The Nation: Barbados’ newspaper of lies and political agendas

The Nation lied: “the letter” was an unsigned draft only seen by a few

Long time readers at BFP know the contempt with which we hold The Nation, and indeed the entire Bajan oldstream news media. The Nation has always been the lapdog for the Barbados Labour Party (for the last 20 years anyway) while the Barbados Advocate crawls on its belly for the Democratic Labour Party. The public broadcaster CBC, of course, sways like a cane in the wind according to the master of the day.

No matter their political leanings though, all of the news media generally protect the political and business elites when and where possible. Some of this protection is because individual journalists are frightened of government retaliation. Fair enough. The former editor of the Barbados Advocate, Reudon Eversley, explained this fear when he said that Owen Arthur and his lot attacked and bullied the press into submission. See Evil as Hell.

But it was the Barbados Advocate that fired columnist Adrian Loveridge at the behest of the then Minister of Tourism – so the Barbados Advocate cannot claim the high ground without acknowledging that they traded their integrity for government advertising revenues.

Then there is the matter of the non-reporting and covering-up of news stories that would be front page if they happened in the UK or the USA. If a Cabinet Minister was shown to be living on land that his government expropriated from a private owner, that would be NEWS in the United Kingdom. If the Health Minister was involved in the online porn industry and made money from websites featuring pregnant teenage mothers or women having sex with horses, do you think the Canadian or US news media would ignore the story? They sure would! But not the Barbados news media.

If the management of a hundred million dollar government contract was shown to be involved in bribes in another country, that would be news, right? Not in Barbados – at least not until the blogs reported the story for almost two weeks and forced the news media to mention it.

So when The Nation falsely reported that eleven members of the DLP Government affixed their signatures to a letter to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, and published bits and pieces out of context to give their readers the impression that the letter was something it was not – that was a calculated move to further a political agenda.

To whom the benefit?

That’s easy: the beneficiary of the fuss was the lapdog Nation’s master, The Barbados Labour Party and Owen S. Arthur.

Here’s what DLP Member of Parliament Ronald Jones has to say about The Nation…

THE Nation Publishing Co., in its edition of the Sunday Sun on December 11, 2011, published an article which purportedly carried contents of a letter written to the Prime Minister.

The Friday, December 16 edition of Barbados Today, an online newspaper, carried a letter which it states is a letter similar to that of the Sunday Sun’s version. Readers should bear in mind that the Sunday Sun embedded the contents of said letter in their story and wrapped it in parenthesis. So, in fact, the Sunday Sun has already published the contents of the said letter.

The only difference was the Nation warping its interpretation of the contents of the letter. They alluded to the MPs’ intention: “Their main reason for doing so was to discuss matters of grave concern” pertaining to his leadership and “to chart a path forward for the retention of our party in Government”.

The Nation emphatically stated this in the context of its story of Tuesday last. This differs somewhat from their initial quotation when the article stated that the MPs wanted the meeting, “with respect to perceived weaknesses in our leadership of the country”. This is a variation to that quoted above.

It is the Sunday Sun story of Sunday, December 11 that is of particular interest. The Nation reported that 11 MPs affixed their signatures to a letter and immediately dispatched it to the Prime Minister. The article states “ELEVEN GOVERNMENT MEMBERS of Parliament (MPs) – including seven senior Cabinet ministers – yesterday affixed their signatures to a formal letter and immediately dispatched it to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart requesting an ‘urgent’ audience.” That means that the Sunday Sun had to be aware that such was already done at least some time on Saturday, December 10 so that they would have included their article in the Sunday Sun with such authority.

The Nation subsequently published the faces of 11 MPs in its Tuesday edition, whom they asserted were the persons who affixed their signatures to this letter and dispatched it to the Prime Minister. The article states, “THEY ARE THE 11 dissatisfied Members of Parliament (MPs) who have been seeking an ‘urgent audience’ with Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.

