Monday, 11 March 2013 02:30
By Rawlston Pompey
Every once in a while journalists emerged from obscurity. In normal situations, they produced news stories as they happened.
Then seemingly energized by emotionalism or yearning for a taste of glory, they are suddenly driven by imaginations and/or fantasies. Then comes a crucial moment to perpetuate a “...Fiction.” In dramatic fashion, they produced something more sizzling and appetizing than “...Susie’s Peppery Sauce.” Then hot off the press, it immediately captures readers’ attention; ...excitement builds; ...tickles the imagination...raising goose-pimples; ...mind-boggling to citizens; ...they become momentarily speechless. Falsity and deception come in various forms. This may even be experienced in a “...hostile political environment,” as it was in competitive media where there was an unwavering determination for news. Citizens caught between “...Fiction and Reality,” are wary of the “...authenticity of the contents and the motive of the author.” Angry emotions are spurred and speculations run wild. These are natural human reactions and/or responses to probable or improbable, yet inexplicable events.
Research revealed serious national and team rivalry between “...Egypt and Algeria.” They have had “...wars on the battlefield and wars on the Football fields.” In a “...World Cup Football Qualifier game” in the Egyptian capital of Cairo, the “...Algerian Echorouk Newspaper FALSELY reported that “...6 Algerian fans were killed in Cairo. Incensed by the news, violence and madness erupted as Algerians reacted “...swiftly, outrageously, decisively and destructively. Thousands reportedly went on the rampage vandalizing, damaging and/or destroying “...everything Egyptian.” Egyptians ran for cover from the irate Algerian mob. After the rampage, losses were estimated to be “...tens of millions of dollars” [Wikipedia: Nov. 14, 2009]. This was rightly or wrongly described as “...Irresponsible Journalism.” The Editorial Staff, acknowledging that the news story was not “...independently verified” wrote “...It is the responsible Media’s role to respect the readers and go the extra mile to provide them with Absolutely Correct information” [Wikipedia: Osama Diab]. In the away-game encounter in “...Algeria,” the Egyptian government was accused of sending “...scores of spectators to Khartoum to cause fan trouble.” Such has been the nature of man and consequences of “...Irresponsible Journalism.”
GUNSHOTS AT REPORTER
When news reverberated through the nation and across international frontier of a “...Shooting Incident,” that which was reported as transpired, was seen as “...impacting adversely upon “...Public Safety and “...freedom of press and movement of media worker.” Hence, Law enforcement may have been duly worried over the latest incident of “...gun violence and place of occurrence.” Emblazoned across the front page of a news daily, the story was headlined “...Gunshots at Caribarena Reporter.” Stunned citizens questioned the “...veracity of the news report and the credibility of the unidentified reporter.” With no confirmation from Law enforcement, an avid reader to the news and current affairs “...JP Farnsworth” commented “...You are selling, but I am not buying that one” [Caribarena: March 4, 2013]. The news item states that just after 9.30 pm at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, following an International T20 Cricket match between Zimbabwe and the West Indies, the wing mirror of the reporter’s vehicle was “...unlawfully shattered” by a bullet, suspectedly discharged by an unknown assailant.” Despite claims that the incident was quickly reported to Law enforcement at the Stadium, Law enforcement records reportedly failed to show a recorded entry of the incident.
ELUSIVE VIOLENT CRIMINALS
Thus, when the story spoke to the unprovoked criminal attack, widespread public alarm was prompted; condemnation flowed from some quarters and generated heated discussions. More importantly, however, it might have been seen as “...depicting a sorry state of affairs,” revealing a “...culture of incivility and barbarism” by those with propensities for violence. Such may have mistakenly influenced suggestions of “...ruthlessness and/or despicable social and/or immoral behaviors among people in a nation founded upon the principles of democracy and with hypocrisy proclaiming the “...Supremacy of God.” These, however, were not necessarily reflections of the whole society and the majority of responsible and law abiding peoples, but the behaviors of a depraved few the “...elusive violent criminals.”
