Tag Archives: ABC

Emil Guillermo: Ken Jeong’s “Dr.Ken” to make house calls as ABC picks up series for fall and becomes most Asian American-friendly network in prime time.

The Mouse must have a thing for Asian Americans.

First, “Fresh off the Boat,” and now  comedian Ken Jeong gets the nod for a full season from ABC for his sitcom, “Dr. Ken.”

It’s the first time two Asian American shows are on prime-time with a major network.

Jeong, a doctor before becoming a star as a member of the “Hangover”  ensemble,  has always pushed the comic in Asian stereotypes to the extreme.

I’ve always been a Jeong fan.

But maybe this is a chance to see the medical community as it really is.   Who are the docs you see in the hospitals these days?  They just don’t make it past central casting for TV shows.

Oh, and let’s hope we see  all the Filipino nurses.

Jeong is executive producer. 


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To Grads: The truth about journalism

June is grad season, and globetrotting millionaire journalist Christiane Amanpour has graduated to the place for old journalists.  No knock on Amanpour who left CNN and war zones to join Disney’s Sunday salon in D.C.

My quarrel with her is over what she said to the 2010 class at Harvard recently.

I’m not jealous of her. I spoke at Harvard’s Class Day in 1977 as class humorist.  I told 3,000 mostly rich white people about being a Filipino at Harvard. I appeared as Marcos.  It was a crack-up. For details, you’ll have to get my book “Amok.”

I don’t know if Amanpour channeled a dictator during her speech. In fact, I wouldn’t have known about it had she not used that new media technique known as Twitter, where she tweeted thusly: Delivered Harvard Class Day speech for seniors yesterday. Great honor for me! Urged them to pursue journalism, find passion and purpose. 6:08 AM May 27th

Twitter’s great isn’t it? But here I can respond in more than 140 characters.

I’m glad she’s honored. It was an honor for me. My first stand-up comedy routine. And then I went into journalism.   Amanpour did the reverse. She spent years in the trenches covering wars and wearing Safari outfits, and then went to Harvard to deliver her biggest one-liner:  She actually urged people to pursue journalism.

That’s a funny line.  But easy for a multi-millionaire journalist  to say.

The fact is many of the journalists I know are currently under or unemployed. Among them a few Pulitizer prize winners and a number of regional and local award winners who just can’t get a job because there aren’t any.

The journalism industry’s business model has disintegrated in the last five years, and the only way a news organization  seems to stay in business is by cutting wages, people,  and coverage.

It’s not pretty.

In Honolulu, the small paper bought the big paper making the city a one newspaper town with one too many staffs. Many of my old colleagues who have done nothing but journalism are now polishing up resumes to send where? The next newspaper that will go under?

In radio and TV, your best prospects of getting a job is not having done a hot story, but being hot and young (which means you have no kids, mortgage, nor a need for a high salary). Great.  But it’s unlikely you’ll cover Watergate. Or even a City Hall scandal.  Maybe you’ll get a murder. Is that your passion?

And if you’re a minority, the days when diversity was valued by the mainstream media are over.  An industry loses compassion in survival mode.

You want the future of journalism? You’re seeing it. The niche market. Highly targeted audiences. Not the shotgun approach of the “mass media.”  When was the last time your local mainstream paper even printed the word “Filipino” in the context of your life, your community?  That’s why one of the outlets I write for, the Philippine News, the oldest Filipino newspaper in America, has real value.

Perhaps I’ve reacted to Amanpour more acutely because recently I gave a talk to 5th graders at the ACORN Woodland Academy in Oakland.

How can you tell 5th graders in the inner city with a straight face to go into a dying industry?

So I was honest.  I told them you could make millions, or you can make ten cents a word. I told them they are already  licensed to be journalists. The First Amendment (which they had just learned about) gives them that right.

Now the question is are you curious? Do you want to know–everything? And once you do know, are you burning to tell everyone the truth about it?

If so, you are cursed, but journalism will be both your blessing and reward.

That’s more honest than Amanpour’s message at Harvard.

(Oh, and I also told them to learn how to tweet).

Noynoy Aquino wins, but the big winners in the Philippine elections are the Marcoses; Plus, Manny Pacquiao TKOs blonde ABC reporter on “Nightline”

The big election winner in the Philippines this week?  The Marcos family.

If Betty White can still shuck and jive so can Imelda Marcos.

 The 80-year old won for Congress in Ilocos Norte with nearly 110,000 votes. 

That’s one for each shoe.

And to my knowledge, my dead father from Laoag didn’t even vote once.

The former dictator’s wife, had been a representative of Leyte in the past, but has since discovered the saying “all politics is local.” So from her late husband’s Ilocos base, the Marcos’ rise again, with the speculation that the family is mounting a political defense against efforts to force the family pay for its plunder of the Philippines.  So in Ilocos, daughter Imee won this week for governor.  And there was Bong Bong,  among the winners for the Senate.

Stay tuned for Marcos-Aquino III?


But first a preliminary bout featuring a real boxing champ,  Manny Pacquiao and ABC News, the parent of KGO and KABC.

Perhaps to balance between the severe colonial-English mentality of “Nightline” anchor Martin Bashir, the network sent  Clarissa Ward, a toothsome blonde to cover Pacquiao’s campaign in the Philippines. 

I wondered why ABC wasn’t covering Noynoy’s victory on Tuesday.  But Manny the champ is a better ratings  grabber than Aquino the accidental president. Manny even got better play that night than the British Prime Minister story. (But then, America did revolt against Britain and colonized the Philippines, so maybe that colonial mentality came into play). 

Still, I was hoping ABC would at least mention the gravity of the elections in the RP. But not with Ward, whose report was an embarrassment to the news division. The story was focused on the reporter’s  ineptitude to secure a timely interview. Manny had the young girl in tow all day before finding the time to grant her an interview. Made ABC look silly, especially when introduced by that super solemn Bashir.

When Manny finally did talk, he answered in his short, terse but totally engaging and genuine style.

Nothing about him ever seems fake or self –serving, which one couldn’t say about Ward and her report. Pacquiao’s like Chance the Gardener in “Being There.”

But “Nightline’s treatment shows how little respect the idea of an everyman champ like Pacquiao  gets when he really wants to give back to his community.

I’ve said somewhat tongue –in-cheek that Manny should run not for Congress, but president.  The Philippines is run by a political ruling class of the rich.  Families amass fortunes then use politics to keep the family finances in order. (The Marcos’ come to mind).

Manny is perfect  to unify the country, give hope and show the country that one can rise up from the slums and be a force of good.  

In many ways, a congressional post form Manny is perfect for the archipelago that too many times seems ungovernable. A strong local leader is the start of rebuilding hope in a shaky democracy. That’s what a Pacquiao win stands for.

Unfortunately, most folks just want to know if Pacquiao can beat Mayweather, and not poverty in his country.  His odds are better against Mayweather.


And what does the  Noynoy landslide mean?  That the automated system is harder to cheat than some may have thought.   And that more people voted than were killed in election related violence. That’s a plus.

But once the great victory is confirmed, the guy who never wanted to be leader until his mother died last year, will still need lots of help.

As the new Yellow Hope, Aquino has the least connection to all the graft in the current political environment.  That’s good and bad.  Known for idealistic reform that goes nowhere, to be effective now, Aquino will need to bring together all the oligarchs who rule.  He’ll have to convince his fellow politicians to heed the mandate that the people delivered to him.  People are tired of the same-old privileged class Filipino-style politicians who serve themselves before the public.

If Noynoy gets help, we’ll see a changed country.

 If he doesn’t then he may have been elected the way some people choose among old fish.

You get the one that stinks the least.

Very quickly we should be able to tell if the country just elected a great brand name or the least effective oligarch.