Media News Analysis

To smear a president

Acting US Secretary of State, Elizabeth McCord, physically struck out at the Philippine president recently giving him a bloody nose after he made sexual advances to her during a meeting in her State Department office in Washington DC. The meeting was to discuss matters relating to disputes in the South China Sea. Later McCord lamented her actions: “I clobbered a world leader instead of saving a major regional agreement,” she said.

Wait! Before your blood pressure starts skyrocketing, we should tell you that all that is the work of fiction – politically motivated fiction certainly, but fiction nonetheless. Unlike former US president Bill Clinton who indulged in oral sex with a 22-year-old female intern in the Oval Office of the White House in the mid 1990s, this never happened.

Instead, it takes place in the latest episode of Madam Secretary, a CBS television drama series shortly to be aired in both the US and the Philippines. And it’s causing a diplomatic incident with Manila protesting the way that the Office of the President of the Philippines has been brought into disrepute by a blatant sensationalist made-up TV narrative.

The Philippine Embassy in Washington has already lodged a complaint with CBS to “strongly protest the highly negative depiction of a character purported to be the Philippine President,” urging the company to make changes – what the Embassy describes as “necessary corrective actions” – to the script.

Produced by CBS Television Studios – an America TV-production company and part of US mass-media giant, CBS Corporation, which through its CBS Broadcasting company puts out CBS News, a fully committed member of the anti-Duterte US mainstream-media nexus – Madam Secretary, season 3, episode 15, “Break in Diplomacy,” is unquestionably aimed at embarrassing President Rodrigo Duterte and the current administration.

It’s also pretty much guaranteed to enrage much of the Filipino nation – not least overseas foreign workers living in the US. This group are massive supporters of Duterte and will see this as an insult to the man they helped bring to power. Following the release of a short clip on YouTube, the show immediately started getting slammed on social media.

“This highly negative portrayal of our Head of State not only casts doubt on the respectability of the Office of the Philippine President but also denigrates the way our nation navigates foreign affairs,” the Philippine Embassy said in its written complaint. “It also tarnishes the Philippines’ longstanding advocacy for women’s rights and gender equality”.

And it does. But that’s CBS’s intention. As the embassy protest pointed out, while a work of fiction, the series tracks current events. ”It is, therefore, inevitable that its depiction of world leaders will have an impact on how its audience views the real personages and the countries they represent,” the statement explained.

Yesterday, in contrast to the Philippine president characterised in Madam Secretary, the real Philippine president praised women as “heroes” in a speech to mark International Women’s Day. He said: “The entire world can look up to women – for their creativity and imagination, for their courage and boldness, for their self-sacrifice and charity”.

Duterte said women have transformed societies as mothers, workers, intellectuals, educators, caregivers, soldiers, activists, artists and leaders, adding that the Philippines – which provides “fertile ground for outstanding women …” – is highly ranked in the Asia Pacific for gender equality. “My administration shall strive to maintain this distinction …” he said.

Back to Madam Secretary, CBS may or may not take the “necessary corrective actions” and rework the script to remove the offensive content; that remains to be seen. Meanwhile, Presidential spokesman, Ernesto Abella, has another suggestion. “Really, I think they should use a fictional US president,” he said. “They’re projecting something they really would like to say about their own situation”.

Whether he was referring to the Monica Lewinsky scandal which embroiled Bill Clinton two decades ago, or any of a number of others trailing back to the sexual exploits of John F. Kennedy during his time at the White House in the early 1960s isn’t clear. What is clear though is that this will do little to help US-Philippine relations.

CBS Television City where this series was born is located at Beverly Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood, Los Angeles – the global propaganda hub for progressive politics and promoting the liberal cause. ‘Tinseltown’ is a hotbed of US Democratic Party activism, and among its idols – sainted in Hollywood – is former US president Barack Obama.

