Media pressure

This may be too subtle a reality for Mr Manning to grasp, however, since he seems to have difficulty gauging more obvious realities. In his view, the problem with the media houses is that none has a pro-government agenda. It is hard to believe that Mr Manning truly thinks this, when the country’s second main talk-radio station is owned by a PNM activist and so many talkshow hosts are admitted PNM supporters. In the newspapers, it is true that most columnists are critical of the Government. But perhaps that is because print media commentary tends to be more analytical than radio vituperation. Mr Manning’s default position, given his comments, is that the Government in general, and he in particular, do not deserve all the criticism they receive. Unfortunately, the social indicators contradict him — so perhaps he should try and intimidate those statistics, too. The high rate of crime, poor delivery of Government services, and increasing undermining of democracy all combine to create great dissatisfaction on the part of citizens. And the media provide an avenue for the people to express their concerns. Politicians don’t like this, and Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday, who was quick to criticise Mr Manning’s radio visit, behaved no better when he occupied the Prime Minister’s office. So now Mr Manning promises to stop by media houses, complete with security stopping traffic so he can enter and exit, to make complaints “as the spirit moves him”. (We assume he means “spirit” in the sense of mood, and not its other meaning.) He also threatens to take his critics to court, so apparently a Bill will soon come to Parliament to make jokes like the one in the previous sentence illegal. Ironically, it was only recently that town was talking about the Prime Minister being “out of control”. It appears that Mr Manning is intent on proving his critics right.


"Media pressure"

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