GLENYS GOES AFTER CANDIA DAMES WITH A HATCHET
pharm times;”>Glenys Hanna Martin, the Minister responsible for the Met Office which was responsible for the weather forecast and the prognostications on the Hurricane Joaquin was fit to be tied. She led a blistering attack on the Nassau Guardian and its Managing Director and her ethics as a journalist. The Minister was speaking in the House of Assembly on Wednesday 21st October. At issue was a report by the Guardian that said that the radar was not working when the storm hit The Bahamas. She produced a note from the Weather Channel apologizing for saying that it was not working.
The Minister issued a detailed report which showed that in fact the radar was working at all times. However, even if it had been working, the storm was outside the effective range of the radar and it would not have mattered in that context. The day after that statement, Managing Editor Candia Dames ran a headline in The Guardian saying that the Minister was on the defensive and had gone into PLP attack mode. The latter comment as made in an unusual front page piece in The Guardian which was more propaganda than journalism.
The Guardian then ran another story in which the forecaster Wayne Neely claimed since he had been thrown under the bus (so he claimed) and since he was responsible for making the claim that the radar was not working, he was speaking out and insisting that the radar was not working. He contradicted the Minister in public. Such is life in The Bahamas. The Minister replied in Parliament, laying out in extenso the facts with regard to the hurricane forecast, the time lines and the fact that the Bahamian weather people got it right when the US Forecasters who are responsible for forecasting in this region got it wrong. The fact is the Hurricane Joaquin threw the US system off, and their models were wrong.
The Nassau Guardian has refused to apologize or to resile from their position. We ask the question: how does a newspaper of record refuse to back down in the face of a plain untruth? Later one of Mr. Neely’s superiors appeared on radio to confirm that at all times the radar was working. What consequences are there for a reporter who simply writes falsehoods, then when she is cornered tries to switch the subject and make the Minister the issue and not herself? There should be consequences for Ms. Dames and the consequence in this instance should be resignation or failing that her dismissal.