Would Barbados Newspapers Have Enough Courage To Print This Advert?

Chicago Furniture Store Advertisement

Chicago Furniture Store Advertisement

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich Mocked By Newspaper Advertisement

No matter what you think about the United States in other areas, you have to love the good old US of A when it comes to Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press. Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich got nailed for trying to sell President Barack Obama’s vacated senate seat – which is a big no-no. The trial has yet to be held (probably years away), but that doesn’t stop the people or their news media from talking about the story and even mocking Blagojevich.

Contrast that with the lack of detailed news reporting about the so-called “investigation” into Hardwood Holdings by the cowardly eunuchs of the Thompson government. Will the news media criticise Thompson or Mascoll over their agreement to let sleeping dogs sleep now that the election is over?

Not a bloody chance.

Can you imagine a Barbados building supply company running an advert about “hardwood” that mocked any of the corrupt company principals or the corrupt politicians at the center of that scandal?

Not a bloody chance.

Thanks to FailBlog for the photo and story.

Further Reading:

Nation News Printed Controversial Hardwood Advert Because Of Barbados Blogs

Thompson’s Problem About Hardwood Housing


Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Government, News Media, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

15 responses to “Would Barbados Newspapers Have Enough Courage To Print This Advert?

  1. Elombe

    Why would a newspaper want to do that before anyone is convicted, BFP? To pay out money as damages for defamation? Don’t be gormless!

  2. Red Lake Lassie

    That is the big difference between the US media and the hamstrung Bajan news media that BFP points out.

    I’m not saying I would favour the US way, but I know the current state of affairs with our cowardly Bajan news media does not serve the public well at all.

  3. Watcher

    I agree with Elombe. That ad is defamatory until he is convicted of a crime. The only way they escape is by not mentioning the ‘Governor’ by name. Please BFP. What you call free speech is reckless libel. Read a law book before you speak nonsense.

  4. Sargeant

    BFP: Of course no Barbados paper could justify posting an ad like that unless they want to be sued out of existence. It couldn’t be published in Britain, Canada or most Commonwealth countries. The Americans think nothing of being irreverent to their politicians; celebrities or public institutions. Almost ever night Letterman and other late night hosts would make jokes about Bush that no comedian in Barbados would dare to make about Barrow, Tom , Owen or David.

    Since the advent of the blogs and You Tube there has been a proliferation of stories and video clips which we would consider to be scandalous but is shrugged of by most Americans. The targets of these stories realize that criticism and ridicule comes with the territory and in any event they can’t sue as most comments are governed under “Fair Comment” defense.

    “ Fair comment is defined as a “common law defense [that] guarantees the freedom of the press to express statements on matters of public interest, as long as the statements are not made with ill will, spite, or with the intent to harm the plaintiff “


  5. Sargeant

    BFP: One can always get around the libel law by wording the ad cleverly e.g.

    Real Estate company ad would read “Premium lots for sale in new subdivision, enjoy a Ministerial view similar to this resident” and place a picture of Gline Clarke’s home in the ad.

    No libel but nuff trouble for the company when BLP in power

  6. Dalerest

    Note that the ad does not name anyone-though the inference is there. A libel suit wouldn’t go anywhere. I think it’s quite funny and catchy. Hope they sell lots of sofas.

  7. Pat

    That ad is hilarious and I love it. It is factual! They are in the business of selling seats, so it is given that they sell more. Even so at their price they are cheaper and lasts more than six years. Leather would last up of 20 years. Why would any one sue and what would they sue for? Even in Barbados? The US has 50 governors and no name is mentioned.

  8. Juris

    Pat, you haven’t really studied the law pertaining to defamation, have you? Have you ever heard of “innuendo”?

  9. iWatchya

    The libel laws have always been very tight in Barbados. One can even sue if you can prove who started a rumor about you.

    Unfortunately, there is also a private corporate aspect that many people overlook; If a business takes offense with a news agency, they threaten to pull advertising.

    This carrot-stick situation has the effect of muzzling or taming many reporters and editors.

    In small economies you have to watch whose toes you step on. Just a fact of life.

    While keeping the bajan media in check, this system has created a need for blogging.

  10. John

    We’ll watch what the local press does after theis fiasco yesterday. In First World Countries, heads would roll and the press would be in the forefront.

    The fallout of the abandoned Antigua Test

    ‘Ashamed’ Holding slams lack of responsibility

    Cricinfo staff

    February 14, 2009

    ‘It will hit home for the next two weeks. But after two weeks, everyone will move on. That is the way things operate around here when people have no repercussions’ © AFP

    Michael Holding has slammed the lack of responsibility in West Indies cricket as the region comes to terms with yesterday’s sensational abandonment of the second Test against England at the Sir Viv Richards Stadium in Antigua. The match lasted a mere 10 balls, owing to an outfield deluged in sand, and an unsurprised Holding was quick to point the finger at the WICB.

