By The Ancient Mariner, Guest Blogger
Let me first thank Right From Yaad for the invitation to post an article on their site. I think their work for the most part is needed for Jamaicans to read at this time in our political and economic history…..Read my contribution below:
KILL THAT NOISE!
It seems as if week after week the Jamaican Taxpayer is hoodwinked by the incumbent Peoples’ National Party (PNP) Government and its operatives in the media. It is almost unbelievable some of the tripe passing as ‘Editorials’ coming out to print from the Gleaner Editor’s desk.
Since the general elections of December 2011, the Gleaner and various other news outlets with sympathies to the governing party have abdicated their 4th estate role as watchdogs and have instead taken on the role of lapdogs for this crypto-socialist regime. I will give a few examples:
For reasons better known to them, the Gleaner allowed Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller (or ‘Sista P’ as her low information voter base likes to call her) to be ‘Editor for a Day’. It was easily the worst issue put out by that newspaper in several years, as the editors of the Gleaner kowtowed to the PM as she attempted to give a ‘positive’ spin on the daily drudgery of Jamaican life.
Of course, this is consistent with their idiotic stance which many in the ‘intellectual’ community share that Portia is the only one who can ‘communicate’ with the masses, the same masses that these ‘journalists’ condescend to on a daily basis. Follow me now though, we aren’t done yet. I have a few more exhibits.
In the run up to the 2011 Election a curious thing happened. The dead rose from its grave and the hitherto cadaveric Sunday Herald started to get printed again. A paper which was bankrupt only a year earlier, had all of a sudden found the financial wherewithal to be printed. Where?….you guessed it…at the printers of North Street. The Sunday Herald was given this lifeline to fight, as a mouthpiece, for the then opposition PNP.
One only has to look at the membership of the Directors on the Gleaner’s Board, where one can find Carol Archer, a former PNP candidate and current PNP National Executive Committee member.
Of course, many of the Gleaner’s on-the-ground journalists do not hide their old party affiliations. Poor Gary Spaulding would like everyone to believe everything was ‘sugar plums and candy’ when that maximum leader with the gift of gab, Michael Manley, was Prime Minister.
It is easy enough to pick up who the ‘comrades’ are among the rank and file journalists. Indeed I went to UWI with one such gentleman who was very, very open about his political affiliation with the PNP. He would, after all boast that he got his tuition from the PNP and that he would serve them loyally when he got out of CARIMAC. Of course he likes to style himself an independent these days. Go figure.
The trite hypocrisy of the Press Association of Jamaica, led by Jenni Campbell, the Gleaner’s Managing Editor (ie, the real boss of the paper) in condemning the slightest misstep by a JLP politician, such as the attack on Andrew Holness who I guess didn’t kiss enough of the press’s ass. Read “Don’t Attack the Press” and “PAJ Writes to PM”.
Let us not get started on the Warmington’s ritual crucifixions (here, here and here). I am the last person to defend someone who is so uncouth. But my goodness, the response to his actions over the years have been totally and wholly out of place with what he had done. The media actually abdicated their responsibility and didn’t cover, meaningfully, his re-election after his resignation from parliament.
Once Were Warriors
Of course, the biggest way to measure the intellectual lightness of the Gleaner these days is to take a look at the Editorials coming out. Weak and uninspiring, they appear to champion ‘limited government’ by advocating transforming the civil service while at the same time advocating that Jamaica adopt a Caribbean Court of Justice (here and here) that has cost us some US$23-27,000,000, without it being relevant to the current justice system.
Since they managed to get Bruce Golding out of office, they have stopped publishing the murder rates at the top of the newspaper, and no longer refer to the JLP/PNP as the ‘Gangs of Gordon House’. Indeed their docility has given many of us great cause to pause.
Why has the Gleaner become so silent in the face of what is clearly a matter of great national importance, the rape of the NHT? Why are they supporting the exercise in intellectual legal narcissism known as the CCJ? Well my friends, the answer should be clear to you by now. Jamaica’s media, like its counterparts elsewhere in the world, tends to be to ‘the left’.
However, the Gleaner cannot make up its mind as to its political philosophy as it has to do constant battle with the Jamaica Observer. It so desperately wants to be considered an intellectual paper like the New York Times that every other week it publishes a right tinged editorial in order to ensure that its masters are not too displeased.
The Gleaner constantly baits the religious fundamentalists with asinine columnists, with the likes of Deacon Peter Espuet (Read some of his religious moral ‘high horse’ columns here, here and here), the Rev. Devon Dick (Read a few of his incomprehensible columns here, here and here) and the self-proclaimed ‘prophet’, ‘biblical economist’ and ‘apostle’ Steve Lyston (read some of his ‘wondrous’ words of enlightenment here, here and here). I would throw in the Rev. Garnett Roper but he doesn’t even pretend to be anything other than a partisan hack. The less said about Ian Boyne, a man for whom public displays of narcissistic love are not unknown, the better. I won’t even get into the likes of Economist-Dr. Andre Haughton, John Rapley, Reggae Studies Professor-Carolyn Cooper or Unionist-Senator Lambert Brown and the content of their contribution to the noise from the left.
The Gleaner has steadfastly resisted, in the face of good journalistic ethics, to give readers a brief bio on their columnists so that the informed reader can know that when a commentator is being called upon, we know their biases. All too often they pass off these hacks as being middle of the road intellectuals.
Their schizoid nature is most apparent when you look at the stance they have taken about homosexuality. One day the editorial is rightly calling for the asinine buggery laws to be taken down; the next, they publish in their afternoon tabloid ‘The Star’, headlines about ‘Lesbian School Gangs’ or in the main daily ‘Homosexuals Misbehaving in New Kingston’, amongst other sensationalist nonsense (here, here and here). You can see they so desperately want to be a part of the world conversation on something like sexual rights, something the left worldwide has embraced, while at the same time they have to pander to the fundamentalists who buy their paper and/or kick up hell and powder house when they aren’t acknowledged for what they are, small minded bigots.
Media as Corrupt as Anything Else
One day this writer will regale you with tales of the corruption in the media, which goes well beyond the Gleaner’s biased outlined above. I am talking about pay for play deals and extortion by our ‘protectors of free speech and exposers of corruption’. More anon.
The Ancient Mariner is a former Marxist who came to the realization on his own, that “the Left” was filled with magical and wishful thinkers. When he could no longer tolerate their “Noise”, he opened his mind to Capitalism and Freedom. He has been on “the Right” path ever since.