“They comprise eight ministers in the 19-member Cabinet and three backbenchers.
“Their main reason for doing so was to discuss matters of ‘grave concern’ pertaining to his leadership and ‘to chart a path forward for the retention of our party in Government’.”

This was a bold assertion. The Nation was emphatically stating that there were no other MPs who were implicated in signing such a letter. The Nation, by so doing, created an atmosphere in which 11 persons were exposed to intense public scrutiny and ridicule. The Nation Newspaper had no intention of stepping back from their position.

“Since the publication of the contents of a letter to this intent in the SUNDAY SUN, some of them have publicly denied any knowledge of the letter or any issues with Stuart, for that matter.”

In defence of their character and integrity, some persons immediately responded that they did not place their signatures on any letter and therefore the Nation should cease and desist from making such a statement.

The Nation, through its Editor-in-Chief, intimated that it would stick by its word – that is, that 11 MPs affixed their signatures to a letter which was dispatched to the PM.

The Nation further kept the charge going by asserting that it would keep publishing the faces of the persons in its daily publication until the 18th, when they would publish the letter. (One would believe that the letter would have 11 signatures affixed to it and not the mere mention of eleven names) If this is not done, then the Nation newspaper would have made a false accusation against the MPs – especially those who said they had not so done.

The Paper, as part of its continuing engagement of the reading public indicated in its article of Tuesday that they were sticking to their story, they wrote “However, the DAILY NATION is sticking to its story. The newspaper has further been informed that Stuart held private talks with individual members of the complaining group before leaving the island yesterday for New York.

Well-placed sources said while the leadership issue was not yet settled, it was likely that “common sense” would prevail and that the dialogue would continue internally.
Yesterday, one source close to Stuart further indicated that some of the 11, who came under intense public scrutiny following the publication of concerns, were now suffering from “cold feet” and had indicated to Stuart that they were not prepared to press him any further on a meeting to discuss his leadership style.

I am careful to note that the Nation continued to refer to his leadership style and that was not identified in either their quote from the letter of Sunday 11th or the Barbados Today story of Friday last.

Readers should not miss the point. The Nation made a claim. That Claim was in the Sunday Sun of December 11. We therefore await the publication of the Letter with the affixed signatures. A mere presentation of a letter, which they have already published, cannot do. They have already done that in their Sunday Sun of 11th December by inserting the paragraphs in parenthesis. These paragraphs are identical to the letter published in Barbados Today. Can we assume that the letter came from the same source?

I am also keen to note that The Nation Newspaper started to introduce a daily subtle shift in its statements by suggesting that the persons authorised their names to be attached to the letter. There is no more mention of signatures being affixed to the letter. That has disappeared. The Nation Newspaper is now proclaiming “The DAILY NATION will continue to publish all denials while holding on to the letter written on behalf of eight ministers and three backbenchers. Here, we reprint the photographs of the Eager Eleven as we will do every day until Sunday.”

On behalf of’ is the language used previously in the article of December 11. The Nation Newspaper has to deliver this earth shattering letter with the affixed signatures or they would have taken the standards of journalism to an all-time low.

– RONALD JONES, Parliamentary Representative, Christ Church East Central.

22 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Corruption, Ethics, Freedom Of The Press, News Media, Politics

22 responses to “The Nation: Barbados’ newspaper of lies and political agendas

  1. Anonymous

    I glad dat stinking Loveridge get fired.

  2. Summary:Over zealous journalist obtains photo from Adult Website after committing a tort and had irresponsible Media house publish said photo in Family paper without owner’s consent.
    (Body):Bridgetown Barbados Monday November the twenty first. 2011 – The owner of http://www.bajexoticspa.com has given the Nation Publication Co’ L’td until the first of December 2011 to compensate him for having used his copyrighted photo without consent in their Weekend Nation newspaper Friday the eighteenth of November , 2011.The following correspondence was emailed to the Media house the Saturday morning the nineteenth of November 2011 . “I am hereby requesting that the Nation Publishing Co’ Lt’d print an apology in your newspaper as soon as possible outlining your companies regret at having use my Website:bajexoticspa.com photo without permission. Also apologize for having used said photo out of context as said photo appears with copy on the website and not the copy you associate it with in your publication Weekend Nation Friday 18/11/2011. You also owe your readers an apology for having unauthorized used a photo from an adult x rated site in your Family oriented publication..”

