A ceasefire of journalistic ethics for Palestine and a night at the Hyatt

By Mabel Doge Luhan

My Cyber Monday started well! Not only did I have a big, healthy morning shit, but so did the Saipan Tribune! Their truly coprophilous article, “Hyatt offers limited time offer,” brought me so much mirth!

First, of course, the headline: obviously, a sly allusion to Ray Carver’s (you may know him as Raymond, but he’s Ray to me ever since that night in Bellevue) “Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?” Bravo!

But that was just the beginning of the fun. Here we go with the delightfully cryptic opening sentence:

“Hyatt Regency Saipan understands that it is important taking time to slow down from the daily household responsibilities and that prioritizing on family which supports unity and wellbeing.”

Seriously? This is the best you can do for the most important sentence in the article? Not only is it entirely nonsensical, but how can a hotel “understand” anything, how do you prioritize “on” something, and what exactly supports unity and wellbeing? Are we being signed up for a cult here?

“Without investing into a far-away journey, Hyatt Regency Saipan…” Wait, the hotel hasn’t invested “into” a “far-away” journey? Why should we care? Maybe the article’s undisclosed author can ask Eric for some writing lessons, or at least a refresher course on modifiers?

“As low as” $140? Wow, that sounds like advertising-speak, but this is presented as an article, in the business section! One published for the benefit of the readers. Are you, Mark Rabago, trying to show your readers exactly how much you hate them by using sly “as low as” marketing talk, and then adding the “resort fees” at the end just to kick them in the nuts?

There’s no byline on the article, but it apparently comes from the “Hyatt” newswire. The editor of the Saipan Tribune, Mark Rabago, must have thought this Hyatt newswire story to be newsworthy and of value to the public in order to have printed it, right? 

Because if the Tribune is taking money or advertising business in order to run certain
news stories that are written by the subjects of that news, that is the most basic breach of the most basic journalistic ethics. Maybe even worse than constantly writing about the newspaper owner’s daughter and not even mentioning that she’s the owner’s daughter.

Well, that brings me to an even more interesting case of journalistic nepotism! The Variety announced on November 30th that “Pro-Palestine activists gather on Capital Hill.” The organizer the Variety interviewed is Salam Castro Younis. 

Gee, why is that surname familiar? On a small island, it’s inevitable that a newspaper will cover the owner’s relatives, but fully disclosing the relationship is the most basic tenet of journalistic ethics. As is having some discretion and constraint when a relative wants to be in the news — but of course we’ll likely hear about this “pro-Palestine” movement almost as often as the Tribune tells us in all-caps BREAKING NEWS whenever the owner’s daughter wins a footrace. 

Freeing Palestine is indeed a worthy cause! Cynical, murderous terrorist gang Hamas has held the Palestinian people as metaphoric and literal hostages for decades now. I’m glad that someone is finally taking up the Palestinian people’s cause and speaking up against Hamas — but why is there no mention of this in the article? It’s indeed very convenient to support a “permanent ceasefire” after Hamas launched brutal attacks on Israeli and Palestinian civilians. Ceasefires sound so nice! Israel should just lie back and enjoy it, right? So should the people of Palestine, because apparently, foreign observers have elected Hamas to be the Palestinian people’s rightful representatives?

Diego Camacho and TJ Manglona have no idea what they’re talking about, but they both support ceasefires. Conveniently, of course, Hamas only wants the ceasefire after its initial attack has completed its objectives and the attacked country is trying to defend itself. Why didn’t Hamas support a ceasefire by, you know, not massacring Israeli civilians in the first place? Hamas does a great job of twisting the story for gullible onlookers, but TJ Manglona and Diego Camacho are no different from a million other politicians in falling for it, so no hurt feelings there. Roberto could have asked some good questions to prod at how little these politicians understand the conflict, but understanding Middle Eastern politics is legitimately outside Roberto’s job scope as a local reporter.

And props to Roberto on giving a URL that actually works. It used to be so much fun to verify that every URL in every Variety article always went to a 404 error page. You’ve ruined a good thing, Roberto.

I am installing a leaderboard in my scullery: Tania Tan articles in the Tribune’s News section vs obvious advertising in the Tribune’s Business section vs lethal misinformation in the Variety comments vs Palestine articles in the Variety news. In this race, everybody’s a winner, except the people. Everybody loves the newspapers, except the readers.


Mabel Doge Luhan is a woman of loose morals. She resides in Kagman V, where she pursues her passions of crocheting, beatboxing, and falconry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *