Home / Live Wire / Je ne suis pas Baldeosingh: Trinidad Guardian angel shamed again in housing faux pas

Je ne suis pas Baldeosingh: Trinidad Guardian angel shamed again in housing faux pas

“Crass”, “offensive”, “gratuitously insulting”… And that was just what satirical columnist Kevin Baldeosingh’s patron—the Trinidad Guardian newspaper—thought about his recent work.

God forbid you asked the opinion of IBN television host and activist Inshan Ishmael, who led a protest outside the Trinidad Guardian headquarters yesterday on the Uriah Butler Highway in Chaguanas.

Photo: Stop stereotyping us as angry and overly sensitive!
Photo: Stop stereotyping us as angry and overly sensitive!

Ishmael’s protest—he demanded that Baldeosingh and Guardian editor-in-chief Orin Gordon be sacked—was nine days after the publication of the offending column, which is a bit tardy for a spontaneous demonstration.

Maybe he had too much respect for the speed gun. Or perhaps it took him that long to find the the new Guardian compound!

Indeed, the Guardian seems to be far away from everything worthwhile these days. And that has very little to do with Baldeosingh.

On 6 July, the Guardian ran a column penned by Baldeosingh, which was headlined: “How not to be killed by Islamists.” It was the same day as Eid.

Incidentally, an Islamist, by definition, is not a Muslim but someone who supports and advocates Islamic fundamentalism and is intolerant to other views.

Mr Live Wire has no idea why Ishmael, a self-professed Muslim, would need a towel for any soaking given to Islamists. But it was the response from Baldeosingh’s own bosses that really raised eyebrows, as they slammed the column, which they printed, packaged and sold, as disrespectful and capable of inciting tensions.

So the Guardian wants non-provocative columns and respectful satire. Oh dear. Maybe Baldeosingh’s job is in jeopardy after all.

#JenesuispasBaldeosingh

Photo: The Trinidad Guardian angel makes the walk of shame.
Photo: The Trinidad Guardian angel makes the walk of shame.

A day after the Guardian threw Baldeosingh under a bus with the pretence of an apology—and the paper helpfully pointed out that it published all of three wonderful “pro-Muslim” stories within the last year—it ran a front page racist rant by Sat Maharaj aimed at the recently departed former Prime Minister Patrick Manning.

Having failed to grasp satire, though, who can count on the Guardian appreciating irony?

Mr Live Wire looks at the Guardian’s editorial decision-making these days and only sees George W Bush dancing at the funeral for Dallas police officers with that gloriously simple expression on his face.

Ahhh… George W… If near perfection can be mesmerising, the former United States President proves that undiluted stupidity can be just as enchanting.

But let’s get back to the the Guardian and its effort to keep abreast with what it considers to be the story that is on everyone’s mind.

Just how is that old lady getting on after she trolled Housing Minister Randall Mitchell during his press statement on Manning’s death?

Mary Paria had cut in on Mitchell’s live media address to ask for a government house. The Guardian referred to it as a “courageous approach.”

Had one of Paria’s children interrupted her in that manner during the “good old days” of wanton violence against minors, Mr Live Wire thinks they would have thanked God if they only got a “steups” for their trouble.

Photo: Mr Bean just missed out on a Cabinet position in the PP government.
Photo: Mr Bean just missed out on a Cabinet position in the PP government.

Mitchell subsequently apologised for responding to discourtesy with discourtesy and referred Paria to social workers. According to Paria, as revealed in the Guardian article, the social workers told her she “would not be able to get a house.”

The Guardian’s headline read: “Mitchell promises Mary a new house.” Houses, apparently, really are being given away like hops bread.

And this is the newspaper that is lecturing Baldeosingh on the tenets of good journalism.

Still Mr Live Wire can’t help but chuckle at Baldeosingh’s new role as the most unlikely of sacrificial lambs on the alter of religion. Who can understand God’s sense of humour eh?

Ahhh… There is that image of good old George W again, merrily swinging the hand of First Lady Michelle Obama as though he was first in line to get on a bumper car.

If only he could take the Guardian’s editorial writer along with him.

Photo: On the one day that Michelle Obama chose to leave home her "I'm with Stupid" tee-shirt...
Photo: On the one day that Michelle Obama chose to leave home her “I’m with Stupid” tee-shirt…

Editor’s Note: Mr Live Wire read Kevin Baldeosingh’s piece and finds it cheeky, irreverent and disrespectful. It is also funny and thought provoking and supported by evidence, albeit exaggerated for emphasis.

It is, in other words, satire.

About Mr. Live Wire

Mr. Live Wire
Mr. Live Wire is an avid news reader who translates media reports for persons who can handle the truth. And satire. Unlike Jack Nicholson, he rarely yells.