By a meteoric flash, the nation had become the focus of international attention with two characteristics Senator Lennox Weston had linked with that of “...Failed States,” a corrupt society and uncontrolled Criminal violence.” These reflected “...Disregard for the Sanctity of Life.” In the global community, reactions were to be swift. Invariably, in many regional States, these have resulted in “...Watch or Travel Alerts” to potential “...Leisure seekers; ...business investors; ...aspirants in pursuit of their hopes and dreams in obtaining higher learning or even driving fear in nationals abroad forcing many to avoid “...treading where angels dread.”. Such “...adverse publicity” was as bad as the recent warnings issued to residents regarding “...Sulphuric ash,” being spewed by the “...Montserrat Volcano,” fumigating the atmosphere with choking fumes.
INTERNATIONAL PRESS INSTITUTE
It is one thing to publish stories that may provoke litigious proceedings for Libel, but a totally different matter to writing that which may “...provoke panic or public alarm; ...crowd trouble and/or international condemnation.” When a social media reporter seemingly “...failed to show authenticity with detailed information,” he appeared to have suffered consequences for his non-cooperative conduct on a “...shooting incident” that had sparked widespread controversy and condemnation [March 8, 2103]. The reported incident had also attracted international attention. Reacting to the incident, the International Press Institute (IPI.), Vienna [Caribarena: Mar. 8, 2013], through its Deputy Director Anthony Mills, noted with concern “...The incident is highly unusual,” and urged “...Antiguan authorities to investigate the causes of the reported shooting to ascertain linkage to previous “...Verbal threat to website operations.” Except the full story had not been told, and proper investigation conducted in ascertaining that which may have transpired, it appeared to be a matter that may have been easily diffused.
Controversial Issues were said to be “...not only conflicts between right and wrong, but also different views of what is right” [The Ethical Process: Marvin T. Browne: p1-2003]. The omission of a report of such seriousness clearly appeared not to have been attributable to the victim. Such, however, appeared to have reflected a “...Serious Omission” on the part of Law enforcement. On March 6, 2013, the Observer media reported an apparent “...misinformed account,” suggesting that Law enforcement informed that there was “...no evidence of a shooting.” Under existing Disciplinary Regulations, such omission constitutes “...Neglect of Duty.” The Code states “...If a member of the Force, neglects, or without good or sufficient cause omits, promptly and diligently to attend to or carry out anything which is his duty as a police officer or ...Fails to report any matter which is his duty to report” commits an offence [Police Act, 330].
Stating a Falsehood or falsely reporting incidents frequently brings consequences of varying nature and degree. Most organizations and/or institutions, including the family, school, Boys’ Brigade, Girl Guides and Media Houses,” have rules that “...govern the conduct of errant members.” Among the rules were those forbidding breaches such as “...Making False Statements; ...Accusations and/or Reporting.” Specific to the conduct of members of national Law enforcement agency, and for ease of reference, the Disciplinary Regulations states that “ ...No member shall “...Wilfully or knowingly makes any False Statements; or knowingly makes or is privy or party to the making of any False entry; or with intent to MISLEAD” [Police Act: Chapter 330: Code (e)]. This may have been seen from the Christopher Dorner experiences that led to his dismissal and demise from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).
CONSEQUENCES FOR FALSEHOOD
Embarking upon a “...deadly rampage,” renegade ‘LAPD’ ex-cop Christopher Dorner perished in an inferno. Consequent upon his dismissal, he reportedly vowed to eliminate some 50 colleagues whom he had, rightly or wrongly, accused of “...brutality; ...racially discriminatory and practices of victimization.” Officially accused of “...Making False Statement” against a female Supervisor, Dorner harbored feelings of a “...victim of circumstance.”He alleged that she had “...kicked a semi-mentally deranged person.” Internal investigations reportedly revealed that which he had alleged was “...inconsistent with the truth.” Tried by an Internal Disciplinary Tribunal, a decision was given against him. Subsequently dismissed from the Agency, he tried to invoke a devilish spell upon the “...LAPD.” Having snuffed out the lives of four colleagues, he succeeded only in getting the “...LAPD’S SWAT Team” in bringing his life to an abrupt fiery end. This occurred in a Cabin “...reasonably suspected” to have been deliberately set alight to end the manhunt” [February 12, 2013].
