November 26, 2020

The Editor speaks: When is bad press really bad?

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I have read a lot of bad press concerning the Cayman Islands. I have read many a blog painting a terrible picture of these Islands. However, nothing has made me angrier than Steven Knipp’s piece of garbage he wrote for the new Highbrow Magazine. See Georgina Wilcox’s article on the subject yesterday (30). His piece “The Story of the Rise and Fall of the Cayman Islands” is the most biased piece of damaging nonsense I have read.

An equally upset friend sent this unwelcome piece of bilge to me and the article even has a quotation at the top of the article from Walter B. Wriston – “Capital goes where it is welcomed. And stays where it is well treated.” I have a similar quotation especially for Mr. Knipp’s article – “Garbage goes where it is welcomed. And [this article] stays where it will rot.”

In the days of newsprint I wouldn’t even be bothering writing this editorial let alone one of my journalists writing an article on it. Unfortunately the Internet news services outnumber the printed ones. Highbrow Magazine is an online news media house and it is open to everyone who has a connection to the Internet. If you subscribe to Google Alerts all sorts of key words you have chosen to have alerted, like ‘Cayman,’ will pop up on you screen with all articles containing that key word or words. ‘Finance’, and ‘banking’, will alert millions of people worldwide. It doesn’t take much more finance to open a ‘live’ website (as opposed to a pdf one) and the Google spider will walk all over it discovering keywords.

Highbrow means ‘a person of superior intellectual interests and tastes.’ Another definition is  ‘a person who possesses or has pretensions to superior learning or culture.’ Culture in turn has been defined as ‘the disinterested endeavour after man’s perfection.’ Perhaps M/s Tara Taghizadeh, the founding editor and publisher of Highbrow Magazine, should change the name to Lowbrow (or similar – there already is one of that name) to accommodate such an article written by Mr. Knipp. There is a section on her website devoted to ‘Fiction’ so maybe she can file it there!

I am not going to repeat M/s Wilcox’s criticism of the piece except to compare it to the blogs I complain about, except this is worse. The biased article even gives the appearance there was something more sinister in the murder of “a female rights activist.” And then there is this classic: “the islands reputation getting knocked yet again” because the owners of the “negligently maintained oil rig (Deepwater Horizon) that caused the ‘worst environmental disaster in history’ had previously been a Cayman client.” One can only laugh out loud at that gem!

I can only surmise Steven Knipp’s time spent at another media house was not a happy one to produce such bad press for these Islands. More disappointing is that for a journalist of 25 years experience he should write it so badly.

More ‘nonsense’ from the RCIPS

Not withstanding all the additional ‘Christmas Cracker ‘novelties’ the RCIPS are instigating in their ‘enjoy the festive season, but be safe’ campaign that I can concur with, we have this added piece of nonsense. Superintendent for District Operations, Adrian Seales, has said, “we are particularly addressing women, asking men not to invade their personal space, not to walk close behind them or close in front.”

How on earth is that going to be enforced? What is the actual ‘personal space’ distance so that I do not encroach into my female companion or wife’s area? Or is the enforcement officer going to assume my wife or companion is a stranger? As the police are asking for legislation that we are guilty before we actually commit anything and it is their opinion that counts, we males are in big trouble. If a woman is in front or behind you I suggest you cross the road very quickly and hope you won’t be knocked down by a drunken driver. Our already stretched police force will be more likely watching out for this ‘personal space’ infringement as it is being “particularly addressed.”

Supt. Seales, when I read this piece of ‘nonsense’ out to my office staff all five females listening burst into laughter and the males were dumbstruck with incredulity.

It is unfortunate because everything else Supt. Seales said all made perfect sense. It’s the ‘nonsense’ that is remembered.



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