Thursday, April 24, 2008


Live coverage of the post cabinet news briefing Thursday, with the surprise lone host, Prime Minister Patrick Manning.
Once again, the media allowed the PM to play the cat and mouse game with them. While Ria Taitt of the Express and Guardian columnist Tony Fraser tried grilling Mr Manning on his treatment of Dr Rowley, the rest of the cadre of reporters who were there seemed content to just be the person who covered the story.
One young lady however, we can't recall her name, was brave enough to ask Mr Manning to respond to speculation that he had been trying to get rid of Dr Rowley for a long time.
No one pressed the PM for names when he told them what the ratters said; no one posed the question of whether he had a better relationship with the ratters as against Dr Rowley; who is Mr Manning to say what is acceptable behaviour or not, when he admitted that Dr Rowley asked that the civil servants vacate the meeting before he made his comments; there has been worse behaviour in parliament and no one was fired (Dr Rowley's teacup brawl, Hedwidge Bereaux pulling off his jacket and threatening to beat someone on the opposite bench); he also said this was not Dr Rowley's first time misbehaving, but no one asked him for evidence of other misdemeanors.

Mr Manning also contradicted himself and no one took him to task: at the start of the meeting he said emphatically that a 60-room hotel was going to be built, but later on he seemed to not remember how many rooms were originally supposed to be built.

This interview reminded us of the one Mr Manning conducted with Ria Taitt, Rosemarie Sant and Anthony Wilson shortly before the general election - the hard questions were ignored, and the PM walked away non the worse for wear. The reporters seemed too enamoured to try to get to the root of the issue.