    Maria Bradshaw the reporter for the article “The Naked Truth”subtitle Illegal for massage parlors to offer sex, apologized the same day after the article was published and had the photo in question removed from nationnews.com the online edition for Nation publishing Co; L’td .She went to say that the owner should be glad for the free advertisement. To which the owner replied that…. “the same way no one can take anything off the Nation publishing Co’s website without prior permission the said applies here at bajexoticspa.com.Maria was reminded of the TERM OF SERVICE of the website wherein it states: “…….You are granted a personal, non-exclusive, nontransferable license to view, on a single computer only, the content of the Site. Bajexoticspa.com reserves the right to limit the amount of materials viewed. Commercial use of any content located on the Site is strictly prohibited. In addition, you may not: (i) modify any of the materials found on the Site; (ii) copy, reproduce, publically display or perform, distribute, or prepare derivative works from any of the content made available on this Site; (iii) remove, modify or alter any copyright, trademark, or other attribution or proprietary notice from any of the materials found on the Site; or (iv) otherwise transfer any material located in any area of this site to any other person or entity. Bajexoticspa.com reserves the right to terminate this license at any time if you breach or violate any provision of these TOS, in which case you will be obligated to immediately destroy any materials you have obtained from this Site. “

    The owner Antonio Jaime (Spanish translation for owners English name) informed the journalist and the media house of his intention to file a copyright claim and demand payment if a settlement is not reached by the first of December 2011.Maria Bradshaw replied the website was a public website and that Senor Jaime should forward his intentions to senior personnel.
    The owner contends that the photo was acquired after a tort was committed and that his website is restricted as it has a 18 USC 2257 proclamation. This issue visits the concepts of intellectual property rights versus the presses’ right to fair use.The outcome seems destined to be decided by the courts in this matter.
    For further information contact Senor Antonio Jaime.(email) info@bajexoticspa.com bajexotica@yahoo.com 1 246 238-8651
    Resources: http://www.floridabar.org/DIVCOM/PI/RHandbook01.nsf/1119bd38ae090a748525676f0053b606/dfc00ac22467b7f5852569cb004cbc2a

  3. St George's Dragon

    There are other possible explanations than the nation is lying.
    1. The Nation was handed the draft and told the letter was going to be sent and would be signed by the 11. So instead of the Nation being liars, it could be the case that some of the 11 got cold feet and the letter was subsequently not sent.
    2. The 11 decided that leaking the letter to the Nation would be the best way of putting pressure on Fumble Through-it to leave; it would also allow other possible supporters to come forward while allowing them to be able to say honestly that they did not sign the letter.
    I don’t think you have proved your case at all.

  4. The Truth

    This piece in BFP is a pretty good piece of writing and sharply analysed. It’s excellent in fact. I’m pretty impressed that the writer has taken the time to be detailed and incisive. The Nation newspaper needs a good few lashes and to apologize to the public.

  5. Anon

    Basically the Nation made a big boo-boo when they ran off with the letter without checking with the people who had their names on it whether they had ‘seen’ it let alone ‘signed’ it – this would’ve involved a simple phone call. The fact that this was not done implies that other motives are behind the publication of the letter…Also now we know that at least 8 / 9 of the people named on the letter probably didn’t even see it will the paper have the guts to say sorry.

  6. Newbie

    One question, who leaked?? the letter to the press and why if as Mr Sinckler stated that only two or three people had seen the draft letter. This letter obviously was not shown to any members or supporters of the BLP so logic says that it was leaked by one of the DLP members or supporters, HMMMMMMM.
    I do agree that the Nation needs a few good lashes though. They are in a position to make a difference to the CORRUPTION that prevails in this island, but don’t, and therefore do not deserve to be called journalist.

