Attorney General Anand Ramlogan’s quixotic fight with the local media reached a new low on the weekend when he allowed his Facebook page to be used as a platform for a bizarre attack on Trinidad Express reporter Asha Javeed.
The attack video, which was created anonymously and is also on the UNC’s Facebook page, claimed to offer proof that Javeed is “in bed with the PNM.”
Mr Live Wire examined its contents.
There is a recent police report of domestic violence filed by Javeed against “Pierre Paul Phelps”, who is said to be the brother of PNM member Justin Phelps. Therefore, according to the video, Javeed is linked to the PNM.
Presumably, the AG believes that siblings always share each other’s political leanings. It is anyone’s guess what Danny and Robin Montano or Prakash and Kishore Ramadhar might think of that.
A three-year-old photograph of ex-AG John Jeremie with Javeed and her eight-year-old son is said to suggest, incorrectly, that Jeremie fathered the reporter’s child.
Mr Live Wire would like to advise the AG that children are not made retroactively by the snap of a camera. Expect a legal bill for that tip in the mail.
And, finally, a photo of a bikini-clad Javeed was somehow said to have a violent lover’s disagreement between Phelps, Jeremie and the reporter. There is no evidence to support that allegation and, perhaps, the poster simply could not pass on the opportunity to show an attractive young lady in a two-piece.
Or the People’s Partnership wanted to bully reporters of high reputation by attempting to humiliate and intimidate them for merely doing their jobs.
The attacks on Javeed began around the same time as her exclusives on then National Quarries chairman Mitra Ramkhelewan, who was subsequently fired.
And how did Javeed’s own employer, the Express, respond to the blows sustained while she was providing the paper with front page articles?
The Express might have had its lawyers take immediate steps to have the material taken down. It might have demanded an apology from the AG for his role in the malicious cyber-bullying; or sought an explanation from the Police Service as to how a police report ended up being exploited for political gain.
Instead, under the headline “Express stands for fearless journalism”, the Express used six paragraphs to assure readers of its own greatness and just one to defend Javeed. There were 10 references to the Express in the article and just two mentions of “the journalist.”
The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MATT), of which Express editor-in-chief Omatie Lyder is an executive member, said nothing at all.
With friends like these, it is little wonder that the media fraternity is not exactly overflowing with reporters who are willing to challenge the status quo.
Thus far, People’s Partnership ministers have claimed knowledge of where reporters live, shop, vacation, what vehicles they drive and their medical histories.
Now they have sunk to allowing photographs of journalists in their bathing suits with accompanying adolescent tongue wagging about their dating records.
Sometime in between, they presumably run the country.
Mr Live Wire only asks, in the interest of fairness, that he gets a few weeks to tone up before he becomes a target of the PP’s photo editors.
And what of an Attorney General who has repeatedly shown grave unsuitability to his lofty position ever since the Section 34 scandal?
Mr Live respectfully asks the Prime Minister to allow Ramlogan to follow his true calling; as a used car salesman.