By RASHAD ROLLE
JOURNALIST Oswald Brown yesterday defended himself against accusations that he promoted victimisation after comments he made in a Facebook post were published in the press.
Mr Brown – now the government’s press attaché and cultural affairs officer in Washington, DC –– claimed he accidentally posted a message on the Facebook wall of Andrew Burrows, the ZNS Executive News Director, rather than send it as a private message.
In a new Facebook post made yesterday, Mr Brown wrote: “I’m sharing this so that all of you who I’ve noticed this morning again castigating me based on Adrian Ramsey’s version of what appeared in The Nassau Guardian can see what was actually published by that newspaper. As far as I’m concerned, I did nothing wrong, other than inadvertently post my message to Andrew Burrows on his wall rather than in his in-box as I intended to do.
“In her usual obnoxious manner, Dominique Demeritte, which more likely than not is a fake name being used by someone to sometimes make slanderous remarks on Facebook, decided to re-post my private message to Mr Burrows.”
In the original post on Tuesday, Mr Brown urged Mr Burrows to fire Free National Movement (FNM) operatives at the Broadcasting Corporation for “undermining all the good things this PLP government is doing.”
“I’m sending you this in-box because I am mad as hell about what appears to be a well-organised attempt by FNM operatives at ZNS to undermine the leadership of Rev. William Thompson and indeed the entire current management at ZNS,” Mr Brown posted.
“If you follow Facebook, which I know you do, you would have noticed that Dominique Demeritte, whomever that is, has been unrelenting in her criticism of ZNS and she has been using some information in her posts that could only have been given to her (or him) by someone at ZNS.
“I think you need to find out who that person is and arrange for them to find a different line of work.
“We have got to stop being timid of firing people who are seeking to undermine all the good things this PLP government is doing.”
Mr Burrows responded that he is aware of what is going on, adding that the “source” at ZNS has “wrapped herself up in a tight little squeeze.”
But the message from Brown was not sent to Burrows’ private in-box as Brown had intended. The message was reposted on several Facebook pages and received hundreds of comments Tuesday.
Many Facebook users expressed outrage, calling Mr Brown’s request a blatant call for victimisation.
However, Mr Brown said, “My solution to this situation is exactly what I suggested: if the culprit or culprits are exposed, fire them.
“I make no apologies in suggesting this.”
In a post, Dominique Demeritte said she was shocked by Brown’s comments.
But Mr Brown, who said he was being verbally assaulted on the popular social media site, asked Ms Demeritte to re-post accusations she made against Rev William Thompson, the chairman of the Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas.
“Why don’t you re-post the accusations made against ZNS chairman Rev William Thompson and the one about the ZNS employee who is being paid $55,000 a year for doing virtually nothing, as your ‘spy’ claims, and let this misguided group of individuals who are verbally assaulting me see why I was so outraged by the actions of the ZNS ‘spy,’” Mr Brown said in a message to Demeritte.
He said he felt that far too many civil servants cannot separate their politics from their jobs.
“Essentially they are ‘spies’ for their respective political party, whichever one is in power,” he said.
“This is a dangerous practice that should be stopped, and if a law does not exist to this effect, the appropriate legislation should be introduced.”
But Ms Demeritte’s response was: “This is a man who has just been appointed a post in Washington, DC. My God, is this what we are spending our tax dollars on nowadays? How much is Mr Brown being paid? Are we paying him to cherry pick who is going to be victimised next?
“We are sending Bahamian activists to jail,while representatives of the government using the very same internet tool to destroy fellow Bahamians. Why Mr Brown had to be sent all the way to Washington just to use Facebook again?”