Panday: Manning wrong to storm radio station

Thursday, November 6 2008

PM Patrick ManningOPPOSITION Leader Basdeo Panday on Tuesday criticised Prime Minister Patrick Manning for visiting Radio 94.1 FM two Saturdays ago to protest their earlier broadcast, critical of Government policy.

In a statement, the UNC leader yesterday called Manning “absolutely out of line, and overboard” in his actions.

Panday said: “Such behaviour by a Prime Minister is undemocratic, arrogant and dictatorial at best since it tramples on the freedom of the media to perform its functions relating to scrutinising Government’s conduct and policies without fear”.

The Couva North MP said Manning’s behaviour was unwarranted in the circumstances, and could only serve to intimidate the media from performing their role and duty of demanding accountability, which is especially crucial in light of the Government evasiveness in accounting for the $250 billion it spent in the last seven years.

Panday said proper avenues exist to complain about the media such as writing to the media house’s management, the Media Complaints Council, or the Telecommunications Authority, if a breach of licence had occurred.

Further he said, the PM could have telephoned the radio-show or issued a media statement to dispute the broadcasters’ remarks.

“But speeding into Port-of-Spain from San Fernando to personally storm into a media house is beyond what is reasonable, or acceptable. If this kind of behaviour is tolerated from the Prime Minister it will signal to other persons such as Ministers that they too are free to assault the media whenever anyone criticises the Government, and soon the media will be muzzled”.,89353.html

Related News

Manning mad at media
PM: I’ll go to the courts if aggrieved

Prime Minister Patrick Manning says he has had it with the media.

It was not my idea
PM on suspension of 94.1 FM employees…

SAYING he did “absolutely nothing wrong” when he visited the 94.1 FM radio station on Abercromby Street in Port of Spain to complain about comments made during one of its newscasts on October 25, Prime Minister Patrick Manning yesterday said he had nothing to do with the decision of its managers to suspend two of its employees.

Manning: I am going to the courts next time

‘Unprofessional behaviour caused suspension’

16 thoughts on “Panday: Manning wrong to storm radio station”

  1. The prime minister should see this too it is full of the same irresponsible overhyped sensationalized reporting. Manning did not storm anywhere nor is he out of bounds to expect better quality from a clearly lacking meda. The media is too full of itself beliving that it is anywhere near international bipartisian or unbiased reporting standards. This is a pack of crap the media playing victim taking us for fools.

  2. This is the kind of third world abrasive and uncouth savagery which will forever relegate places like T&T to the proverbial dustbin.

  3. A free press is one of the pillars of a true democracy. Trinbagonians should be alarmed by the behaviour of this individual. This is the prime minister who wants to rewrite the T&T Constitution that will allow him to become the President of the United Islands of the Caribbean. If he is allowed to muzzle the media, democracy-loving citizens like me could be next. Stop this creeping dictatorship, vote him out in the next election!!! Yes we can!!!

  4. True to form the Manning bashing continues. Mr. Panday should be the last to comment on the freedom of the press–remember the fiasco at Mid Centre Mall with journalists covering a political rally a few years ago?

    Mr. Manning is spot on the ball when he talks about the gross disrespect that is meted out to individuals in public life.

  5. Would someone please tell Panday and his blog spokesman T-Man that their responses are ‘much ado about nothing.’ No one seriously cares or is concern about the empty posturings of inept leaders devoid of ideas especially in the local media. It is more the politics of distraction practice by the PM and the Opposition leader that will do us no good.
    Remind them that it was in their much beloved USA that veteran News anchor for over 3 decades lost his job for criticizing the President , and writing a truthful piece about him as a young national Texan guard.
    I personally cannot wait for the day to soon come when these two political leaders would hand over the reign of power to some successor , and to be frank I do not care if its to their respective driver and gardener at this stage.What is morally reprehensible is the fact that Panday is still speaking about governmental corruption when he has a much delayed and pending case of the same nature, where overwhelming evidence will work against him even if his daughter was to marry a Privy council judge as a means of influence.
    Manning is about to bypass local car dealers to purchase 200 German cars,and people seem surprise- what a joke!
    Wasn’t he the same one that likes to speak glowingly about UWI his alumini and local education ,yet sent all his kids abroad to study even if from evidence garnered ,most were hard pressed to pass their GED? Who is responsible for building all the white elephant hospitals primarily in Trinidad ,yet jumps repeatedly on his private jet to go to Cuban hospital each time he gets a hiccup?

  6. Mr. Manning needs thicker skin. As the PM if he did not like what was said about his CNG policy the he needed to present the facts to the people of TnT and let them decide. Instead he storms a radio station to placate his own ego. One has to wonder if the PM has a sound policy when it comes to CNG or is it made of straw that a pair of radio host can tear it down so easily.
    As for Panday he needs to keep quiet, we all know hes holding on to the leadership of the UNC long enough to pass it on to one of his children. he thinks he some Indian Raja passing on the family fiefdom.
    To both Panday and Manning this is a democracy. Start behaving as citizens of a democracy and maybe, just maybe, the people will follow you and not laugh at you.

