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Thursday, November 17, 2016


After I realised that the Lion Heart’s show last Thursday was a re-broadcast, I grudgingly tuned to DBS.

If ever I wanted proof that Mr. Universe was facing “faculty degeneration”, then “Talk” on Thursday night provided it irrefutably.

I tuned in to show at the point where the ex-bodybuilder was hammering away at Facebook, alleging that it was unsuitable for “any research”. I said “WOW” . . . What a stark contrast to what the BBC reported: that Mark Zuckerberg affirms 99% of FB content is authentic.  But being the “investigative journalist” that Rick is, I said he must have stumbled on something tectonic; so, I took a deep breath in anticipation of an impending earth-shattering falling meteor.

But there was no meteor! Not even a meteorite! Just a disappointing pebble thrown by (what my 7-year grandson would refer to as) a “Dinosaurus” which hardly caused a splash, or a ripple!

Neither did Tim’s prank (on Newspin on Monday), courting Hilary’s concession speech; but give Tim some kudos for his transparency and honesty. He conceded that his rationale for playing Hilary’s speech (as his HBI) was to draw the contrast between Kenny’s concession speech which he posted on FB and Hilary's phenomenal delivery on TV.

The bottom line here is both pressmen seem to have issues with FB, albeit from different angles. One pontificates that FB is not suitable for research; the other has a problem with the PMs “concession speech” being delivered via FB, despite the fact that quite of his RCI Midday news is apparently sourced from FB links!

In search of a glimpse into the possible rationale for the duo’s cynicism, I journeyed into their respective FB pages. I found pages for both individuals but none for their enterprises: none for Talk, The St. Lucia Star or Newspin! I wondered why!

Browsing their FB pages, I found none of them dared to publish any “constructive” or “controversial” critique, reflective of the “journalistic personalities” - something I attribute to their apparent cynicism, ranked hypocrisy and pure intellectual cowardice. It's is easy to pontificate from the “ivory towers” of talk shows where the hosts are “judge, jury and executioner” and “monarch of all they survey”; however, it's an entire different matter to face the music in the real world of FB where intellectual exchanges know no bounds.

Let’s be clear, the ex-Mr. Universe and his self-styled disciples (who conveniently play excerpts from President Kennedy’s arguably greatest speech extolling the value of controversy in journalism) are entitled to their views; but one would hardly expect such an irrational view from a world class publisher and his entourage of loyal supporters.

I’m not a blind follower of FB; but I applaud the platform it has given the world to share ideas, feelings, etc, rendering everyone equal in world of the social media; however, being equal does not translate to being identical. Hence, while everyone is equal on Facebook, no two subscribers are identical. Different individuals have different foci.  

I proved Mr. Universe’s dumbfounding assertion to be out of orbit with reality plus I believe there is truth to Mr Zuckerberg’s claim that FB is a credible and reliable platform!

Here are some examples!

I was able through FB to access the Director of Statistics for some statistical information which I required for a project.

Early this week, I had reason to interface with an academic colleague (Virus Clarke from Jamaica) and our professor (Kola Soyibo) thanks to FB.

I’m able through FB to maintain regular contact with my former students like Pro Gideon Simon, Dr Rand Jean who have made a name for themselves in academia.  In fact, it was as recently as three weeks ago we had an open and frank exchange on the latest developments on evolution and creation in the context of the theory of relativity.

Indeed, many of us on our FB pages, continue to share links, tag or expound on the latest developments on our fields of endeavour. In that regard, we have shared links to phenomena like the discovery of gravitational waves, climate change, statistical information and economic theory among other things!

Admittedly, not everyone has interest in those academic or professional issues. There’s also a preponderance of FB pages that provides loads and loads of news, views and information. There is also a proliferation of lighter stuff little or no substance.

 The Voice has its FB page. St. Lucia News Online always has breaking news on FB. HTS has a popular and useful FB page which we provide up-to-date news about St. Lucia. The US Embassy has a FB page which we use to research about developments from the States Department . . .

And there are hundreds of thousands of organisations that use FB to advertise their services.

So, what is Rick saying. I’m lost.

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