Pardon me while I start raving.  Pebbles and rocks fall from the air; whomever it hits… I do not care.

What we have is this: Ted Failon, a famous newscaster, is a suspect in the shooting of his wife, Trinidad.  It made waves, all right; it’s in the headlines, it’s in the blogosphere, and it’s everywhere.  People have all sorts of theories as to who shot who.  What shocks me – and what irks me at the same time – is my friend and fellow FV contributor, Patricio Mangubat, going as far as to report the incident at Filipino Voices, and then having to (at the very least) parenthetically refer to this incident in New Philippine Revolution in this way:

Clearly, these are all INITIAL REPORTS and I wrote them here just to update our readers on this case. The police is investigating this incident, which has shades of that O.J. Simpson murder case some years ago.

Will Failon be our next version of O.J. Simpson? Remember that some years ago, former Ilocos Congressman Farinas was, himself, accused and speculated to have murdered his wife Maria Theresa Carlson. Farinas was later cleared after reports say Carlson committed suicide by jumping from the open window of their condominium unit.

We need to reserve judgement on this one and avoid speculations since the authorities are doing their jobs to get to the bottom of this very controversial incident.

First of all, I hate taking bloggers to task, on account that I’m a blogger.  I don’t want this to boil over to the kind of blog-troversy that’s starting to turn into a train wreck over at Reyna Elena’s blog.  As much as I respect Reyna, as much as I respect Patricio, and as much as I have nothing but respect to the Filipino blogging community…

I think that it borders on absolute bollocks – yes, bollocks – that we’re talking about the Failon shooting incident right now.  Hell, after this entry is over, I might as well take off my own boots and kick my ass for even writing about it.

I believe in citizen journalism, I believe in free speech, and I believe that everyone’s entitled to their own opinion.  Yet let it be known that one of the subjects of our opinion-making right now is the wife of a newscaster who’s in a hospital room in a very critical condition because of a bullet right smack in her head.  We’re talking about lives, we’re talking about families, we’re talking about people who are legitimately emotionally affected by something that affects them emotionally (I hope I made sense).

I think – and this is just me thinking out loud – that this falls within the rubric of the “unbloggable.”  The problem with “unbloggable” things is that they will always be blogged about.  It’s almost always certainly the case that the “unbloggable” will not be blogged about tomorrow, or a few days after, but right… now.  “Ted Failon is a public figure” is the shittiest excuse anyone can give to me right now; last time I checked, the guy had a private life, and whatever he does that he does when he’s not newscasterly-like is none of my business.  Offering up theories of leads and who-shot-who does not – and will not – give merit to whatever case is for or against him because I’m not going to be invited to go to court anyway to give a testimony.

This isn’t about Ted Failon.  I won’t pass judgment on the guy right now, and it must be really something to deal with the these and the those of the shenanigans taking place.  Not that opinions are unnecessary, but I think Patricio – hell, even the media folks who have reported on this issue – would have done better if he (or they) just reported the story, and stopped there.  Anything other than that, in cases like these where everyone is making kapa on the issue of leads and who-shot-who, is treated – and should be treated – as welcome irrelevance.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s good to have an opinion right now on the incident, or any incident for that matter.  It’s nice that people see O.J. Simpson parallelisms on this thing.  Fact check, though: Ted Failon ain’t O.J. Simpson.  For incidents like these, things like prudence and fairness and respect should define things in such a way that we report the news, but not sensationalize it.  What is demanded right now is to simply report: state the facts, wait for the facts to settle and let the police do their CSI or SOCO thing, wait for everything else to settle, then make an opinion or a judgment call on the matter.  Anything other than that is treated – and should be treated – as welcome irrelevance.  Anything other than a clear statement of verifiable, upheld facts that constructs the opinion itself is treated – and should be treated – as welcome irrelevance.

Welcome irrelevance can be stated this way: I do not defend what you have to say, however, I defend your right to say it.

Yet for all the defense of rights that there may be, the situation is rather simple.  Waiting for the facts to settle is boring, it’s like watching paint dry.  We want to get in on the action, to ride the rodeo as it goes.  We want to strike while the iron’s red, but most of the time, that just dulls the hammer.  Right now the most we can do is to give this issue the necessary amount of space for it to settle, so that we can draw more concrete conclusions from it afterward.  It’s not like I’ll die tomorrow and the biggest regret I’ll have come the moment of reckoning is to tell whatever gods may be that I didn’t blog about my theories about the Ted Failon incident.  Those theorizations do nothing for Ted, they do nothing for the advancement and improvement of society, they do nothing for the family, they do nothing for this case, they do nothing for the patient.  Get it?  Got it?  Good.

As far as this entry goes?  Welcome irrelevance.

Edit at 8:56 PM:, as well as DZMM, have confirmed that Trinidad Etong, wife of Ted Failon, has died.  Condolences.