  7. jusr want to know

    Why do Bajans shoot the messenger and not the perpatrators. By what The Minister stated in the Newspaper yesterday it was discussed, and some of the chickens back out, fearing for their jobs & pensions. The majority on the list are first timers so it seem they con’t know about politics, it’s a risky business, and anyone who go into it must expect some criticism, so let the Prime Minister deal with it in his methodical way. So bajans shut up!

  8. Meaning what? same old same old

    “so let the Prime Minister deal with it in his methodical way. So bajans shut up!”

    Case in point

    No transparency and no right to know or challenge disinformation and bad journalism

    Sorry Massa’s day is done!

  9. Sunshine Sunny Shine

    Stupid Sinckler lied. He said he doan no nothing about any letter and than confess he knew about it. Stupid idiot. Now his creditability gone through the shoot. In fact one has to question the credibility of all of DEM since the letter got leaked to Kaymar Jordan. Dangerous people boy

  10. rastaman

    Hear Sinclair will be the first head to roll,if any roll at all.LOL

  11. Anonymous

    GOOD FA YA

  12. 214

    I feel that “Newbie” posed a good question, who leaked the letter? It would have to have been one of the DLP members who leaked the letter to The Nation especially if the BLP did not see the the letter. The PM should get rid of all of them whether they said they had anything to do with it or not. Some may ask if the PM were to do that, who would be left in the DLP, who would replace them, well as far as I am concerned there are plenty that could replace them and plenty that would more loyal too! This is disgraceful and in my opinion, it has left the DLP looking stupid and also weak as a political party. The DLP need to repair this damage and fast too and start showing the people of Barbados that they are a strong political party who can run Barbados. Live up to their promises and show the people of Barbados that they have not and WILL not fail them or else they can kiss good bye at the elections. All if this must be so disappointing for the PM who seems to be the target of most people’s frustration, however, he now needs to stand up and show leadership and use his brain too!

  13. Act now? Naaaaaah!

    Freundel has plenty brains but is not a front-man with a statesmanlike presence on TV,etc.
    Like others before him, he inherited the position
    “had greatness thrust upon him” as it were
    and like the others who before him also inherited
    he shall not lead his party into power, unless he seriously grows a pair twixt Now and Then.

    BUT power being power, nothing shall be done to improve Leadership at the head of the DLP, due to sheer Bajan inactivity and Ostrich-ism.
    That would be seen as admitting defeat, and it’s better we get defeated at the polls and save face that way, you know?
    Your choice!

    Frankly, a young vibrant common-sense fella at the head right now
    would look a lot better than (Ye Olde Pharte as perceived by the general public)
    but what do I know? -or care, for that matter?
    Do wunnuh ting!

  14. Sunshine Sunny Shine

    I wonder if Fruendel read these blogs to gett an understanding as to what people think about his leadership style. Mr. Prime Minister, with all due respect, you are taking the comments about your leadership to candid. In fact some like myself believe you to be too laid back in light of the much commentary on your ” Ain’t saying nutten much” demeanour. Your leadership style leaves alot to be desired and if you continue in this vain you will get a rude awakening. So please Mr. Prime Minister wakeup from your slumber. You are Prime Minister and you need to lead from the front.

  15. Act now? Naaaaaah!

    Sunshine,
    Doan say nein..

  16. what will they think of next

    Desmond Bourne R.I.P.

  17. Newbie

    Desmond Bourne R.I.P.