It’s not surprising then that Duterte who in Hollywood’s collective view “blasphemed” against Obama – he called him a “son of a whore” after Obama criticised Duterte’s War on Drugs – should be a target for the ultra-pampered, ultra Left of Tinseltown. That remark made him a prime target for Hollywood’s ire. They were bound to retaliate and now they have.

This latest Madam Secretary episode which refers to the “unconventional new president” of the Philippines – leaving little doubt about who’s being portrayed – is likely to be lapped up in California and along the US eastern seaboard, New York to Washington DC. This is where the largest concentration of the nation’s population lives.

There it’s likely to generate good TV ratings; this is Democrat country; Obama constituencies. They’ll relish a put down of Duterte who didn’t just insult Obama, he virtually single-handedly scuppered his “Pivot to East Asia” foreign-policy by renouncing his country’s dependence on the US and developing relations with China – the very country Obama, with the Philppines help, wanted to contain.

It’ll also play well with the anti-Duterte factions back in the Philippines who regularly tag the president as a sexist and a misogynist. They’ll see this episode not as fiction, but as a true-life representation of the man they’ve come to hate. They’ll be grateful to CBS and the show’s producers.

Among Madam Secretary’s executive producers is actor Morgan Freeman – he endorsed Obama in 2008 and has remained a staunch Obama supporter ever since. In 2012, he donated US$1 million to a super PAC that was funding Obama’s re-election campaign.

One thing’s for sure, Hollywood’s never going to cast Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in that role. He’s a Liberal; a fellow traveller of the Tinseltown elite. Nor is it going to embarrass the President of the Palestinian State, Mahmoud Abbas, or Cuba’s Raul Castro with whose regimes and ideologies they’ve been continually aligned.

But this is all part of the cut and thrust of present-day American politics. The movie and entertainment industry there is now an integral part of the country’s political machinery. They work hand in glove. What actors and actresses say carries political weight; the sickly political eulogies delivered by award-show recipients is one example of showbiz’s grasp for political legitimacy. Celebrity endorsements, too, are part and parcel of the election circus, as are the political smear ads produced by Tinseltown’s production houses.

And Madam Secretary – partly inspired by former Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, another Hollywood love interest – is very much in that vein. This episode is a hit job by Leftist thespians and their crews to undermine a perceived enemy – one who dared to question their political god; worse to defame him.

Hollywood has regularly gone after those marked by the Democratic Party establishment and anyone else whom they dislike – though not always successfully, as was the case in 2014 when in its naïveté it tried to ridicule North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, thinking he’d be an easy target.

That production, a political comedy, The Interview, about Kim’s ‘assassination’ resulted in a hack attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, the parent company of Columbia Pictures, the film’s distributor. Embarrassing and compromising confidential data and personal information about Sony and its employees was made public as cinemas were threatened with terrorist attacks if they screened the film. This resulted in Sony cancelling the movie’s theatre release and opting instead to put it out on DVD.

But increasingly, this is how Liberals do politics. Profound political argument doesn’t seem to work for them; they need spectaculars and theatre, and nowhere has this been more in evidence than in the Philippines, a recipient of America’s crass political culture.

The grandstanding in the Philippine Senate by the now-arrested, alleged drugs baroness, Senator Leila De Lima, is a classic example of Liberal histrionics; melodramas with all the Hollywood hoopla, pandered to by a tame media and aimed at winning audience ratings, which – let’s face it – they do.

Theatrical outbursts by Liberal Party chairman and the country’s vice president, Leni Robredo, who parades at the head of anti-government marches and demonstrations, is another example of how Liberal Party members have sought to conceal their lack of political acumen under theatre props, staged backdrops and drama scripts.

And Bicol-born Loida Nicolas-Lewis, the billionaire socialite, New York-domiciled Liberal Party fundraiser and would-be strategist who calls press conferences to request Duterte to step down and return Malacañang, the presidential palace, to what she believes is its rightful owner, the very same Liberal Party.

In fact, given all that material, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a Madam Senator or a Madam VP going into production with one of the Philippine’s pro-Liberal TV networks. After all, they helped to create these characters by providing endless platforms for them on political-reality TV. Why not go the whole hog and dedicate a drama series to them?

