It's true, it's true.
Claudius Francis is suing a single father in a wheelchair.
We'll get around to it eventually. But of course, first we must all bow our heads and give thanks for the Lulz we are about to receive.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF HACK-A-LACKERY IN ST LUCIA
In the beginning, there was the word. And the word was Hack-a-lack. And the word rewrote St Lucian history by infecting the independent media with partisan political bias. And as the present became the past, the hack-a-lack journalism became part of the record, part of the history.
And Rick Wayne looked upon it and said that it was mediocrity. But that’s just hypocrisy. He’s pissing in your mind and calling it brains. Which is why all hack-a-lacks hate him, as all good sons should openly hate their deadbeat fathers.
For Rick Wayne was the progenitor of all hack-a-lacks. In the 20th century St Lucian media-verse, there was so much faggotry, bullery, cocksuckery and kakalakery that when Rick Wayne appeared on the scene with his half-assed American brand of hack-a-lacking, the scum immediately rose to the top of the pond. So it was that young free thinkers and future journalists came to confuse hack-a-lackerism with journalism. So began the decline of the independent media.
Thirty years ago, the independent broadcast media began its trek to overpowering the feeble state-owned broadcast media. Now, that triumphant march is crippled by a virus that leaves politics in control of the news once more. A virus that was conceived of by no less than Rick Wayne and his co-conspirator, The Mother of All Hack-a-Lacks.
THE MOTHER OF ALL HACK-A-LACKS
No one would have guessed that Claudius Francis would be the Mother of All Hack-a-lacks when he first appeared on the scene in St Lucia.
When I first got into journalism in the 90s, Claudius Francis was just some insurance guy who was playing Rick Wayne’s sidekick while trying to fail the bar exam. Both of them were rabidly anti-Compton, but hey, it was the 90s – who wasn’t?
Given that he was Rick Wayne’s sidekick and bend over boy, much of what he said was drowned out. But Claudius found his own voice and his path to media legitimacy when he became Vice President of the media workers association under the esteemed editor/journalist David Vitalis’ presidency.
He parlayed that newfound legitimacy into a job as government press secretary, throwing David Vitalis, a real journalist who just happens to support Labour, under the bus.
He also ditched Rick once it became clear that that guy is a loser, no matter what anyone says. I mean, this is a guy who changed his exotic island name from Learie Carasco to the ordinary and inconspicuous sounding Rick Wayne. This is a guy who is clinging to Timothy Poleon’s coat tails on Newsspin.
How short do you have to be to cling to Timothy Poleon’s coat tails? With real Labour journalist and the Father of All Hack-a-lacks out of his hair, he then proceeded to take over Rick Wayne’s old show and do a job that Vitalis or someone like him ought to be doing.
And the rest is history.
He’s now senate president.
The rise of Claudius as the holy mother of hackalackeration has been accompanied by, nay given rise to new and increasingly disturbing levels of hackalackery in both Flambeau and Labour. Hence the Jadia Jn.Pierres, Frank Charleses, Tokyo Roses and Catherine Sealys of the world. Disciples. Apostles. And, of course, the inevitable apostates. Hackalackery became an industry, an entire subsector of the media in Claudius Francis’ wake. Which is not to say Rick Wayne, because we are talking about current events not medieval history.
All praise be to Claudius, who has no business posing as a talk show host, when, in fact, what he is, is a Labour Party plant, who is always ready to do his party’s bidding. And English-speaking Jouk Bois with the veneer of reason and logic. And a serpentine intelligence that makes you smile when what you should do is slash.
THE RISE OF THE 21ST CENTURY TIM TIM
While Claudius was pregnant with Rick Wayne’s megomaniacal hack-a-lackery, another media baby was being born. He would be hailed as the Christ Child of safe, medium, tasteless talk radio and television. Tim Poleon descended from the Radio Koulibwi in the skies into the fail-filled cesspit that was Radio Caribbean International and single-handed saved that station from DJ Iwa’s screaming, in addition to other forms of epic fail. From midday talk show host and part time reporter (let’s face it, radio news is done by midday) Timothy Poleon quickly became St Lucia’s most famous broadcast journalist. This was odd for several reasons, not the least of which is that Timothy Poleon is not, nor has he ever been a journalist. Hell, he was barely a reporter. He can’t even say the words party or banana without sticking a u after one or more of the a’s.
For fun, let’s test ourselves: Name one story that Timothy Poleon has covered and reported on.
See? Crickets. Night frogs. Dust bunnies. But no answers. He is a fictional journalist, at best and a bad example at worst. So of course, St Lucian society promoted him some more. They dumped endless awards of excellence to make him believe in his own mediocrity and then, the made him an editor. Of course, that station lives in the chronic delusion that they are the best news station, in spite of the fact that they have a part-time editor and the station itself lives in a place between sure financial ruin and perpetual enslavement to the banks.
Bon Dieu, Marie la Vierge en ciel, l’Espirit, Legba ek Jah Rastafari, Haile Selassie I, ever living, ever loving, ever faithful, ever pure, ever true!
