While the media has a responsibility to do critical work, it must also do honest work
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Dear Editor
IT is astonishing how far Kaieteur News and a long list of opposition operatives have been twisting the words and central messages of Vice-President Jagdeo since the interview with Glen Lall.

The word ‘operatives’ is not accidental. Rather it speaks to a well-organised disinformation operation by those involved.

The strategy as far as I can determine, is that once the interview was done, Kaieteur News made its own poisonous hay by carefully selecting excerpts from the show, which were then twisted in order to yield some seeming inaccuracies by Jagdeo. The mischievous concoction was then published in Kaieteur News, as news. The falsified or reshaped material has since become the source for all the operatives to write stories.

The bogus news is cited as evidence of culpability. A particularly sinister instance of this surfaced in a front-page headline (KN, Sept 19, 2022) which reads as follows – “Govt. says…Guyanese must wait 14 years before change to ‘lopsided’ Exxon contract -acknowledges successful renegotiation by APNU-AFC, but holds fast to sanctity of contract”. In fact, nowhere in the two-hour and 22 minutes does Jagdeo state that APNU+AFC were “successful” in any contract negotiation with ExxonMobil and its partners.

The truth of the matter is that the interview was a fiasco for the host of the radio show. Elementary things such as the meaning of ‘real-time’ had to be explained to him.

And in addition to numerous lost-in-space moments about the oil industry, other bedtime stories peddled for years were also swiftly debunked. The highly trumped-up accusation that Jagdeo is part owner of the Marriott comes to mind. To no one’s surprise, not an iota of evidence could be offered to support this most disingenuous bit of falsehood.

The distortions of the interview with Vice-President Jagdeo by known operatives are a sad commentary on the quality of the Guyanese media space. While the media has a responsibility to do critical work, it must also do honest work. Failing that, we are not likely to develop a culture of meaningful debate.

Yours sincerely,
Dr. Randy Persaud
Office of the President

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