Facebook Comments


  • What can you expect from a US TV Network who maligns not only their own President but also the President of the Philippines? These immigrants who are now American citizens who hire workers from around the world, who hypocritically cry about democracy and equality are the enemies of themselves. Like black americans who outlaw then cry about discrimination when in fact, they already had a black President. What had cost them a black President? They just want to dominate. Because they are insecured and selfish. CBS wants business and funding from LNL. Fiction!? Lol.

  • CBS’ “Madam Secretary” is a prime example of how low US mass media that belongs to the ‘Establishment’ has gone in promoting the latter’ will. Surely for fear of losing face if directly maligning the Philippine President (who enjoys more than 80% trust rating) backfires, the ‘Establishment’ resorted to such dirty tactic that can only alienate more nation loving Filipinos from the US. Duterte’s character maybe colorful but he may not go as low as Clinton or Kennedy when it comes to taking advantage of women.

  • That is why I never want to live in America even if I had the chance before. It always amazes me why my fellow Filipinos are dying to have an American citizenship. They’ve always looked down on us and most of the Fil-Ams become so full of themselves once they become “Americans”!

    • I disagree with some of what you said. I am an American living here in the Philippines and one of the reasons I retired here is because some of my Filipino friends in the USA told me about your country. All of my Filipino friends say they like living there and I see they are not treated badly.

    • Dave Brubaker I agree with you. This person is throwing the regular Americans in the same frame as the Hollywood idiots. Most Americans will not agree with the use of any foreign leader depicted is the way this show is trying to. This person needs to turn the tv off and come talk to regular Americans and find out we are not the way Hollywood depicts us.

    • Hi Dave. I did not say all, I said most. Maybe I just had a bad experience with some of your countrymen and as for you I am happy that you are happy in my country as your retirement home. Filipinos are warm people and have always looked up at their foreign visitors. I have a lot of American friends, don’t get me wrong, having worked with them in the Middle East. But I have a tough time with some as far as descrimination is concerned. It’s a long story and it was a long time ago.

    • Kevin Lake You are correct, there are bad people in any country. I wish all Americans could see how hard working the filipino people are. I have spent time in all Asian countries over the years (retired Military) and Europe. To my mind, so many Americans are spoiled by what they have and they don’t even know it. I have been discriminated by some Filipino’s, but I do not pay attention to them, as 99% of the other people are a wonderful warm people.

    • Stand your ground and prove how you were mistreated and how you would never live in the US. Unfortunately there are those who think that there you know what don’t stink when they live outside the country but not all.

    • I think you have been given a slanted picture of so called “Rednecks” Most Americans are the same as Filipino’s, some good and some bad. Some rich and many of them poor, not a poor as the poor here, but poor by American standards.

  • You obviously love your leader without question, but you should question him, his past isn’t so squeaky clean just as you point out the previous US leaders failings. His ‘colorful’ character deserves more thorough scrutiny in my view ;))

  • The portrayal of the Philippine president in Madam Secretary is just. Remember that Duterte cursed former President Obama and called the US ambassador to the Philippines gay. I’ll watch Madam Secretary from now on.

    • As an American I was happy when President Duterte, Obama was a poor to bad leader and he hurt American badly in the eyes of the world. The people of the Philippines and American in my mind are cousins.

    • Your cowardice satire show is just a plain brainless mockery about our President without any moral value. It is nothing compared to the bravery of our President to stand against the strongest man on earth (that even no other world leader dare) and tell him straight faced on media TO STOP MEDDLING ON OUR COUNTRY’S INTERNAL AFFAIRS AND RESPECT THE FILIPINO SOVEREIGNTY!

    • Senator DE5 a drug CODDLER, heads d dept of justice for 6 years during d aquino govt. and high profile drug lords in NEW BILIBID PRISON are bribing her “payola”!

