TV stations should be penalized severely
Stabroek News
May 15, 2002

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Dear Editor,

I do not need to rehash all that others said about the now "famous" videotape aired by local Al Jazeera television stations.

My age allowed me to live through the horrors of the sixties, and I pray fervently that I never again witness such happenings in my lifetime.

When I saw the tape on the Evening News of Thursday 9th I experienced real fear for the first time. My spine tingled with unspoken fear. In the sanctity of my home I had to witness a dangerous criminal, dressed in army fatigues and clutching a high-powered rifle a la Osama Bin Laden, addressing a nation, and seeking to justify his nefarious deeds and intentions.

And this was done in the name of news. To hear one of the spokespersons of this station saying that efforts were made to contact the Police Public Relations Office by telephone but was unsuccessful, and went on to air this tape in breach of every conceivable sense of journalistic responsibility, was, to my mind, party to the intentions of the broadcast.

To my horror, the producer of the news bit prefaced the presentation with the statement that the station was in no way connected to the production of the tape. This statement was repeated at the end of the showing. Then came the shocker. "However, this station (newscast) wishes to comment that justice delayed is justice denied."

I am awaiting the outcome of the investigations and the sanctions that will be meted out to these media houses that pride themselves for bringing the latest to the nation.

I am calling for the maximum penalty against this spine-tingling fear broadcast. Nothing short of taking these stations off the air will do.

Yours faithfully,

Rudolph D. Mahadeo