Going politics

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — It’s that time when everyone is going politics. One is Boy Abunda, called by his colleagues in the industry as “king of talk.”

Boy hosts a show which he calls a hybrid production because “it is an effort of the best people from the Current Affairs and Entertainment Departments of ABS-CBN.”

I saw last Tuesday night on Studio 23 part of the episode that featured former MMDA chairman and now vice- presidential candidate Bayani Fernando.

While Boy may have been showered by God with the gift of gab, I only pray he should also learn to listen, because at several points during the show, I noticed he was a bit impatient with Fernando, who is by nature a slow speaker. Yet, he is Boy’s guest, and should be given the kind of respect he gives to other guests he obviously likes.

But I like the format even if the treatment is uneven and nearly telegraphic, without much time given to the guest to expound on certain issues besetting his or her as a public personality.

“This is a show I’d like to grow old with.” Much like Private Conversations, Boy explains that guests range from social scientists, philosophers, commentators, spiritual leaders to political figures—people he cannot interview in The Buzz and SNN.

“When I do my interviews, I have no agenda, but I crave to go to the bottom of things. Yes, I do my research and I have a set questions. What I actually have is a game plan which is always open and flexible. It is a plan that is cognizant of the fact that you are talking to someone who is verbose or the quiet type so it’s up to you—-not them—to steer the conversation. It’s a verbal calisthenics of words and silences,” he added.

I’d like to see more of Bottomline, but I’d like Boy and the people who throw in the questions (those he calls “bottomliners”) to be aware that the point of the program is for the audience to know the bottom line of the guest’s personal agenda, and not theirs.