Philippine broadcaster ABS-CBN is known for its network war with another local broadcasting company, GMA, that the two stations often pit against each other from their news to entertainment.
However, on Wednesday morning, an ABS-CBN newsreader found a new competitor in CNN which is represented in the Philippines currently by Anderson Cooper. PEP.ph reported that ABS-CBN newsreader Korina Sanchez read a blind item in her morning radio show that a blonde reporter from CNN does not know what he is talking about.
While she did not name the reporter, listeners felt she referred to Mr Cooper whose report below from Tacloban, the city badly battered by super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), just aired.
In the 4 minute, 19 second video which has more than 55,000 hits in the few hours that it was posted on YouTube, Mr Cooper described what he saw as a desperate situation due to the lack of government presence in the badly battered city.
"There is nobody helping," Mr Cooper stated, although he acknowledged that the situation may be different in other areas. He also tweeted his observations.
Ms Sanchez, who also reads the news for ABS-CBN's TV Patrol, was quoted as saying that the CNN reporter does not know what he is talking about.
Immediately, netizens reacted to Ms Sanchez's blind item, pointing out that while the CNN guy is in the field, she is safely ensconced in her radio station, probably drinking brewed coffee while criticising the unnamed CNN reporter.
Others believe the criticism has more to do with politics than rivalry for TV rating, because Ms Sanchez is the wife of Interior Secretary Mar Roxas who heads the rescue and relief operations in Tacloban CIty.
The blind item led to this parody.
Many Filipinos likewise believe that Mr Roxas is eyeing the presidency for 2016 and his high profile status in calamities is one way he could gain more votes in the next national election and could pave the way for Ms Sanchez to become the first lady. But some people fear she might be another Imelda Marcos in the making due to her perceived strong personality.
A Facebook post by Karen Lee Viudez-Panela captures the reaction of many netizens to Ms Sanchez's blind item:
On Twitter, many Filipinos took Mr Cooper's side and chided Ms Sanchez.
Joseph ivo Aguinaldo boldly declared: "Cooper is credible tnan Korina."
Edward Martin tweeted, "The nerve of Korina Sanchez to say Anderson Cooper doesn't know what he's talking about. Get out of your comfy studio to see the real thing."
Chris Abiera echoed Mr Martin's thoughts, while Caleb saw political motives behind her statement.
Screen capture of tweets
Neither ABS-CBN nor Ms Sanchez has commented on fthe flak she got from her blind item, which would be added to the issues that became viral in the aftermath of Haiyan/Yolanda like the racist remark made by a Canadian teacher against the typhoon-battered nation.
Malacanang, meanwhile, said it will not make an issue out of Mr Cooper's comments, but pointed out that the government is doing its best to provide relief to typhoon victims, but it has only two cargo planes at its disposal, said Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras.
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