The Media Association has issued a press release relating to the Prime Minister's unscheduled visit to Power 102 last Saturday. Seems he didn't like what he heard during the midday newscast.
"The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago received reports of an incident involving Prime Minister Patrick Manning at the Abercromby Street offices of Power 102 and 94.1 FM.
"The Association contacted the station’s Vice-President of Operations, O’Brien Haynes who confirmed the Prime Minister visited the station on Saturday 25th, October 2008 to express his displeasure with the contents of the station’s 12:25 pm newscast. He described the Prime Minister’s demeanor as calm and cool.
"Mr. Haynes said the Prime Minister expressed concerns about crosstalk during the newscast on statements he made at Thick Village with regard to the increase in the price of premium gas and drivers converting from diesel to CNG.
"The Vice-President said following an internal investigation it was agreed by management at the station that a newscaster and presenter were in breach of programming protocol. Mr. Haynes added the employees were suspended.
"The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago notes the unprecedented action of the Prime Minister with surprise and some concern. The Association deems the Prime Minister’s visit to the station as inappropriate in light of the fact that it can be perceived as an attempt to intimidate or to stifle freedom of the press.
"The Association feels the Prime Minister has available to him many avenues of redress and should have perhaps considered the perception of his actions.
"MATT values above all an independent media operating without interference or fear, however the Association as well notes that standards of journalism must be adhered to at all times."