Caribbean News Now exposed!

Monday, March 25, 2019

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Dear Editor,

For years I have been warning the public about this news site called Caribbean News Now; warning people that it is a pseudo news organisation with a fixed agenda bent on disseminating misinformation in order to support political agendas.

This organisation does a great discredit to many proud and mainstream media houses throughout the Caribbean by calling itself a 'news site'. Certain writers are strangers to the truth, and it was only a matter of time before they were found out.

A few days ago a certain story appeared under the authorship of a Youri Kemp with the sensational headline that the Opposition leader in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) Washington Misick had claimed that Beaches/Sandals owed the Government US$164m in outstanding taxes, as opposed to the US$26 million that is now in dispute following a revenue assessment that had been undertaken. The story went further to quote Misick as insinuating Sandals/Beaches was some enemy of the people of the TCI.

Barely had the dust settled another story appeared under the same handle of Youri Kemp; this time the headline it read 'Turks and Caicos Opposition leader banned from Government-owned radio station after revealing Sandals debt.'

But give a pretender enough rope and they will eventually hang themselves.

Lo and Behold Washington Misick himself — no friend of either the TCI Government or Sandals — comes forward and says “I never said those things!”

But Misick goes further, he added: “...any statement made or purporting to (have) come from me from Caribbean News ( Now), I take no ownership or responsibility for, because I don't know who they are and if they have issues with other people I don't want to be a part. I do not tell lies and I have no reason to say that I was banned, because that is a very strong word.”

Misick may not be one for telling lies, but apparently someone else has no such problem, and a certain organisation has no such problem printing stories that are sensational at best, mischievously malicious at worst.

Truth be told, poor Misick was also misrepresented in the first story as well on the US$164m which the Caribbean News Now writer claimed Sandals owed the Government of the TCI. I listened to the same interview Kemp was quoting from, and what he failed to add was that Mr Misick also said that he believed the figure had got that high because of harsh and unreasonable penalties that were imposed, and which he too agreed were unrealistic and needed to be written off. Misick himself said Beaches was too important to the economy of the TCI.

Why did Kemp fail to include such a vital piece of information? Was it an error, or was it to be intentionally spiteful and vindictive?

This time Caribbean News Now and Youri Kemp have both been caught with their pants down, and I anxiously await to see whether they have the integrity to apologise to Misick, to the Premier of the TCI Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, to Sandals, and finally to the people of the Caribbean who they continue to try and mislead.

Guess what? I won't be holding my breath.

F Solomon

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