There are reporters who have been in the business less than a year who are better journalists than Tim. It ain’t that hard. This is a man who thinks ABC News is, like, something to admire. This is a man who has never read the Economist two days in a row or even heard of the Trinidad Review. Plus, he doesn’t work weekends and there is no respectable journalist in the world who doesn’t work weekends.
Like I said, whatever he is, he’s not a journalist.
But during Claudius’ vice presidency, Tim Poleon started a three year winning streak as St Lucia’s Journalist of the Year. The first year it was cute. The next year, it was overkill. By the third year, the media workers association was on its death bed. Apparently, the organization itself had more integrity than that and decided to kill itself.
They still blame the suicide on Toni Nicholas.
But the truth is that the demise of the media workers association in the 90s started with the rise of the hacks, the first of whom was Claudius Francis.
And the legend of Timothy Poleon’s greatness as a ‘journalist’ is entirely a figment of Francis’ imagination. Claudius Francis practically created Timothy Poleon as a journalist. He invented Tim’s legend, at the very least. And the two of them rose up together. Totally at the expense of trained and talented people with creativity.
While Francis and Poleon were growing in privilege and stature, there was another phenomenon on the rise in St Lucia: the proliferation of the trained, unbiased journalist. Clinton Reynolds was one of those whose training and personality inclined him to go for the true story rather than play sides. He had a good run as news editor on HTS until he showed a clip of a bad boy named Jacob in a ski mask, brandishing automatic weapons, promising to shoot cops. Within a couple of months, Jacob was dead, after shooting a cop, and Reynolds was not just fired, he was blacklisted.
At the time, most people thought Reynolds had a duty to report the clip to the cops before airing it. With hindsight, one can clearly see that the cops need to clean up their house before they can be trusted with that kind of information.
Clinton Reynolds has now been out of the news media for a couple of years. It’s a shame because there is no editor in the broadcast media who can compare to him. But Clinton serves a different role now. He is a reminder to all of us of what happens to people who don’t play along. He is a symbol of what happens to smart asses when they mess with the hack-a-lacks.
Hack-a-lacks a run tings in the Lucian media.
And just to make the point, Claudius Francis launched a vicious, venomous, personal attack on Reynolds.
It was good that he did. True Colors, you know. He verbally crucified him. At the same moment, he was suing Timothy Poleon. And a guy in wheelchair down in Dennery.
Hope he’s ready for true stories to be told about him in a legal jurisdiction with actual free speech. Wonder who he’ll sue.
Maybe he’ll just put a hit out. You know, like they did on him. Because of course, the Senate President would never go crying to his gangsta friends for help to whack a jabal who dissed him. C’mon. Never. Why are we even talking about this? Who even brought this up?
THE NEW DISPENSATION
When Labour came into power in 1997, things were supposed to be different. They were supposed to change the free speech, libel and slander laws. They were supposed to increase our freedoms as St Lucian citizens. They were supposed to..whatever…it didn’t happen. It ain’t never gonna happen.
Labour, basically, did what any political party would do. They promised people what they knew people wanted to hear and then gave them as little of it as possible. Over the course of the last 15 years, Labour’s interactions with the media have become increasingly stage managed to the point where now they are practically closed circuit. If reporters want to see certain ministers, they better show up early for parliament, otherwise, they will find out that the minister has an awful lot of important meetings on Skype and Facebook and Chaturbate. When the minister is in the island, that is.
In the five year Twilight zone between 2006-11, Flambeau had a shot at changing things for the better, but they used their powers for evil and are still serving out their sentence in hell. But before fucking everything up, Flambeau made one contribution to the state of hack-a-lackery in St Lucia. They created an army of hack-a-lacks and gave them posts in just about every nook and cranny of the government. They co-opted several independent journalists and promoted many fraudulent people to high positions.
The result was a sham in which Denys Springer, he of dubious political scientific qualifications and no media value whatsoever, became the king of all media. Labour might have wanted to fix that, but instead they decided to learn from it.
From the outside, it seems harmless and conventional enough to have the Kirby Allains and Jadia Jn.Pierres of the world lording it over trained and experienced professionals.
But here’s one more little tidbit to help put things in perspective.
Claudius Francis is suing a guy in a wheelchair for comments allegedly made on Newsspin. He’s not suing the loyal owners of the station. He’s suing the host, Timothy Poleon and a guy who really has nothing better to do that listen to Newsspin, because he finished cleaning and cooking lunch and the children are still at school.
Claude Ferdinand is a Dennery man who likes his politics, his news, views and information. Staying alert and opinionated is one of the ways that he stays alive. A lot of people in his condition suffer horrible debilitating depression. Claude gets a little hot sometimes and it is not the first time he has been a thorn in Claudius Francis’ side. In fact, as far back as 2009, Claudius was bashing Claude from his bully pulpit.
But suing a guy with a spinal disease that keeps him in a wheelchair?
How hard is it to go have a couple of drinks with the guy so that things stay friendly, even when you disagree?
Suing a guy in a wheelchair.
I think that says it all.
Somehow, instead of the New Dispensation flowering and blossoming free speech, it has turned into yet another control mechanism for free speech. And it is getting petty and ugly.
And frankly, it smells like Stalinist bullshit.