Thursday, September 10, 2009

LETTER BOX: The Opposition Media Should Note that All Is Fair In Love & War

Clement J. Rohee: It is not my intention to enter into a polemic with people who buy gallons of ink and tons of newsprint to print and publish newspapers that distort the truth and peddle falsehoods as a business on a daily basis.

Nor is it my desire to place myself in a situation where like the Joker in Batman, I find myself asking: “Will somebody tell me what kind of world we live in where somebody dressed up like a bat gets all my press?”

In the case of Stabroek News, it is so sad, if not pitiful when a newspaper that once prided itself in proclaiming its commitment to the Declaration of Chapúltepec would stoop to publish such a specious and demeaning editorial seeking to belittle government’s principled stand on a certain topical immigration matter. So low has the Stabroek News stooped that it unashamedly reduces the principled stand taken by government on this matter to a mere side show.

The objective of the editorial is clear: to embarrass the government. And it is precisely here where the oppositionist political role of the newspaper is exposed once again.

But no one should be surprised especially when consideration is given to the sorry state of affairs to which journalism practised by the opposition media in Guyana has sunk for some time now.

Instead of playing the role of bulwarks of public morality and bringing a greater sense of positiveness to their readers, the opposition media opt in favour of intoxicating their readers with regular doses of speculative and pervasively disgusting editorials and stories. It is as if all that matters is the competition with others and a race to the bottom by publishing on their front pages stories that can bring in the dollars. The moral of this indecent approach is that since “We don’t stand for something, let’s go for anything.”

Having elevated themselves onto the pedestal of wisdom and self-righteousness, the opposition media are unmindful of the fact that there are reasonable and keen perceivers in our society who can penetrate the swarming confusion and the foam of events and who are capable of drawing conclusions, contrary to their manipulable expectations.

We do not expect, nor do we look forward to kudos or praise from the opposition media. As a matter of fact every five years we go to the electorate so that we could be judged on the basis of our performance. It is from the results of the people’s choice that we draw our joy and satisfaction.

For four consecutive terms through free and fair elections, the electorate have placed their trust and confidence in the PPP/C, much to the dissatisfaction and dislike of the opposition media.

Call us non-performers, incompetent and anything else that fits that political gênre, in the final analysis, it is the verdict of the electorate that matters. Paradoxically, our media critics dare not criticize the electorate, why? Because they depend on that very electorate to purchase their newspapers and to read the mischief and misinformation they publish on a daily basis.

It is ironic to note that a large percentage of the news carried in the opposition media, not to mention the advertisements, is government sponsored. It follows, therefore, that were it not for government-related news and government-sponsored ads the opposition print media like any other newspaper would find it hard to survive.

But the problem is fundamentally one of fair reporting and who determines what is fair reporting.
Certainly, our media critics cannot be the sole arbiters on such a weighty matter, unless they pretend to be like Chanticleer who was so dazzled and delightful because he himself had caused the sun to rise.
The opposition media, should not consider this letter an attack but merely a view. And even if it is so deemed, the fact of the matter is that since they have long entered the political arena there is a price that must be paid, just as we who hold public office must do ever so often. After all, “All is fair in love and war.”

1 comment:

  1. I doubt that Mr. Rohee is the author of this piece of self-satified drivel.I do not belive that characters such as "Chanticleer", and events such as the "Declaration of Chapúltepec" are within his vocabulary. This piece of drivel is more in the style of Whispering Mabel's alter ego.