  • I agree that he can be questioned but
    Duterte must not be prejudged without due process. The respective derogatory act of the mentioned US leaders were accepted facts.

  • CBS is a left wing media outlet that caters to distorted philosophy and this is a classic example of that premise. Aside from maligning a builder entrepreneur president, they want to insult a current Philippine president who is likewise tough yet has genuine love for his country. Shame on CBS to push such a vile agenda to also ridicule two people’s presidents whose aims are for the betterment of their respective countries.

  • Exactly why Trump win was important to RP, he declared he won’t insist other countries copy American liberal values like kill innocents like infants but protect rights of criminals.

  • Did the writers of this show really think that the philippine president or any filipino for that matter would find a white bitch attractive enough to make a pass on? even if it’s fiction, it insults the filipino taste. Being white doesn’t automatically make one sexually desirable! just saying.

    • Apologies, Mr. Dave Brubaker, it was insensitive of me to say that. i am just too passionate about my president and when people portray him as something else, it gets the better of me and tend to say stupid things. i wanted to hit the writers of Madam Secretary and the people behind its airing (that’s all about it) without thinking i’d be offending others. again my apologies.

  • Eliodoro Chavoso Alojado huwag ka naman masyadong mayabang baka dumating ang time ns nakatutok na nuckler ng china sa pilipinas mag mamakaawa kayo sa america !! Ligid sa ka alaman nio nakatutok na nuckler sa pilipinas mag search nga kayo hindi yang puro satsat

  • As an American living in the Philippines, I find that whether you like President Duterte or not, he is the elected leader of the Philippines and so far he has done a lot to help his country. Only time will tell how he does, but in any case, it is the people of the Philippines that must deride these facts, not the people of other countries.

  • Fake News addicts will be disappointed to know that this was all done by actors for an upcoming ficticious B grade TV series.
    The Philippines Govt has lodged a protest about their President being portrayed by actor and being slapped by an actor portraying the US Secretary of State.


  • Portraying our president as a sexual maniac is a big insult to all Filipinos although it’s only a show. Because Pres Duterte carries the burden of our sovereignty and HE REPRESENTS THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. WHATEVER THESE FEW AMERICANS PORTRAY ABOUT OUR COUNTRY’S LEADER I AM STILL SO PROUD I AM A FILIPINO! MABUHAY ANG PILIPINAS!!!

  • He made a very insensitive remark about the Australian missionary who was raped and died during a riot, a sexist remark to say the least. “Dapat mauna si Mayor”. To those who understand the phrase in relation to the situation, that deserves condemnation! That was real life, not a TV series…and here you are complaining how a fictional President is perceived by the producers, script writer and director of a political drama series? Is that not double standard at its finest? Is that not being onion-skinned?

  • Your cowardice satire show is just a plain brainless mockery about our President without any moral value. It is nothing compared to the bravery of our President to stand against the strongest man on earth (that even no other world leader dare) and tell him straight faced on media TO STOP MEDDLING ON OUR COUNTRY’S INTERNAL AFFAIRS AND RESPECT THE FILIPINO SOVEREIGNTY!

  • Why should we mind seriously what other people would say..some of them have not yet gone in our country… They just relying ohers heresy.. We don’t really need their opinions.. It don’t do good to us..

  • I think Liberals from US and EU has something to do with this. These fucking Human Right Watch, Amnesty international and CHR are behind the destabilization. They are protecting criminals and drug lords instead of innocent people. Bunch of hypocrites. Why not investigate Syria bombing, Yemen etc for killing hundred thousands of civilians.

    In “War on Drugs”, drug addicts were given chance to surrender, to be rehab for free, to be trained work skills and to become a productive citizen and family member. It is there choice, whether they will accept it, or fight to there death. They had been killing countless of innocent victims anyway for no reasons, raping and killing our women, and killing innocents for money to sustain there dependency in drugs.


