I write in support of the comments made by AG Ramlogan about the apparent political bias in the media against the PP and I myself found it quite strange that the people meter poll in the Express on whether the AG should resign was based on a small sample of persons drawn from North Trinidad without any reflection of or regard for the multi-racial nature of our society and the demographics of our population. Given the tribal nature of our politics, such a sample must be a cause for concern and is susceptible to the criticism that it was designed to present a lopsided political response. I note the comment by Ms Judy Raymond, Editor-in Chief of the Guardian, that well known PNM supporter Maxie Cuffie’s hiring did not mean that the Guardian was politically biased.
She justified this by claiming that “other columnists already with the paper were known to have differing political inclinations.” That Ms Raymond stopped short of giving examples is, however, instructive. Who, pray tell, is the comparator to Maxie Cuffie in the media? It certainly could not be columnists such as Ralph Maraj, Keith Subero, Michael Harris and Joel Primus. The Guardian has a duty to hire a strong PP supporter if it is going to hire Maxie Cuffie. Mr Cuffie wasted no time in exhibiting his political bias by attacking the AG before he even starts to write his first column. That Ms Raymond could see nothing wrong with this is a matter of great concern as it does not bode well for the independence of a newspaper that I have been purchasing for over 30 years.
Sunday Guardian columnist Maxie Cuffie responds: The evidence adduced by AG Anand Ramlogan, SC, of my being “a well-known, strong PNM supporter” was my stint in the office of the Attorney General under the PNM administration. The Honourable AG must be aware that my immediate successor under the PP administration, Mr Clevon Raphael, who was hired under the same terms and conditions as I enjoyed at the AG’s office, not only writes a weekly Guardian column but also operates in a journalistic capacity in the Sunday Guardian, where he conducts weekly interviews of subjects who are mainly politicians. Mr Raphael has also been presented with a Humming Bird Medal (Gold) under the PP administration, no doubt for his journalistic efforts, which I consider well deserved. I also do not intend to cast any aspersions on the number of journalists who have since found employment with the PP administration under various capacities. In any case, I do not believe that my constitutional right to freedom of association is inconsistent with my other right to freedom of expression. Both are entrenched in the constitution, as the Honourable AG, as Senior Counsel, must be aware. I have addressed my response to the Honourable AG, since a quick search of the Elections and Boundaries online database shows no Victor Charles at that address. I suggest he is another of the paid bloggers.