Column: Eyewitness

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The anomaly…

…of “democratic” propaganda

The Chronic is in the news again; and ultimately, for the same reason it scandalised folks who actually believed this PNC-led coalition would be any different from the first PNC government in 1964-1985. Right after it slid into government in 2015, during its first Budget debate in August of that year, a Chronic reporter penned a story headlined: “Govt blunders on Budget Estimates…violates laws assented to by President Granger”.

PM Nagamootoo, who’d been reduced to running the state media, objected vehemently to the headline and story, and later berated the reporter in the corridors of Parliament. He said bluntly, “State media should favour Government’s view”. Later, he elaborated, “…it is a Government paper, and I would expect that, for a paper, that it has a point of view that supports a Government’s perspective…is a Government newspaper…it is a fully supported established company of the State…one would expect that it would merit the views of Government.”

Nagamootoo clearly saw his role as being “Minister of Propaganda”!!

It was an astounding statement from a man who’d worked for the Mirror when Burnham banned newsprint in an effort to silence other opinions than those of the state media, which he controlled with an iron fist! His statement simply echoed Burnham’s position — that the “Government” was equivalent to the “state”, and both should be subservient to the party running the Government.

The Guyana Press Association (GPA) trenchantly criticised the PM for his dictat. They revealed their “awareness of the weekly meetings between the Prime Minister and senior executives of the state media, which continues to be used as a tool to dictate editorial content and to silence or trivialise Opposition views.” And this is exactly what’s playing out with the firing of two columnists – Hinds and Lewis — by editor-in-chief of the Chronic because they dared to include a couple of brickbats in the bouquets that they normally threw at the Government.

But, more specifically, because they dared criticise the AFC for their craven behaviour in reference to the degutting of the Cummingsburg Accord and for going along with Granger’s unilateralism on the oil bonus to the appointment of (Chief?) Justice Patterson to the GECOM Chair. In fact, the AFC said, “People like David Hinds should be GRATEFUL to the AFC for being able to criticise the Government”!!! It would appear to the AFC – and this has to be Nagamootoo and his lap-dog DPI – that the WPA isn’t part of the Government!! Oh! How quickly they forget!!

In the opinion of your humble Eyewitness, this latest cracking of the whip at the Editor of the Chronic to have him jump through hoops is the handiwork of the AFC!

Fyaah on them!!

…must be corrected

Your Eyewitness calls upon Guyanese – especially those who support the Government – to wake up and smell the coffee. Back in the day, Burnham convinced them they should overlook his rigging because the alternative would be to have the PPP back at the helm. And they went along, even though Burnham destroy their livelihood, family and country.

But it’s said, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me!” The Government partisans have to see where the actions of this Government are taking them: right back to PNC-I!!

On the Chronic becoming a rag for the Government, they have to bite the bullet and demand the state divest itself of all media. Burnham could get away with the state media as presently configured because he declared Guyana was a “socialist” state, but it’s 30 years since Desmond Hoyte brought back democratic governance and a free market economy. A totally independent BBC-type media isn’t an option. We clearly don’t have the traditions of independence that sustain such impartiality.

Place the state media on the blocks!

…of rum, not sugar

DDL’s stepping into the (sugar) breach to resuscitate Enmore because it needs molasses for its rum business.

So your Eyewitness asks again: What’s gonna be the price of this molasses, since it’s not just a “by-product”??

 

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