  • Must be money motivated. From whom? Loida Lewis? Obama? Hillary? I hope Trump would do something against that TV network. IT IS SO EASY FOR THE AMERICANS TO CREATE ANTI-AMERICANS ALL OVER THE WORLD..

  • The Philippine President never had any issue filed on him with regards to sexual harassment…not even a single one and its an insult to us Filipinos why you did that on your tv shows where you can use your own president and not our well loved President Duterte..shame on you Racists..


  • This movie just showed to us how powerful and well connected the destabilizers of PRRD in the US. They can really influence and manipulate hollywood scriptwriters and really shoot an episode to discredit PRRD though no pun intended so they say and to speak since it is only ” a tv show” but just the same it is a blatant attack to our intelligence as Filipinos who voted PRRD.

  • CHR and other organizations advocating human rights. Don’t be selective, how about the human rights of policemen ambushed just recently. They were on their way to maintain peace at a certain place and some ofthem were even SOCO,, why sre you silent. Does these men have no human rights also?

  • Many times “truth hurts”. On my estimate 50% who voted for the psychopath fully understand now that they made a big mistake voting for him. Now, “the truth will set them free” from such ignorance.

  • It only show how ignorant this moron are,shame on you madam secretary.Our beloved pres.was a champion of womens rights completely contrary to your clinton or Kennedy.

  • America invented the word GENOCIDE slaughtering endless Millions say Native Indians, Burning Filipinos Alive, Masaacre of Hawaians, Cubans, Hondurans, Nicaraguans, Iraquis, Syrians, Pakistanis, Afghans, Japanese. This is an accursed US Goverment voted in and out every four years by American public. It will be a dreadful day for the Westeners when it will reap what it sowed watering its incubus seeds with the blood of many. Woe to you America, woe to thee.

  • One of my favorite classic American literary writer and all time favorite of AMERICA is Mark Twain whose real name is Samuel Clemens

    Guys, may mga sinulat pala sya na TINAGO ng Amerika! Guess what? Tungkol sa ginawang milagro ng gobyerno ng US sa Pilipinas. Grabe!
    Pagtyagaan nyo po basahin dagdag kaalaman. Pagtapos nyo basahin, you will feel betrayed at NAUTO. Hindi nyo natitignan ang US govt katulad ng dati.

    Galit si Mark Twain sa ginawa ng gobyerno nya sa Pilipinas. Nakakahiya daw! Thank you Mark sa pagsulat ng katotohan.

    -read now-

    Mark Twain (1835-1910)

    Although born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, the author adopted what is one of the most famous pen names in literature, Mark Twain, He wrote about a myriad of topics, ranging from life along the Mississippi River, detailed in famous works such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1872) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), to a collection of essays written while abroad, to political essays.

    Twain was an influential writer of his time and remains so today.


    During the Spanish-American War, Twain became a fervent anti-imperialist, even joining the Anti-Imperialist League. His sentiments about the war and the war in the Phillippines.

    ExcerptsFrom the New York Herald, October 15, 1900:
    I left these shores, at Vancouver, a red-hot imperialist. I wanted the American eagle to go screaming into the Pacific. It seemed tiresome and tame for it to content itself with he Rockies. Why not spread its wings over the Phillippines, I asked myself? And I thought it would be a real good thing to do. I said to myself, here are a people who have suffered for three centuries. We can make them as free as ourselves, give them a government and country of their own, put a miniature of the American constitution afloat in the Pacific, start a brand new republic to take its place among the free nations of the world. It seemed to me a great task to which had addressed ourselves.But I have thought some more, since then, and I have read carefully the treaty of Paris, and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Phillippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem. . .

    It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.

    A Boston Herald transcript of a speech he gave in 1900 began thus:Oh, you have been doing many things in this time that I have been absent; you have done lots of things, some that are well worth remembering, too. Now, we have fought a righteous war since I have been gone, and that is rare in history–a righteous war is so rare that it is almost unknown in history; but by the grace of that war we set Cuba free, and we joined her to those three or four free nations that exist on this earth; and we started out to set those poor Filipinos free too, and why, why, why that most righteous purpose of ours has apparently miscarried I suppose I never shall know.

