Thanks for the assurance; no thanks for the inaccuracy
THE GRENADA Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement overnight, assuring that it is committed to freedom of the media.
It was a timely and useful assurance, and everyone should take the administration at its word, without ever letting their guards down.
While the statement went on to give the assurance, it tainted it with – well – at least one inaccuracy; that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) never asked for “an apology nor retraction.”
Having seen the e-mail sent to ‘Advocate’; and having determined it is authentic; then the claim in the press release that it did not happen is bogus.
A colleague of mine calls it a blatant lie. But I’ll be kind. It is just an innocent inaccuracy.
While as Prime Minister, the buck will always have to stop with Tillman Thomas, I have this sneaky feeling that his soldiers let him down on this issue.
Whatever you may think about the man – and having seen him operate up close and personal through the years – I believe that he genuinely believes in the issue of freedom of the media, almost to a fault.
He is a man of considerable faults, but some admirable strengths as well – and I firmly believe on that issue – this is one of his strengths.
Richard will have to correct me, if it’s an “inaccuracy” (and unless someone in the PMO is trying to set me up too), that the whole hullabaloo about the Advocate report was not an idea of the PM.
And that all the back-and-forth were done without his knowledge and approval – even though in his name.
You see in this mad rush for showing who can fight for the “leader” more, as they jostle as headless ants for positions they’d only hold for one year more, there are a few determined to show they can be “effective” – even if they inadvertently lead their boss down a river, while selling his main pitchman a bridge.
Truthfully, and sincerely, I felt sorry for Richard too. His job to sell this – forgive the French –crap, is a difficult – maybe impossible – one.
He is a good man who has to work for a bad team in a woeful situation.
And as a man, who in his previous professional life, has walked down the road himself of having the powers-that-be maneuvering to stifle his voice, he would not turn-coat on the fraternity – no matter his current job description.
Having– some might say – oddly defended both Richard and his boss, then the question will remain: Who let the dogs out?
Help me here Minister of Information. Help me here Chief of Staff.
Brief me please on how this really went down; and brief your boss as well. And while at it, apologize to Richard for the hand he has been dealt.
It is neither Tillman nor Richard who has been openly complaining about “local radio stations not carrying out the mandate of the government.” (What are those mandates anyhow?)
It is neither Tillman nor Richard who has been saying that we have to manners those useless announcers “on all those stations” who have nothing good to say about the government.
(Now I have problems with many announcers too; but not because I want them silenced; I’ll just love if they can learn the craft better and get even a stronger voice).
It is neither Tillman nor Richard who publicly took a dim view that most of the radio stations had refused to carry the recent budget debate.
It is neither Tillman nor Richard who called VOG to complain about Roy T reading one of my blogs on the radio.
But Tillman and Richard – all those things came from your offices.
Now that you issued this broad statement of assurance about media freedom; give me one more public assurance – that when you get to the bottom of those things, these people who are found responsible will no longer work in the PMO.
You see, unless you do that – then you become guilty too. And their positions, become your positions.
And knowing you two as I do – and appreciating you two as I do – I don’t want that stigma to stay with you.