November 13, 2019

The Editor Speaks: Marco v Kenneth

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Announcer:

In the blue corner we have the Challenger, . His record is unimpressive. Once a reporter for CITN/Cayman27. Once an assistant to the Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin. Stood in the 2013 General Election for the Progressives. Lost. Bit of a brawler.

In the red corner we have the Champion, . He holds an impressive record. Once worked with Joan Wilson at Cayman Islands Trust Company, Accountant, Cayman Islands Finance Minister, Named Finance Minister of the Year 2016. Stood in the 2013 General Election for the Progressives. Won. Gentleman but never pulls a punch.

Referee:

You know the rules. When one of you are being interviewed by the media you do not try and interrupt. That is a foul and a point will be deducted. You will have your own time to state your case. Wait for the debate. Good luck to both of you.

Announcer:

Let’s get ready to rumble on Wednesday May 24th when the winner will be announced.

End

Sadly, the challenger, Kenneth Bryan has already had a point deducted for his terrible conduct in trying to interrupt Marco Archer, last Friday (21) on the Rooster Radio programme, Cayman Crosstalk.

Archer was talking to host, Jevaughnie Ebanks, concerning his reasons for representing and the political issues at stake.

Although he was born in West Bay he was moved by his parents to George Town when he was a tiny baby, 2 ½ years old.

The major problem with the Rooster Election Talk Show is how the questions are given. No one knows who has selected the questions or who they are from. It is very easy for anyone at the radio station to show bias for and against any candidate who is being interviewed. Unless all the questions that are supposedly from social media and placed in a box, together with the name of the questioner, and then selected randomly, there is an even bigger question why they are being asked.

Everyone in the hot seat on the show and has a bad day can complain with some justification that the questioning has been rigged.

I fail to understand why Randy Merren, owner of Rooster, doesn’t see this or want to see it. Donald Trump showed very well how the large majority of the media houses in the , including the TV stations that showed the debates, were heavily biased against him. They continually let Hillary Clinton off the hook with much easier questions and hit Trump hard (and that wasn’t difficult at all) where it could hurt him badly.

The majority of the US public could and did see through it. The only people who didn’t and still don’t are the US media houses.

Do we here in the Cayman Islands want to fall into the same trap?

With Hurley’s Entertainment both controlling a radio debate and a live television one they need to show they are squeaky clean with the fairness of the questions.

Archer, on Crosstalk was very uncomfortable with the anonymity of social media questions.

Then Archer’s opponent, Kenneth Bryan called in. That should not have been allowed at all. He should never have got even on the air.

“ Mr. Bryan, I won’t say no offense to you because you will probably be offended by it, but I find it quite rude that you would call, thinking that you could ask me a question and I am going to answer you, given that we are competing in the same constituency,” said Archer. “You and I will have our time for debate on May 11. And on that day you will have all the time in the world to make your points and pose your questions and seek to illicit any information you would need. But for right now I am on the radio, this is my time and I would advise you to hang up, be respectful and listen again, if it is possible for you to be respectful.”

Bryan immediately should have apologised, laughed, and said he was looking forward to the upcoming debate and proving Archer wrong that he could be respectful

That would have merited him some high points.

Foolishly he didn’t. And Archer knew Bryan wouldn’t. Instead Bryan tried to interject again. Archer pounced, pointing out how Bryan has a problem with being respectful and asked him to hang up.

Astonishingly, Bryan again tried to interject. This time, Ebanks, the radio host, finally cut Bryan off.

Archer then said, “I will not be disrespected, I will not be setup, I will not have my opponent ask me stupid questions!”

If anyone thought Archer was meek and mild that opinion changed quickly.

If Bryan hadn’t done enough damage to his campaign against the most respected and popular man in the Progressives’ party he spoke to one of Cayman’s media houses, Loop Cayman, who quoted him saying, “ Honestly, I am not surprised by it because I know Marco, I worked with him, so I know that would have been his response so not surprised, kind of disappointed that he behaved that way. At least people will get to see his true side, what Marco is really like.”

Oh dear.

Did that not sound like a desperate man? Trying a smear campaign on Marco Archer? How very sad.

This is what Joan Wilson has to say about Marco Archer and Kenneth Bryan

“I have known Marco much longer than Kenneth Bryan. I have worked with him for many years and I am so proud to have watched a young and talented Caymanian grow up into the mature Christian family man he is. He has always been respectful and honest. He loves his country and he wants and gives 100% to his country. He attends Elmslie Church regularly with his family as he has done all the time, not just in the last month. I do not know Kenneth at all except what he has just shown us. Does he really think he is more qualified to represent our country than Marco? To try and smear Marco with his comments – ‘I know Marco, I worked with him’ and ‘At least people will get to see his true side, what Marco is really like.’ Unlike you, Bryan, I do know what Marco is like and I now know what you are like.”

I once applauded Bryan for getting his campaign going very early. I was on his side when he was ridiculously taken to court when he was trying to help a police officer. The RCIPS, who already had a very low approval rating with the public, made themselves look even worse by allowing the public prosecution to go ahead.

When and if Bryan puts himself out as a mature and respectful candidate with all the right qualifications I will say so. If he makes himself appear the opposite, as he has done so now, I will also say so.

After all, it is my opinion.

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