The Prime Minister’s shutdown of journalist Darren Bahaw at Saturday’s news conference was misguided, based on factual errors, intemperate and unbefitting the leader of a democratic country.

In a scene straight out of the Trump playbook for handling challenging media questions, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley shouted down the journalist as he attempted to question him about his due diligence prior to appointing Reginald Armour as Attorney General, saying “I advise you, don’t go any further.”

In defending his refusal to entertain Bahaw’s question, the PM revealed that he has had the journalist in his craw for over 15 years. It all has to do with the headline and photograph accompanying Bahaw’s report of Dr Rowley’s first court appearance in his Landate lawsuit. That report was published in this newspaper on February 13, 2007. He was bringing it up now, he said, to point out “the role that the media plays when there is malice”.

Malice being a heavy charge to throw at a media house or a journalist, this newspaper is emphatic in stating that, in this particular matter, the elephant memory of which Dr Rowley had boasted at the same news conference had clearly failed him.

Contrary to Dr Rowley’s assertion, the headline was not “Rowley appears in court”; it was in fact “Rowley makes first court showing in Landate matter”. Having fixated on an imaginary headline, Dr Rowley proceeded to draw his own unique inference, saying “when somebody ‘appears in court’ you know what that means? It means that they were taken to court for some criminal matter.” Well, actually, no.

Dr Rowley also took umbrage with the fact that the journalist had waited for him to emerge from court and took a photograph of him “coming out with the bars in front of me…”

We refuse to believe that Dr Rowley is unfamiliar with the routine practice of media stake-outs of news personalities. The work of professional journalism often requires long days and even nights outside the courts and it would be to Bahaw’s credit that he waited to get his photo. On Saturday he showed that same professionalism when he kept his composure under the PM’s berating, insistently and politely posing his question to Dr Rowley.

As for the photo that so troubled Dr Rowley because of the bars, we merely point out that the metal barriers installed around the Hall of Justice during the Carnival period is problematic for media photographers, too. They would far prefer a clear line of vision, especially with just seconds to get their shot.

Dr Rowley’s attack on Bahaw was doubly puzzling because reporters are not responsible for headline-writing and photo selections. Interestingly, the PM cited no problem with the report itself which had properly contextualised his presence in court that day as his first appearance “in his effort to strike out a report which forms the basis of an ongoing criminal investigation into the Landate affair.”

At the end of Dr Rowley’s outburst, the journalist’s question remains to be answered: In appointing Reginald Armour as Attorney General, did Dr Rowley conduct a thorough due diligence?


For a country where one in every three women experience violence at the hands of their intimate partner, shelters and safe houses for battered women should be recognised as a critical element of any strategy to combat the problem.

Every single year I have to watch the Caroni River cause heartache and despair to citizens who live within reach of its banks.

The Caroni River is on State lands so it really belongs to all citizens, whether you live within reach of the flood waters or not. So, how do I envisage fixing the problem?

Reading reports from the Emancipation celebrations gives us all a timely reminder of the outright horror involved in the 400-year history of the Atlantic Slave trade and the overall institution of slavery.

Rightly so, the reparations movement has begun their campaign of atonement with a strong push for the removal of all historical names associated with the worst atrocities of this barbarous system which existed for far too long.

Recently the newspapers reported the passing of a disability rights activist as a result of breast cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in Trinidad and Tobago.

While there are treatment options including surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, these approaches often have adverse side effects and high cost.

The topic of my column is like a doubles vendor situation. The actual writing is best done in the early morning or at night. I have to mull and prepare the ingredients from before. There is a line of prepared impassioned topics that I intend to explore in upcoming weeks but every so often, a topic butts in and jumps the line and gets first priority since it is eating the doubles on site and not take away.

I dream a JEREEM of days today

When 1.4 million people were ecstatic

I dream a JEREEM of days today

When this small island shone and we must never forget it,

What a run ran by our hero and son JEREEM in the Commonwealth Games 200m,