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Journalists warned at post-Cabinet: Behave or no food

Friday, July 25, 2014

As Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar left yesterday’s post-Cabinet press conference room, the director of information and communication in the Office of the Prime Minister, Dennis Mc Comie, who chairs the news conference, said there would be no questions to the PM and invited journalists to pose questions to Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran and Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan. He added that it was “their prerogative to decide if they are not going to respond if you ask silly questions.”

As one reporter was asking a question, Mc Comie said: “You all look like deers (sic) in headlights.” He then asked: “Are you all just celebrating the fact that you are getting 20 per cent off the price of your flour this weekend?” Nearing the end of the news conference, CNC3 journalist Khamal Georges asked Mc Comie if it was not inappropriate for him to question the questions posed by journalists at the briefing.  After the question was repeated, Mc Comie said the questions “must be relevant to the context of the (minister’s) presentation.” After the news conference, Mc Comie told journalists, as they took the snacks provided for them, that if they did not behave “we will stop giving you food.”