news chief of News5. What better way to end a tumultuous five-year reign than to increase the ratings of News5 programs which stuck in distant third position since 2010.

But wouldn't it be better to leave the network on a high note? It would be nice to FINALLY see LCV's journalistic stamp on the network... to see her standing up for what's right and advocate a high ethical standards on the ailing News5.

So, what do you think about Paolo Bediones continuing as anchor of Aksyon Tonite amid his sex video scandal? Do you think News5 executives should ask him to take a leave of absence? Weigh-in below or on our Facebook page. You can also tweet us @medianewserphil.

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