Man was said to be a “...wanting animal,” and as such was known to behave with impulsivity and irrationality. The Bible anticipates that what had obtained ‘THEN’ was prophesied to happen ‘NOW.’ As much as there were to be wars, there were also to be “...Falsehood and Deception.” Hence, it was anticipated that since that which was to be discharged from man’s heart was going to “...Deceitful, Evil and Desperately Wicked,” [Jeremiah 17:9], adequate warnings were given to man through the “...Ten Commandments” [Exodus 32: 15]. Each Commandment is referred to different behaviors and for “...different reasons; ...purposes and/or situations.” For instance, when one “...Kills another,” Christian Believers were quick to refer to the “...Sixth Commandment” that says “...Though shall not kill.” When it was about “...Bearing False Witness,” reference was made to the Ninth Commandment that states “...Thou shall not bear false witness against Thy neighbour.” These were to be seen from the “...Crucifixion of Jesus Christ in the 1st Century AD.” There were very good reasons for the Ninth Commandment.
The Crucifixion was not only said to be “...the most atrocious act of inhumanity,” but also the most “...disgraceful and painful death ever suffered. It was endured by Him that was sent from Heaven to “...Save humanity in a world, said to have been “...filled with morally corrupt, wicked and evil men.” According to “...St. Mark’s Gospels,” unflinchingly and unresistingly, Jesus Christ met “...hell upon the earth.” Following the betrayal, having done all manner of Evil, He was crucified “...Falsely accused; ...Brutalized; ...Unlawfully arrested; ...Tried Him without a Jury; ...Borne False Witness; ...Wrongly Convicted Him; and “...Unjustifiably Condemned Him to die on a wooden Cross at Calvary.” He endureth indignities, terror pain and suffering of Crucifixion for “...six hours,” commencing from the “...third hour.” He gave up the Ghost on the “...ninth hour.” Today, mankind continues to “...Bear False Witness; ...Fabricating Stories or ...Making False Statements or Representations,” as much as man had done from time immemorial.
When it was about speaking “EVIL” or guile about bona fide members of organizations/institutions, including the Senate and the House of Representatives, in addressing “ ...conniving bigots,” reference may be made to former Governor/President Reagan’s “...Eleventh Commandment.” Such might have been useful and instructive as a guide to an apparent unperturbed Michael Freeland, over deliberate orchestration by persons known. Hence, he may very well wish to re-phrase Reagan’s Commandment that even with some degree of reluctance and/or atonement, “...George Marajah, Eunice Thomas et al” may repeat at day break, “...Thou shall see no evil; ...Hear no evil and speak no evil of any organizational Leadership or membership; ...Thou shall spread no false rumors or encourage resentment and/or disaffection among members.”
RACE WITH RATS
Thus, there has been a natural tendency in humans to place obstacles in others path, “...even in a race with rats.” Clearly showing restraint and exhibiting evidence of maturity, Michael Freeland, a seemingly bright prospect vying for considerations of the positions of “...Constituency/Parliamentary Representative,” and demonstrating a flair that may help in concretizing his chances and “...electability in the 2014 national elections.” He had chosen to ignore an apparent “...devious exploits of foes in comradeship.” Seemingly, a victim of that which was suspected to be a “...conspiratorially orchestrated ‘EVIL’ twisted plot,” some observers reasonably believed that a smear campaign may have been borne out of “...organizational bigotry.” Research showed that during his campaign for the “...California Governorship in 1966,” Ronald Reagan that his pursuit to public office entailed some “...mud-slinging.” Thus, he reportedly made his own Commandment; ...structured and declared it to be read “...Thou shall not speak “...ILL” of any fellow Republican” [Wikipedia].
