Tony Vieira, CN Sharma and the media
Would you accept in your demonstration against Israeli mistreatment of the Palestinians an unrepentant Nazi? Funny that I should be writing on Nazism when the movie about the Nazi era just won the Academy Award for Best Actress. It is named “The Reader”, and you should see it. The moral of the movie is extremely powerful. And it is relevant to the main theme of this essay. The answer to the question above is:”No”. Not because pro-Palestinian groups need all the help they get they should accept an anti-Jewish Nazi criminal. Moral philosophy cannot justify such action
When CN Sharma suffered at the hands of President Jagdeo, we all felt sympathy for him because of the draconian ruling. It was harsh. But none of Mr. Sharma’s comforters, not one of them in the legal profession, opposition parties and the Guyana Press Association, long before he was suspended, chose to talk to him about “cowboyism” in the media. Not one of them confronted Mr. Sharma on his descent into media madness. And why? He was incessantly and relentlessly critical of the PPP Government and Mr. Jagdeo. So why talk to him? We don’t like the Government, so let him do his thing against the Government, even if he was being as vicious as the very rulers we love to castigate.
No one ever took the time to tell CN Sharma and Tony Vieira that wars have rules of engagement, political battles have guiding principles, and town-hall debates have required standards. Last year Mr. Sharma won two libels in the High Court against two PPP big-wigs. That should make him a very unhappy man because if he could win libels then surely others must be waiting for automatic victories over him. And he has quite a few dozens waiting to be heard in the High Court.
I’m sorry I didn’t file a couple of hundred suits against him for the scurrilous things he said about me in the past. But this I can tell you: if in response to this article he repeats those libels, minutes after I will be at my lawyers’ doors. The same goes for Tony Vieira.
How can critics of the PPP and Mr. Jagdeo ever hope to temper their use of power by ignoring the rules of engagement? Mr. Sharma says anything that comes to his head. Is this a man we should vote for? If he has no recognition for the rules of engagement, then what kind of president would he make?
Why should Kellawan Lall be hauled over the coals for deportment that is unbecoming, and not a media owner and presidential aspirant as CN Sharma is? We now come to a case of monumental hypocrisy. Tony Vieira is being condemned by a majority of journalists over his derogatory observation of a journalist’s mother, made public as part of a response to the said journalist.
I read dozens of e-mails in which expressions of disgust have been made at the language Vieira used in reference to the journalist’s mother. Why this late discovery of the nature of Mr. Vieira’s media conduct?
Mr. Vieira has been temperamental publicly many times before. Is it because the object of his vocabulary this time is not Mr. Jagdeo or other PPP leaders, but a member of the media fraternity? Tony Vieira, like CN Sharma, operates on a level of chauvinism, arrogance and extremism that will only incite the PPP to ignore the media’s pleas for it to act democratically, because the PPP’s obvious response is: Why pick on us and not your own when your own does vile things?
Have any of the supporters of CN Sharma spoken to him about the standards of media operations since his licence was suspended? Will Vieira’s friends do that now? Vieira obviously is in trouble, and we will wait to hear what the opposition parties have to say because he is an Opposition MP.
Will people ever learn? The AFC became opportunistic when they put Vieira on their steering committee when they were in the formative mood. The AFC wanted access to his media house. I knew he would not have lasted long because Vieira does as he likes. He left the AFC and joined the PNC.
Like the AFC, the PNC saw an opportunity to make use of his television station. The parting of ways is around the corner. Remember Vieira just before the Elections tried to get into the leadership of Manzoor Nadir’s party, TUF. What next for Mr. Vieira? That is easily predictable.