    In a 1906 essay about the Moro massacre in the Phillippines, which was not published until after his death, Twain criticized the military: General Wood was present and looking on. His order had been, “Kill or capture those savages.” Apparently our little army considered that the “or” left them authorized to kill or capture according to taste, and that their taste had remained what it had been for eight years in our army out there–the taste of Christian butchers.

    In a February 1901 article titled, “To the Person Sitting in Darkness,” he continued to criticize the U.S.:There must be two Americas: one that sets the captive free, and one that takes a once-captive’s new freedom away from him, and picks a quarrel with him with nothing to found it on; then kills him to get his land. . .True, we have crushed a deceived and confiding people; we have turned against the weak and the friendless who trusted us; we have stamped out a just and intelligent and well-ordered republic; we have stabbed an ally in the back and slapped the face of a guest; we have bought a Shadow from an enemy that hadn’t it to sell; we have robbed a trusting friend of his land and his liberty; we have invited clean young men to shoulder a discredited musket and do bandit’s work under a flag which bandits have been accustomed to fear, not to follow; we have debauched America’s honor and blackened her face before the world. . .

  • McCord ,how did you became acting US Secretary of State , is that how you define on how the white house categorized public servant to hold key position in the administration with a pea brain like yours,sad to say you are not welcome in our country ,

  • Our President has his.own way of talking and doing things some people don’t agree with, but or not he’s done better than previous Presidents and.That’s what counts to us Filipinos. If for some reason some foreign or local bloke doesn’t agree with that, best thing they can do us go away or wait for the next election. As for Americans or other foreigners who makes fun of our President, it’s their bloody fuckin business in their bloody fuckin country. Not all.the people of this world are stupid as they are anyway.

  • Duterte is more than 70 yrs and we never had complains against him sexually harassing women! He is very gentle and respectable! This fake news is bullshit!

  • i’ve been following this shitshow before the nov elections and have been wondering if this was deliberately done to prop up clinton’s candidacy and maybe it never did.trump won.
    even if this was fiction the producers and these assholes do not have the right to mock our president .this just goes to show the hypocracy of these sons of bitches.fuck you all!

  • What can you expect? Until Filipinos start asserting themselves and buy up American media they will still kick us to the kerb like stray dogs.

    Do you think we could get better representation if that yellow flower vase Leni became our President?

    • I’d rather stick to our present political status than opt for that yellow flower vase of a shit to rule us so as to get better representation from the yankees…

  • This just show how the americans treat people of the third country. They portray them as corrupt, womanizer & etc. This s descrimination at the highest level & they pretend to be protector of HUMAN RIGHTS. HELL NO AND SHAME ON U!!!!!!

  • Hey Uncle Sam you forgot Bill Clinton let Monica Lewinsky s . . k his d . . k @ the Oval Office??? That was the “clobbered” thing you should not forget!!! The seal of “In GOD we Trust”…sounds ridiculous ! Hypocrite @ its best!!!

  • We don’t admire Americans anymore. We thought they are genuinely helping us. It’s the exact opposite. We cannot be a servant/slave to the US. We have the best skin color on earth. The whites envy us.

  • Bakit kursunada yata ng secretary na yan ang ating charming presidente..haay nga naman sikat talaga ang presidente natin..iniiilusyon ng mga taga ibang bansa..sori kayo mga ilusyonada hanggang jan na lang kau..hindi kau papatulan ng PRRD..just imagine you are beside him..

  • … it’s just disgusting !!! yes, its fiction but if it named a country whose President had a controversial past with the former US President, what would the viewer think of our country and our President ?… this is precisely what President Mayor stated… he was vocal in saying that since before US has not been treating us fairly inspite of our ties with them… they do not respect us… corruption did our country wrong… unless the greed for money is stopped we will forever be treated shabbily by other countries… may this come as a challenge to all Filipinos.