Kaieteur News – Every Guyanese and every journalist for different reason should read the just released autobiography – Chasing History – of one of the world’s famous journalists who has been famous for more than 50 years and is still a household name in the world – Carl Bernstein.
It was Bernstein who with his Washington Post colleague, Bob Woodward, teamed up to expose the political conspiracy of President Nixon that brought him down. Nixon resigned before he was impeached.
Below, I will look at Bernstein’s criticism of today’s journalists because I believe deep down in my heart, this country’s journalism is exceedingly incompetent and maybe is the world’s poorest place for acceptable journalism. But more importantly are the wise words of Bernstein about the danger that currently faces American democracy.
When you read his observations, the parallel with Guyana is frightening. I ask you to read twice or maybe thrice the remarks of Bernstein then think of who supported rigged elections for five months and who are the class forces and groups that want to change the PPP government.
Here is what Bernstein observed: “The idea that the Trump base is some narrow group of white men with guns? Bullshit. This is a huge movement including misogynistic women, including racists of every kind, but also including all kinds of educated people in cities and suburbs”.
I have sleepless nights when I see the kinds of people that are overtly sabotaging democracy since March 3, 2020. When I read Bernstein’s words of educated people, misogynistic women and racists of all kinds, I knew I have had my polemics right since March 3, 2020.
Once more, I am warning Guyanese not to keep carping on the PNC and their surrogates. The PNC and PPP have been fighting each other for decades. The PNC wants power. The people that Bernstein describes want more than power. They want apartheid in which rural people, dark-skinned Indians and Africans must give way. They want eugenics. They want anthropological restructuring of Guyana.
Bernstein’s selections are very relevant to Guyana. I never had respect for the women rights groups in this country. Their agenda is class and colour snobbery. Most women rights groups in Guyana are misogynistic and they are not happy with an Indian government. I believe the LGBT group in Guyana – SASOD – is anti-PPP.
Bernstein’s assessments must have opened your eyes when you see the instincts of groups in Guyana like the Guyana Human Rights Association, Transparency International Guyana Chapter, Election Reform Group, Stabroek News, Moray House, many Christian churches, many non-Indian intellectuals, the non-Indian middle class, the Indian Christians and a few recently formed entities calling themselves civil society.
The point needs belabouring. It is not the PNC and AFC alone that are endangering democracy. The danger lies in many diverse groups. Bernstein referred to racists of all types. This country has racists that you would never believe had Freudian minds until the 2020 election exposed them, and they were mentally brave to acknowledge who they were and what they are now. They are not only in Guyana but in the diaspora. The cacophonous hullabaloo over the National Resource Fund Act is a smokescreen for rejection of Indian government.
Guyana’s problem is not Sherod Duncan, Rickford Burke, David Hinds and Mark Benschop armed with a smart phone. In fact, they are seen as part of the lunatic fringe with no seriousness being paid to them. Bernstein says the threat to American democracy does not come only from Trump and some white men with guns. He speaks of educated people in the cities.
Space has run out for any detailed discussion of the ugly presence of incompetent journalism in Guyana. Bernstein laments the state of investigative journalism in the US. Well imagine what it is like in Guyana. Bernstein says that journalists in today’s world spend their time Googling at their desk rather than pounding the streets and knocking on doors.
Do you know how many persons in Guyana and abroad have asked me who the woman is that in May 2015, the AFC leadership called on the phone and offered her the post of Minister of the Environment. That is six years ago. Yet, since that time, the AFC must have held over a hundred press conferences and no journalist has the commonsense to ask the AFCs leadership who is the woman and why the post was proposed to her.
There has been a spate of resignations from the AFC’s leadership yet none of those whose exit was made public were ever interviewed. Trevor Williams resigned on Thursday last. We have planned an interview so history could be recorded. Bernstein says some journalists spend their time at their desk Googling. In Guyana, I know in which other place they spend time Googling. (The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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