  7. PM comes under fire
    It is unacceptable and could be interpreted as an abuse of power for a prime minister to enter a radio station to complain about an alleged wrong committed on air.

    Media Association: PM out of line
    Manning’s visit to 94.1 FM radio station

    What was said on air

    PM, Kamla at odds over visit to station
    Comments made by 94.1 FM radio announcers about compressed natural gas (CNG) were what caused Prime Minister Patrick Manning to visit the radio station in Port of Spain hours after the comments were made on October 25, he told the Parliament last evening.

    Kamla: PM’s protest unprofessional
    SIPARIA MP Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday said Prime Minister Patrick Manning had acted inappropriately in both his recent visit to Radio 94.1 FM to complain about a broadcast and in his visit to German-based BMW who had offered to loan 200 luxury cars for next year’s summits in Trinidad even after the Government had already invited bids from local dealers.

    Publishers, broadcasters object to PM agenda
    THE TRINIDAD and Tobago Publish-ers and Broadcasters Association (TTPBA) yesterday condemned the action of Prime Minister Patrick Manning in turning up at the offices of 94.1FM on October 25, as “unacceptable”, “an abuse of power”, “intimidatory” and “a threat to freedom of the press.”

    More heat for Manning
    Sparks flew during yesterday’s sitting of Parliament–literally.

    Come better than that, Mr PM
    Once again Prime Minister Manning seems more than a little preoccupied with himself and his sense of importance, and seems to be requiring a place beyond scrutiny and criticism.

  8. Truth-seekers, not image-makers

    Banana republic thinking
    I must say I found it ludicrous that the Prime Minister actually complained that he could not identify one media house in Trinidad and Tobago that pursued a pro-government agenda.

    ‘An attack on the people’
    PM’s visit to radio station…

    While the war continues to wage between the media and the Prime Minister, three heavy hitters have given their views on the situation.

    Manning … Govts in conflict with reporters since days of Dr Williams
    Attacks on the media by politicians in Trinidad and Tobago is no new phenomenon. Founder and leader of the People’s National Movement (PNM), the late Dr Eric Williams, in his early years in the party had waged a war.

    When the PM loses his cool

  9. You know,only in trinidad this non-sence could take place.all this confleck is just to take peoples minds off of what’s realy important,the crime food prices jobs,& I could on & on.

  10. Lee Sing praises PM: ‘Media not saints, often sinners’
    “I commend him (Manning) for finally bringing his concerns to our attention, in a manner that must force all of us to stop and think—that is, if you can think—about your roles as media practitioners in a plural society.”

    Gordon: Manning wrong, 94.1FM unprofessional
    Veteran publisher Ken Gordon has said Prime Minister Patrick Manning was wrong to go to 94.1 FM to complain about comments made by two employees during a newscast.

  11. Lee Sing is wrong
    Friday, November 14 2008

    THE EDITOR: Before I take issue with Mr Louis Lee Sing’s recent words regarding Mr Manning’s visit to Radio 94.1 FM, yes — I agree that “reporting” on some radio stations has become sloppy, irresponsible and, to use the word of the day, “wajank”. Yes — announcers and presenters who taint reporting with personal commentary deserve to be reprimanded and the stations to be reigned in.

    But — Lee Sing, despite my respect for you, I must say you are wrong. Maybe not legally, but morally and spiritually. Manning had no business going to the station to vent his displeasure. His whimsical visit can only be perceived as intimidation. And a man in his position should not be blind to the effect political power has on citizens.

    I heard the “offending” broadcast that caused the spirit to move Manning from his barber salon. In my humble opinion, the clip was at worst juvenile, but not personally insulting. Manning is a political veteran. He should have a “broader back” — barbs, jibes and insults come with the territory. And Lee Sing, it is not inconceivable that Manning may one day take issue with presenters on your stations.

    Manning’s rights as a citizen take second place to his privilege as leader. He has an obligation to uphold our freedoms. How can he do this by violating them?


    Small beer
    BC Pires
    Friday, November 14th 2008

    The foolishness of “defending” Mr Manning is revealed by asking whether Mr Manning is free to enter a police station and complain about two policemen criticising him? Suppose the police officers of whom Mr Manning disapproves are suspended? There are only two points of interest: one, in what had to be at least a half-hour drive from Sando (even with motorcycle escort and Bus Route pass, did it never strike Mr Manning that PM boarding FM might look a little orff-key? And, two: is there no one in the Cabinet who has the cojones to stop the PM from making such a colossal mistake?
    Full Article :

  12. …’PMs can’t be thin-skinned’
    Prime Ministers should not be barging into newsrooms, says Editor-in-Chief of the Jamaica Observer, Desmond Allen, who also criticised Caribbean leaders as being “too easily ruffled”.

