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Press club disappointed by PM’s comments on media

Prime Minister Perry Christie pictured during his New York visit with Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell, Labour Minister Shane Gibson, Ambassador to the OAS Elliston Rahming and other members of his delegation. Photo: Peter Ramsay/BIS

Prime Minister Perry Christie pictured during his New York visit with Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell, Labour Minister Shane Gibson, Ambassador to the OAS Elliston Rahming and other members of his delegation. Photo: Peter Ramsay/BIS

By RICARDO WELLS

Tribune Staff Reporter

rwells@tribunemedia.net

OFFICIALS of The Bahamas Press Club yesterday said they are “disappointed” by Prime Minister Christie’s recent criticism of the media.

During a speech at The College of the Bahamas’ School of Journalism, Mr Christie criticised the “arrogance” of some journalists who “presume” to make decisions for people. He said of those journalists who criticise his leadership style and have called for his resignation, “to hell with them”.

Mr Christie also said to the students: “You have the right to believe what you believe, to write what you believe. I must respect you for that. But respect me for what I’m trying to do.”

In a statement released yesterday, the Press Club said it had no intention to “lecture” Mr Christie on his public speeches, but suggested that the prime minister, after 40 years in public life, should not be frustrated with “expressed journalistic opinions of his leadership (style).”

The group reminded Mr Christie and other “seasoned” politicians that “scathing” critiques came along with the territory of high public office.

The group’s statement indicated that Opposition Leader Dr Hubert Minnis has also been the object of “equally scathing opinions”.

The club said that politicians, due to their roles in the democratic development of the Bahamas, become the focal point of public debate in good and bad times.

“We suspect that both men will continue to be in the bull’s eye of journalists as long as they hold the positions they do,” the club said.

According to the club, it is of “paramount importance that journalists display the highest standards and integrity in their reporting”.

But the group added: “The prime minister is also more aware than most, of the importance of the Fourth Estate to a well-regulated democracy.”

“We ask the prime minister to display that understanding of the need for freedom of expression by all, even if these expressions do not comport with ours.”

Mr Christie’s comments have become the focus of public debate with many of the prime minister’s political opponents using it as proof that he is losing his cool under pressure.

The Christie administration has come under fire in recent months over a number of scandals.

Last week, it was revealed that Minister of Agriculture V Alfred Gray was involved in a police probe into allegations he interfered with the judicial process.

Minister of Works and Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis is also mired in controversy after he announced that the fire damaged dorm at the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) in Andros was never insured.

Two weeks before he made that statement, Mr Davis had told the House of Assembly that the dorm’s insurance had lapsed at the time of the fire due to the contractor’s nonpayment.

Comments

Cobalt 9 years, 3 months ago

Why would members of the media be astonished and disappointed in anything PCG says??? What were they expecting??? Don't they know that there is nothing dignified about Perry and the PLP???

I told y'all before........ dogs bark....... cats meow....... and the PLP is an incompetent, scandal ridden government who hides behind this fact by talking rubbish. This is a fact that we all know. So why are these journalist surprised at Perry's position??? This is who he is. This is what he does.

duppyVAT 9 years, 3 months ago

The trench coat thugs hip hopping over the globe, pretending to represent us ......... but the ppl give up on dem .......................... I am sure even CARICOM leaders are wincing right now.

ThisIsOurs 9 years, 3 months ago

I really wonder if they think they're fooling anybody at these international conferences. Note to representatives, Bahamian embassies may be established for the purpose of paying back unqualified cronies and throwing lavish parties but all other embassies are established for the purpose of gathering intelligence. They know who YOU are. They know how you messed up BAMSI. They know about the extortion at the .ministry of Housing. They know about Anna Nichole. They know that your nickname is "vomit". They know about the unexplained death of the american prisoner. They know about the illegal sale of Bahamian passports. So dress up all you want, pronounce your "S's" and "TH's" to perfection, try and find as many big words as you can, they still know who you are.

birdiestrachan 9 years, 3 months ago

The truth of the matter is the press or those who call themselves journalist believe they can write whatever they see fit and give advise about things they know nothing about. I believe that some of those Journalist allow their Papa to write for them. He said some of them. But whom ever the cap fits. let them wear it. newspapers in the past were able to destroy some persons. I doubt they still have the power they use to have.

I believe Mr.: Christie was giving the students his life experience. Talking about thin skin, All of those Journalist are all over this story What has happened to their skin. After all is said and done we are all mere mortals. this includes Mr: Christie and the Journalist. Some of them are out of order.

TheMadHatter 9 years, 3 months ago

Many of you on here know me to be a very avid follower of the news. That being said, I have never heard of the Bahamas Press Club.

Does that mean anything?

Sure it does.

Perhaps they themselves seldom get covered in the press. LOL

TheMadHatter

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