Daily Archives: August 28, 2009

Senior Advisor To Prime Minister David Thompson Follows Through With Threats Against Barbados Journalist

Prime Minister David Thompson & Henry Hartley

Prime Minister David Thompson & Henry Hartley

Hartley Henry Makes Public Allegations of Sexual Impropriety, Beatings, Attempted Suicide by Nation Newspaper Staffers

Uses Barbados Underground Blog

We told you on August 24, 2009 how Barbados journalist and editor Carol Martindale alleges that Hartley Henry threatened to turn Barbados against her if The Nation Newspaper did not print a story about a political poll in the manner that the senior advisor to the Prime Minister of Barbados demanded.

Friends, when one of the the most powerful and connected men in Barbados threatens to destroy a journalist’s reputation, that is a threat not only to the victim: it is a threat to the very heart of our democracy.

Ms. Martindale quite rightly called the police who are said to be investigating the threats. (With our police, you never know.) Caribbean journalists are appalled at Mr. Henry’s behaviour and the story has been picked up by the Caribbean news media and even by Harvard Law School’s Global Voices. (See our original story: Barbados Newspaper Editor Threatened by Senior Advisor to Prime Minister David Thompson – Police Investigation Launched)

Hartley Henry Sets Off an Atomic Bomb at Barbados Underground Blog

On Wednesday August 26, 2009, Hartley Henry published a response to Ms. Martindale’s allegations in the August 27th edition of The Barbados Advocate newspaper. You can read that newspaper article online here: Under the Microscope: No threat to press freedom, it is all about the ‘connection’.

Mr. Henry’s Barbados Advocate article is full of innuendo about a “connection” to Nation News staffers that affords a “particular individual… unfettered access” to favourable coverage at the newspaper.

Although Mr. Henry pulls his punches (as we shall see!), it is interesting that even this relatively tame article indeed makes a good start at fulfilling the threats he made to ruin Ms. Martindale.

Hartley Henry Makes Good On The Threats to Ms. Martindale

Since the Democratic Labour Party abandoned its own blog after winning the January 2008 election, Barbados Underground Blog has become the defacto DLP government blog frequented by DLP supporters and government insiders alike. Mr. Henry and other DLP insiders have previously published quite a few articles on Barbados Underground, so we were not surprised to see Mr. Henry’s current Barbados Advocate article re-printed at Barbados Underground…

… and then we started to read the additional paragraphs and words included in the Barbados Underground version. Ca-Dear!

Read in context of the current allegations of threats against a Nation News editor, Mr. Henry details what can only be a lesbian sex triangle involving two Nation News staffers and “said heavy roller” who gets “prominence on demand” in the coverage by the Nation News – according to Mr. Henry.

Well, Mr. Henry threatened to ruin reputations if the newspaper didn’t print the article his way, and I guess he meant it.

Our opinion?

Hartley Henry would not have published his reputation-ruining article at Barbados Underground unless two conditions were assured: 1/ Prime Minister Thompson had knowledge of this article and agreed to the strategy, and 2/ Barbados Underground was safe and secure in the knowledge that the DLP government would protect them from any repercussions of publishing Henry’s hit piece.

Check it out for yourself at Barbados Underground: No Threat To Press Freedom It’s All About ‘The Connection’

About Barbados Underground…

Our readers should know that this is the first time we have linked to Barbados Underground in the many months since we dropped their link from our sidebar for publishing threats and racist comments. Infamously, Barbados Underground published comments describing a murdered Canadian tourist as “white trash” and regularly publishes articles calling for the exclusion of whites, Indians, Asians and other minority races from Barbados on the basis of their skin colours. Just a warning folks to let you know what you will find over there.

Again, we don’t normally link to racist blogs, but this story is important as it reveals so much about the character of persons in the Prime Minister’s office. The Hartley Henry article published at Barbados Underground is part of a story that needs to be told.

Prime Minister Thompson’s Problem Now…

Prime Minister Thompson had advance knowledge of Henry's Barbados Underground article or he didn't. Either way, the PM has a problem.

Prime Minister Thompson had advance knowledge of Henry's Barbados Underground article or he didn't. Either way, the PM has a problem.

If Prime Minister David Thompson had pre-knowledge about and approved Hartley Henry making good on his threats against Nation News journalists, that makes him a party to the threats, if not in law – certainly in reality.

If, on the other hand, Prime Minister Thompson had no pre-knowledge about Henry’s Barbados Underground article – that means he has lost control of his advisor. If that is the case and he does not publicly discipline Henry, Thompson will lose face and appear weak and indecisive.

That’s quite the choice for the Prime Minister. Which door will he open?

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