Since the time of Crucifixion, man has developed the tendency in making “...false accusations; ...falsely reporting on events/incidents, social, economic, political conditions; ...speaking guile of people, as well as concocting “...falsities of accounts or conclusions in “...Scientific research and/or experimentations.” These situations were intended to “...DECEIVE” and have lived with mankind for millions of years. In “...Anno Domini” [Latin], meaning “...Year of Our Lord,” The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ speaks to these experiences. His accusers had reported to their Chief Priests and Elders, things He had never said or done. This was aided by a notorious, rebellious prisoner named Barabbas, who had been paid “...blood money” for His betrayal. Handed over to Pontius Pilate, Roman Governor of Judea, he ordered His Crucifixion” [Matthew/Mark/ Luke/John].
It was the experience that “...cagey Law enforcement personnel” had frequently caused agencies to be plunged into otherwise, avoidable “...awkward positions.” When this happened, agencies were placed “...under greater media/public scrutiny.” On October 5, 2012, Local media-“ ...Social, Electronic and Print” reported “...UNCHALLENGED,” the suspected “...unauthorized removal of several Firearms from the American Road Police Headquarters.” The firearms reportedly ended up in the “...possession of unauthorized third parties” and subsequently recovered by the agency. Such position may have been evident when “...Six months” after a reported incident, local Law enforcement sought to “...Disclaim Statement of an active probe into firearms allegedly leaving the Armory [Weapons Probe- Police Armory: Caribarena: March 6, 2013]. Oddly, while Law enforcement personnel sought to “...distance ourselves,” they appeared to have found themselves sliding perilously down a slippery slope of appeasement, exposing the agency to further public ridicule.
Consequent upon such public revelations, “...Administrative and Legal Responsibilities,” dictates that with immediacy both “...Internal and/or Criminal Investigations” were to be conducted into the incident. If this needs learning in “...Rocket Science,” then someone needs to be at the American Space Agency “...National Aeronautics and Space Administration-NASA” Clearly displaying “...frivolous or vexatious responses,” Law enforcement chose to distance itself from “...Confirmation of “...Active or Dormant” Internal investigation.” The agency appeared not seek to show “...TRANSPARENCY” that may very well help in boosting “...Public Trust, Confidence and Support,” as well as eliminating “...citizen’s, fears, anxieties, uneasiness and MISTRUST,” as to whether or not an investigation was “...Launched; ...Continuing or had been ...Completed.”
DR. CORT’S OPEN-MINDEDNESS
Speaking briefly to the issue, National Security Minister, Honourable Senator Dr. Errol Cort appeared to have been much more open-minded, when previously quizzed about the rather “ ...sensitive incident” by the Observer media. Quick wittedly, he unhesitatingly admitted that he was apprised of the incident, but prudently advised “...I was not yet properly briefed in detail on the matter.” There may be very good reasons for him to be playing the role he was seen by the populace to be playing- “...Keeping his fingers firmly on the pulse.” Only by so doing a Doctor may know if there was a “...pulse rate of 70 beats to the minute.”
Media practitioners shall always endeavour to avoid dramatization and/or sensationalism. They shall understand that “...Falsely Reporting on Crime” may lead to the criminal charge of committing “...Public Mischief.” Those with formal training “...Media/Law Enforcement Relations” may know of the “...Golden Rule” that urges “...What was already known by the public/media and cannot be refuted ...DO NOT DENY.” Even a persistent probing media may back off, so as not to jeopardize an investigation. This however, was dependent upon the level of “...Truthfulness and/or Openness” developed with “...authorized personnel and media practitioners, built upon “...mutual respect and understanding; ...trust and confidence.” These have always determined the “...level of cooperation and support” that may be elicited from the media whose primary role is to inform the public with “...Fast, Accurate and Factual information.” The role of Law enforcement was to assist the media in martialling truthful, yet non-compromising FACTS. In that way, it may help to eliminate secondary sources that may provide information on matters that might be “...unchallengeable” or even avoiding Press Releases “...Distancing the agency” from comments on sensitive, yet “...IRREFUTABLE FACTS.”