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48 comments

  1. Let it go brother Ishmael. Let peace reign.

  2. Kevin wrote a satirical article and didn’t do anything wrong

  3. undiluted stupidity… ah deding

  4. People read the Guardian without the expectation of being offended?
    Well look how I learn something today!

  5. “We, the right thinking, law-abiding Muslims, need to be introspective and critical at the same time as we engage Kevin Baldeosingh and others of his ilk in dialogue with a view to making them understand that, in matters concerning the social and political aspects of our religion, we, the pure, authentic Muslims, are capable of intellectual autonomy.”
    Alana Abdool responds to Kelvin Baldeosingh’s controversial “How not to be killed by Islamists” column in the Trinidad Guardian
    http://wired868.com/2016/07/21/not-every-salaam-speaks-for-islam-a-muslims-response-to-kevin-baldeosingh/

  6. Mr. Baldeosingh does not discriminate. He has been equally disrespectful of all religions in Trinidad and Tobago.

  7. Haven’t read it. But Ismail Barton this might be relevant to your interests

  8. What do we expect from a newspaper which has an angel on its masthead. What did the Guardian expect from an irreverent satirist and atheist. The newspaper tried to increase its market share by hiring KB to boost its boring editorial page and didn’t even have the nerve to stand by its columnist’s right to be irreverent, no matter what day it was.

  9. Lasana Liburd, I posted this in response to Angelo Bissessarsingh’s a terrific piece on the said column. Reposting here: I am a firm believer in freedom of speech and long been a fan of Mr. K.B. I concur that there is tremendous responsibility placed on our journalists and writers. Over time though, it would appear that the author, who is a self-professed atheist, has opted to use the medium to advance his person ideology, masked as satire. I’m equally comfortable with that; I relish a good laugh and a differing perspective – as a learning opportunity. However, this is not the first time where he has used his pen, to mask outright disrespect to the beliefs of thousands of citizens. He has also done this with the Christian faith. The pieces in question are divisive, reek of intolerance and self-centeredness. In a way, I feel sad for my brother. As a nation, we must immediately call out such attitudes and behaviors, in such a way that encourages dialogue and resolution. I consider the Editor equally culpable due to the accountability of that office – the mere headline is sensationalist and timing very questionable. MATT should review the piece against their professional code of conduct and standards. As we look at unfolding of recent events in the US, we should endeavor to strengthen the harmony amongst every creed and race and in our land.

    • I respect your opinion, which I don’t mean in a patronizing way at all.
      I can read a well constructed article and disagree with the author’s point. For instance, I’m not an atheist.
      For me, I think it is important to look at the premise of the author’s piece to see if it crosses a particular line.
      And the base of the piece was radicalism that led to attacks on gays, women and innocent lives. That is real. He didn’t make that up.
      Now you might say that you don’t agree with the conclusion he drew based on that. And that’s fine. But I’m not sure that a column can be as heinous as some suggest if it has a solid launching point.
      And I think we have to leave room to disagree so as to enjoy freedom of speech.
      I understand it is a very sensitive topic. But maybe it shouldn’t be.
      We should all be able to scrutinize and stress test everything.
      It is quite possible that Angelo Bissessarsingh wrote a tremendous piece in response and I would love to see it.
      But the fact that someone cleverly countered Kevin Baldeosingh doesn’t mean he is a horrible man who should not write for the Guardian.
      It is just an exchange of ideas.

  10. Satire is satire . If people read his previous articles they would see no one is spared in his writings . By the way I wonder why he left or was fired from the express ?

  11. Brutal Mr Wire
    Rowan A. wouldn’t have take DAT wok he likes to be the lead Comic.

  12. Hoping for an “Ode to…” part deux to rival BC’s.

  13. I’m uncertain about your definition of “Islamist” here Lasana. Whichever way that might be, I think it’s pedantic to make the distinction-it would have been offensive to many Muslims.

  14. Very entertaining! And really sums up the events of the last week nicely. I have no idea what Kevin wrote but I’m sure it was really funny for the 10% of us that appreciate good satire?. And I actually find Randal Mitchel initial response to the farse lady begging for her HDC “hops” was quite understandable. She was so outa timing. I literally “steups” when I read the Guardian headline that she getting an HDC house. Nice to know she didn’t get to jump the line.

  15. On the other hand, I’m sure Kevin understands that probably less than 10% of the population have even heard of the term satire.

  16. Ahahahahaha that caption though lol… Literally encountered someone just now decrying baldeosingh who said “smh at the idiots drawing cartoons in Paris”

  17. Anything for sensationalism. Don’t check their facts and obviously are hard of hearing.