    “We have seen things like this happen in the Caribbean before. Whenever we have things like this happening, like in 1998 when the Test match was abandoned [at Sabina Park], there were no repercussions,” Holding said in an audio interview with Cricinfo. “And I suspect there will be no repercussions either. No one will lose their jobs; no one will be asked to resign. If you ask the people responsible whether they will resign, they’ll just say ‘but why? Why should we resign?’ So it will happen again. Once you have no repercussions, you will always have repeats.

    “It will hit home for the next two weeks. But after two weeks, everyone will move on. That is the way things operate around here when people have no repercussions, when people don’t suffer for their mistakes. Or their incompetence. If you don’t suffer for your incompetence, everything moves on. Whenever anything goes wrong, no one suffers.”

    What angered many, not least the hundreds of touring supporters, was why the Test was even allowed to start in the first place.

    “Cricket in the Caribbean can be considered quite different from a lot of other parts of the world, in that all islands are sovereign nations,” Holding said. “They all have their own flag, their own anthem, their own governments, currency…and all of them believe ‘OK. This Test match belongs to me, and I am in charge of this Test,’ whatever island it is. The West Indies Cricket Board are sometimes a bit loath to send people outside the island to say ‘ok, let me check on this island, its facilities, and see if it’s up to scratch’ because of the politics of the region.

    “But the WICB have to get away from that. It doesn’t matter whose toes they are stepping on, whose corn they are crunching – they have got to make sure that wherever matches are being played, facilities are up to scratch. They can no longer say ‘oh it’s the Antigua Cricket Association’s responsibility’ – it is the WICB’s responsibility and it’s time for them to stop thinking about whose toes they are stepping on, and be responsible for all cricket and get whatever has to be done, done.”

    Prior to the Test, both camps had expressed their concerns at the bowlers’ run-ups. So sandy were they that neither Jerome Taylor or Fidel Edwards could gain any sort of traction, and the flimsy base provided no stability as they attempted to launch themselves into their delivery strides.

    “Jerome Taylor came to me before the toss had been spun and he asked me something about KP,” Holding said. “But he also asked me about the outfield, how is he going to deal with it. I told him: ‘All I can tell you is do not fight it. If you’re fighting against sand, you’re going to come off worse, your legs will get tired. Try as much as you can to float over the surface. I know you’re not prepped for this, but try not to sink into it too deep.’ And that’s a ridiculous thing to tell a fast bowler. You’re looking to run in and really power through and reach top pace when you deliver the ball.

    “He tried a few balls over the wicket, then went around the wicket to see if it was firmer. That is ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.”

    After a hastily arranged meeting by the Antigua Cricket Association and the ICC, the Test was cancelled and moved to the Antigua Recreation Ground – a venue dripping in history, though none of it recent. It hasn’t staged a Test since 2006 and has gradually fallen into disuse. Holding remained cautiously optimistic that the ground would be ready in time for Sunday’s third Test, but sent a strong reminder to those who run the game in the West Indies.

    “I think the West Indies as a region should sit down and realise this has given us a bad name. Either they [administrators] say that they love the West Indies, they love Caribbean cricket and they don’t want to do it any harm. Or they say, ‘okay it’s the norm. Why get upset? It’s a third world region’. And we should be ashamed of that. If that’s the reason, we should be ashamed.”

  11. Pat

    February 14, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Pat, you haven’t really studied the law pertaining to defamation, have you? Have you ever heard of “innuendo”?

    Juris, my friend, I have studied no law. But I know up here no one would take a case about that ad seriously. Course I have heard of innuendo. Still would not advise Blogo.. whatever his name is to sue.

  12. John

    Here’s hoping tomorrow’s third test at the ARG goes ok.

    It’s going to be back to basics so could be an interesting one.

    When it ends, WICB needs to be dealt with.

    They can’t go around emulating our Governments in the region.

    Who they think they are?

  13. J

    Dear Red Lake Lassie:

    You wrote “I’m not saying I would favour the US way”

    Why not?

    Are you afraid that you can share lashes, but can’t take any?

  14. J

    Sargeant wrote “late night hosts would make jokes about Bush that no comedian in Barbados would dare to make about Barrow, Tom , Owen or David.”

    Maybe if our politicians would learn to make a joke, and ever more important learn to take a joke they would live to be old, old, old like the American politicians.

    As is is ours pop off and die and not a fella yet mek 75. And I think that that is a pity.

    Our politicians need to lighten up a bit, and laugh a lot – laught a lot, lot, lot more.