The Choiseul PowerHouse is “powering ahead” in Cyberspace with the speed of light. Some claim we are hard-hitting and controversial; some claim we are intellectual and academic! Some even claim we are political! Everybody is right! We are all of those things! We have a diverse global audience and it is our pleasure to stimulate your intellectual taste buds and we make no apologies for that. The bottomline is we are independent and have no affinity to any organisation: political or otherwise! We will continue to publish our "power articles"

We wish to extend special thanks to followers for their support. We also encourage you to post your comments and feedback on the Blog using the comments link following the Articles.

Welcome to the POWERHOUSE family blog!

Sunday, April 17, 2016


The "presidential" showdown between the president of the senate (POS) and the president of MASL (POM) is definitely headed to the courts but not before it's fair share of media sensationalism. As to whether or not the sensationalism was orchestrated or incidental to Claudius' annihilation of Mr Universe during a "Straight Up" show and which subsequently resulted in the production of a stinging political ad depicting St. Lucia's foremost journalistic guru as a liar - this is a purely speculative matter.

Perhaps, were it not for the dramatic shredding of the court documents on national TV by the POM, the impending legal contest between the two presidential gladiators might have been a mere whimper.

Regrettably, since then the chronology of events has taken a turn for the worse in the court of public opinion, culminating in a well-written online piece by a unknown correspondent who obviously is not only an adversary of the POS but equally "an authority" on things Saint Lucian.

The POS - justifiably or otherwise depending on your political 'frame of reference" - decided to use the legal system to seek redress for defamation; but from all indications, the suggestion is the POM thought that avenue was highly offensive, disrespectful and he construed it as an attack on media workers. For those reasons and perhaps more, the action by the POS precipitated a piece of high drama of unprecedented proportions on national TV.

I listened attentively to the POS and Tim on NewSpin (Monday, April 11) and I can only hope that their positions and rhetoric were not generally representative of either the media (they work for) or their colleague media workers - but rather were simply "counter-instances" incidental to their own immersion in victimhood consequent upon their own circumstances.

I make the statement not to discredit the honourable gentlemen or even to seek to undermine the collective responsibility or credibility of the media fraternity but I do so in the context of my expectations of the media in terms of social responsibility, restraint, accountability and my belief in universal/ethical principles.

Perhaps, as a natural corollary, I might add that in my days in the trade union movement, I would not have taken kindly to my president representing “his flock” on the basis of a seeming axe to grind or perception thereof. I would have (as a matter of principle) completely distanced myself with any such demonstration of irrationality of that magnitude.

If I may put it more bluntly, I would consider it downright intellectually dishonest for my president to generalize his own “domain-specific” issues to the membership of the Union and seek to use that as a platform to fight his own personal war.

In my opinion, I thought it was “déclassé” for the POM to take his case to the MBC airwaves and to tear legal papers served on him during a live TV broadcast. I'm even more perturbed by the fact that the management of MBC has not issued a clarifying statement in the way that ChoiceTV did in respect of Tim. In my view, it was not proper journalistic conduct to show such utter and extreme disgust for another fellow media colleague during a live TV broadcast and to play the same on a subsequent news broadcast.

The emerging philosophical question is: should journalists so deeply immersed in their own subjective “frames of reference” and controversy of the magnitude faced by the POM be allowed to be news anchors or co-editors?  Arguably, Tim might have done himself and Choice a service when he stepped down from the news chair. Perhaps, the POM might have taken a page from him.

After listening to Current Affairs on Tuesday (April 12), my perspectives in respect of a few of the prevailing "media issues" were slightly refined but my enlightenment still remained in “the twilight zone”. One of my initial hypothetical perspectives was that the POM and Tim might have been singing from the same hymn book of victimhood was largely confirmed on Tuesday night. Another perspective which emerged was the POM’s action was no function of chance, even if he might have some subsequent post-hoc regrets about doing it.

The POM's discourse on “Current Affairs” on Tuesday Night might not have moved the needle a fraction in his favour because it was too centred on generalized positions and unknowns.

For example, the POM didn’t make any specific disclosures related to “the behind the scenes attack” he alleged; he did not share with us which media are under attack etc. As a matter of fact, ChoiceTV’s categorical statement turned out to be a resounding rebuttal of the allegation that the media are under attack.

In the days ahead, the public will be looking forward to statements with greater specificity and particularity on those “unknowns” alleged by the POM.

There is no doubt the political literacy, consciousness and advocacy among the masses are on the rise. There is the strange feeling that the media -caught in their own cocoon of complacency - might be lagging behind. Admittedly, there are some supporters of the political parties who would go to great lengths to demonstrate their advocacy with a passion; but it may be noteworthy that beyond that advocacy, there may a lie historical significance - both real and symbolic.

Indeed, I am of the view that some persons are beginning to put politics in historical perspectives. For example, some persons argue that the SLP was the party which brought St. Lucia “out of bondage” by way of adult suffrage, trade union representation and a slew of worker benefits. Others argue that the UWP brought independence and an economic revolution.

The pro-UWP media ring might consider factoring those perspectives in their discourse and should consider avoiding stereotyping callers who have a different political chemistry. It might be better to develop a relationship with those callers and allow them a "niche" in the way that Shelton Daniel, Andre Paul, Dr Marcus Day, Hon Richard Frederick, Earl Bousquet and Cokes Cyril do.

Some talk show hosts need to demonstrate greater maturity and tolerance to allow the flow of healthier political discourse - "crying foul" and stereotyping callers as "hacks" may not be good for the development of our democracy; it may not necessarily represent a strength but instead may connote an intellectual weakness of sorts in dealing with callers with a different political persuasion. In the same way that journalists are entitled to professional identity, the hacks too may be entitled to their political identity.

The attitude of a small group of media workers suggests that they may be afflicted with the phenomenon that the writer Robert Hughes terms "infantilised culture of complaint" or "victimhood". Perhaps, the first order of business for those media workers should be to liberate themselves. They should take personal responsibility for some of their apparent weaknesses and not to attribute them to some external political locus of control.  They need to open up their faculties and start viewing their interactions with their dissenting callers as "good-faith disagreements" and not necessarily as "micro-aggressions". That sense of victimhood, according to Robert Hughes, only "makes it more and more difficult for us to resolve political and social conflicts".

Notwithstanding the perspectives above, I must say I saw signs that the week seemed to be ending a note of rapprochement among the dissenting parties with assurances that the media are not at war with themselves. In that context, I pray that the chronology of this week events will turn out to be just a minor counter-instance” on our historical landscape

My view is the media as a whole know better and can do better.

It's time for the nation as whole to unite and move forward; and the media can be a vital platform to help bring about this.