    Power, perks and private parts

    Struggle for press freedom in the Caribbean
    The Prime Minister talks a great deal about “vision” and believes that what he and his government are doing is in the public interest. Those who do not agree with his policies are either foolish, blind, or in a conspiracy to demonise his government. The Prime Minister also seems to believe that there is an unarticulated media conspiracy to disrespect and discredit his government and cause it to lose face. What he does not concede is that he, and not the media, is the source of the problem and that his personality often gets in the way of his policies.

  13. Over the last few month’s i’ve become increasingly agitated with the current state of affairs in T&T. With the current crime rate, our children dying through government inaction and neglect, blatant attack on the law enforcement officers, the degredation of the justice system, the attempt of the PM to introduce socialistic personal behaviour on the democracy of the nation and the list goes on. This is no exaggeration and you all know it. Should you choose to disbelieve or debunk my thoughts and feelings you’re certainly entitled to do so. It is hard to rest easy knowing that a sibling or relative could become a statistic on the crime list. It has bothered me so much that blogging, talking, complaining and whining has gotten the better of me and I have decided to do someting different.

    In February 2009 I will be heading to Trinidad and Tobago; not on vacation or friendly visit or carnival, I will be on a mission! Yesterday I invested in some equipment for VIDEOGRAPHY. I am venturing to Trinidad and my intention is to do a DOCUMENTARY. I intend to expose the country’s status quo.Ihe true meaning of Dr.Martin Luther King Junior’s speech has inspired my thoughts. In his famous speech “I have a dream” he laid out his innermost thoughts and hopes for a better nation, a better world, i’m “dreaming of a better T&T.”

    In my documentary, I will be addressing the past, present and future of the country, offering the nation choices. As i have stated in so many of my posts that TRUE CHANGE in the twin ISLAND starts with EDUCATING THE PEOPLE. This is the purpose of my mission.

    Trinbagonians are used to talk, talk and more talk. Talk about gullible people, Trini’s take the cake. Not because they are stupid but because they are ignorant of the facts and the power they hold to force change if they so desire.

    I will attempt to show them where we came from, where we are and where we will be if change does not come soon. The people will be given a peek into the lives of those people who have suffered at the hands of kidnappers, murderers, robberies. They will take a look at the parents and siblings who lost a loved one because of crime.

    I will also offer a peek into the lives of parents whose child(ren) died because of the government neglect. A look into the healthcare system that kills more than they help; and a government who prefers to build stadium after stadium, rents a jet for millions a month as opposed to fund hospitals and dying children. A deep look at what and who the government cares about. By the end of the documentary I intend to enrage the people and trigger their emotions in such a provocative way that their eyes will be opened and demand what is theirs.

    Trinidadians and Tobagonians have had enough of the rhetoric and fast talk by the politicians; it is time for them to see what the country has become and what they need to do. Trinbagonians are very affectionate people but that seems to have been lost with the current state of the country. If only I can tweak their inner being and give them a vision of hope then i would have accomplished something.

    I have already mapped out a plan of action and what my presentation will be like. I just need to get a few people on board to make it happen; hence my trek to Trinidad in february. I’m not looking for fame or fortune or even money, but a sense of urgency has overwhelmed me that in some small way I could make a difference with what the future may hold.

  14. Meddling with the media is out
    THIS newspaper unreservedly opposes and rejects the stated intentions of the current Government to put in place what it calls a committee to consider matters related to lifting standards and quality in the local media.

    Elias ‘booted off’ i95.5 talk show
    On my way to the station at around 3.45 p.m. on Tuesday I received a call from Umbala who said: “Excellency, I deeply apologise to you and regret to inform you that I have been instructed by Mr Louis Lee Sing not to have you on the programme as he does not want anybody who will criticise Patrick Manning”.

  15. The funny thing about all this whining about manning and the media is that the same people who whine and complain will vote back the PNM in power again. Trinbagonians are too busy getting to the party and planning the next one before the first one done! when citizens can learn to be active and attentive to the goings on of the country then and only then will the government/dictatorship change their malicious ways. During the electins all those politicians are visible, they walk on the worst roads and promise to fix them, visit the poor and promise to feed them, collect money to help the sick and promise to help them. By then end of the elections and the party wins, the roads are worse, the poor are hungrier and they thief the money from the sick and watch dem dead! Then they disappear in their offices not to be seen until next election. Then! the hungry, the dead rises and the roads are paved with one sheet of tar and they get the vote again. Now! if that isn’t a true description of Trinbagonians way of thinking; I must be guyanese!

  16. these people do not what is real suffering, they do not have backbones to stand up and fight.the men are poising there body with rum and fightig with their wife,but they cannot take a stand agianst the curelity of this govement.i do remember as a little boy growing up going late night walking up high street,know walking up high street at daylight is a problem.i am just a person living in a other country whose heart belong in trinidad and tobago.It is all the people on top whose involve both opposition and govment Felix said it. I do hope in my life time i can see changes in this country

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