IN the last 24 hours, a media colleague of ours, showed where his allegiance lies as regards to any perceived threat to press freedom, and the ability of commentators (no matter what their point of view), to add their voices to national debate without seeming to be threatened by the most powerful person in the country.
In his self-appointed righteousness, George Grant demanded that the Media Workers Association of Grenada (MWAG) withdraw its statement that condemned Prime Minister Tillman Thomas’ ill-advised and ill-tempered rant.
Left up to me, MWAG need not make a statement, for different reasons than George would argue.
In one infamous hour on George Grant’s show, Prime Minister Thomas did more damage to himself, than any commentary any of us could have written.
His rant said less of me, and a whole lot about himself – or at least his current mindset, made deviant and strangled by pressure and desperation, which is understandable from a person who leads a government that promised so much hope but instead delivered so much despair.
I could not be intimidated because for me this emperor has no clothes.
But MWAG said what it did because it was defending a principle that will always be bigger than me.
They were not defending what I said – for alas a group like this can’t have an opinion on that.
They were not declaring that I have some personal bias, or I am some upset out-of pocket commentator. –If that were true, it would negate my right to have an opinion – and a strong one at that -- in the land of my birth.
MWAG was defending my right to write what I did.
It is that principle that the likes of George Grant find it inconvenient now to defend because it involves one of his favorite sons.
I just wonder what his position would be if it was Keith Mitchell who said the same things, Tillman Thomas did on his show.
It is that which is frightening about this Grenada – that for too many people a supposedly sacred principle shifts based on the personalities involved.
George Grant rants about an “unsigned” statement as if to question its authenticity, which begs the question then why did he publish it.
He also said the statement was put out without the knowledge of the rank and file, as if he does not know that things like these are not brought to a general body, but the elected executive is mandated to so act.
That was no different from the many statements MWAG had issued during the reign of the Mitchell administration – a process up until now, George never questioned or had a problem with.
He implied that the statement did not have unanimous executive support, but he did not say that there was only just one hold out, which as I understand it, was what made the statement so late.
And by MWAG’s tradition, I am told, such statements are made once a simple majority of the executive agrees.
In this particular case, it was an overwhelming majority.
The only hold out came from an executive member who frankly should have excused himself from the discussion, since Prime Minister Thomas is his boss.
And it is people like these, using half-truths and innuendos (printing corporate proposals without the cover letter as if to make it look as my personal proposals), who will want to school some of us on integrity.