    It is not only the P.M that needs to wake out of HIS SLUMBER. It is BARBADOS that needs to wake from ITS SLUMBER. We see so much wrong with our Society but lack the courage to stand even as a group. That is why we are having to endure so much hardship just to survive. We meaning the average Bajans cannot rely on the system being fair. The laws that were supposedly established to defend/protect us all is the most powerful weapon in Barbados against the weak and the poor. On the other hand those that wilfully commit wrongs CAN RELY on the system not being fair or even not giving the victim any chance of redress. The COURTS and therefore the LEADERS of the COURTS play with people’s time and emotions.
    ACCEPT whatever happens to you and ACCEPT that you deserve it because you know what the system is all about and YOU should have been more diligent. WHOOPEE DOO!!!!
    IGNORANCE IS AN EXCUSE WHEN IT COMES TO BEING DUPED OR MISLED. We all become very smart after the experience. Where would we be as a Society if there was no trust at all. WE TRUST THE LAW TO DO ITS WORK!!!!

    BUSINESSES WOULD BECOME EXTINCT IF THEY COULD NOT RELY ON CONTRACTS BEING HONOURED. HOWEVER THEY CAN AFFORD ACCESS TO THE LAW WHEN NEEDED AND THEY GET ACCESS. we SMALL PEOPLE cannot afford access and even if we could we are blocked and stonewalled at every turn for years until we run out of money and then we can’t afford access. Lawyers make this point very clear as they attempt to convince YOU that JUSTICE is NOT WORTH THE COST.
    They say that CRIME DON’T PAY (wrong) IT IS HONESTY AND PATIENCE THAT DON’T PAY HERE IN BARBADOS. CRIME DOES VERY WELL.

    HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS BARBADOS.

    It will help us to forget all our troubles and we can start the new year with fresh hope. NOW THERE IS A FAIRYTALE but no happy ending folks as long as we continue on this present road of HEAD UP THE REAR END DENIAL OF OUR REALITY!!!

    Desmond Bourne R.I.P.

  18. Newbie

    @ 214
    “who would replace them, well as far as I am concerned there are plenty that could replace them and plenty that would more loyal too! This is disgraceful and in my opinion, it has left the DLP looking stupid and also weak as a political party”.

    THIS IS OH SO TRUE, I am not affiliated to any party. Some of the people in both parties need to go because it is obvious that the majority in both parties are against change of any kind to the archaic unfair system of life that exist in BARBADOS. They have all had their chance to effect change.
    In my view the best thing for Barbados would be a COALITION GOVERNMENT supposedly made up of the best from the 2 parties and maybe then we would have a chance for change. (DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME VOTING). If perceptions of CORRUPTION in both parties exist and I believe they do then neither party should be opposed to this idea, after all they keep telling us that their main concern is doing what is BEST FOR THE COUNTRY.

  19. Tudor

    Newbie
    This is why I cannot in good conscience vote in the coming elections. Having voted for a change last time I am most disappointed with how the Govt has performed and cannot indentify one a,leader nor a candidate worthy of my vote.
    I am not affiliated to any Party, like you, and agree that both parties need to jetison their cargo & bring a new slate of candidates suitable for the responsibility facing them.

  20. Mark Fenty

    Tudor, I think that I’ve said on numerous occasions here. That in many instances the Electorate for reasons which defied the concepts of reason and common-sense, engages in unrealistic expectation of government.
    When we the Electorate utilize our Vote to effectuate change, we have to expected the worse but pray and hope for the best. Let’s not be simple minded here, we all know the track – record of human government right? So therefore, if we nonchalantly entrust our confidence in the imperfect system of government, I’m afraid to say that we are going to be disappoint at every turn.

  21. Mark Fenty

    It is profitable to vote? I guess that question depends on who you ask. We
    all vote because we are hoping for change in the existence conditions. But we must ask ourselves this question, is the kind of change we want to see possible in the allotted time given those who are the custodians of our highest offices? A lot of time we use our selfish judgment to vilify the arbiters of our destiny without the proper evidence in hand. Yes, I agree that it is the job of the politician to keep the masses informed. But this is not always possible especially when there is pertinent information which can eat away at the public confidence.

  22. I need some help please with my life my partner and my family