Journalism is one social discipline that provides enlightenment, in terms of education and information for the general good of society. But when such profession is prostituted for reasons beyond human comprehension, the society becomes morally paralyzed. That’s exactly the situation in which we find ourselves in Liberia today.
Mr. Tom Kamara
On Thursday, August 5, 2910, Liberians were awakened again to the news of another obscenity attributed to the New Democrat Newspaper, a so-called Press Union of Liberia award-winning media institution in Liberia.
A man claiming to have about 40-years of experience in journalism, out of naivety and mischief, only because of his personal problems with Former Liberian President Charles Taylor, as well as the financial support being provided him by the Special Court for Sierra Leone, had willfully chosen to published the naked photograph of the British Super Model, Naomi Campbell on the day of her appearance before the court in the Hague, as he, Tom Kamara did not have a mother, sister or a wife-it’s a shame.
The photo, just opposite that of Former President Taylor on the front page of the Democrat, was published by Mr. Tom Kamara under the headline: “Blood Diamonds Moment of Truth Today,” in contravention of all internationally acceptable ethics of journalism, regarding the publication and screening of obscene and pornographic materials.
The Government’s own response to Tom Kamara’s nuisance and abuse to Liberian womanhood, through the Minister of Information, Cletus Sieh, was and continue to be just a lip-service; probably for fear that he might dig into their closets for something that may just be too embarrassing. There is even very little about the Press Union of Liberia to be referred to, having served as spokesman for such a mischievous person, considering the kinds of characters in its current leadership.
Do you remember the “Knuckles Sex scandal” published in 2007 by the Independent Newspaper when Sam Dean was brought to his knees and suspended indefinitely by the PUL, with a warning to the public not to do business with him? Do you also remember the publication by the Authoritative Heritage Newspaper attributed to Former Speaker George Dweh that “dogs were mating with Liberian girls in Europe?
Of course, there were overwhelming condemnations and serious actions by Liberian women and other civic groups from all walks of life in the country against these newspapers and Former Speaker Dweh.
Not to form part of the conspiracy in his favor as a result of fear and allow such an immoral social hooligan, who disregarded the decency which characterizes a true Liberian womanhood to go scout-free, the Minister of Gender and Development, Varbah Gayflor, like a few others, condemned Tom’s publication.
Again, as part of his mischief-making, no other condemnations did Tom Kamara choose to address or write about in his Democrat Newspaper, but Varbah’s, only because of his financial connection with Auditor General John Morlu, whose indifference with the Minister may have attracted him to such dirty and foolish journalism.
Tom Kamara’s mercenary journalism manifested itself in the Monday, August 9m 2010 edition of his Democrat Newspaper, page 8, Special, under the caption: Now The Moral High Priests—The Different Sides of Morality, when he tried to portray Varbah Gayflor, as having no moral ground to question his own immorality as Minister of Gender and Development.
According to Tom, the Minister had no moral standing to condemn his mess because she served in the government of Former President Charles Taylor. He also noted that she did not condemn the Willis Knuckles sex scandal, as it was a matter of choice.
For the record, Minister Varbah Gayflor did condemn the publication of the Knuckles sex scandal published by Journalist Sam Dean’s Independent Newspaper in 2007 like other women and institutions.
Tom Kamara must understand that every professional and qualified Liberian has the right to serve any government-whether it was Doe’s, Taylor’s or Bryant’s.
And so, as professional, qualified and astute Liberian women, she had to work in consonance with the duties and functions assigned her in the Taylor Administration which was constitutional. She served as a Planning Officer, a junior position at the Ministry of Planning and not as Minister of Gender. She held this position until she was awarded a scholarship to go for studies in the Netherlands.
There are many officials of this present administration of various professional backgrounds, including Charles Sirleaf (the son of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf), Morris Saytumah, as well as Ophelia Saytumah, just to name a few, who diligently worked in the past administration not for the former President, but Liberia.
In fact, what moral ground does the very Tom Kamara; himself, has to even demonize other well-meaning Liberians who are contributing immensely to the growth and development of this country?
Take for example; the printing press he now uses to print his Democrat and for other commercial ventures, was donated to the Liberian media a few years ago by the Dutch-based organization, Free Voice to assist in reducing the high cost of production. But that has been personalized by Tom, with the impressions to Free Voice that the Liberian media was not utilizing such machine.
Tom has two separate payrolls which he operates-the original he presents to the Free Voice and the other he uses to pay his staff at the Democrat. What moral ground does this brother has to operate two separate payrolls? On the Robertsfield Highway, he has even build a multipurpose structure for commercial reason and constructing an addition building out of what should be the benefits of the Liberian media.
Sometimes one even wonders whether or not he actually told the truth about his connection with the National Patriotic Front of Liberia in which he held the positions of propaganda strategist and advisor. Remember, Tom also participated in the abortive invasion of November 12, 1985, but got afraid, dropped his arm and fled to Sierra Leone, his native land when two of their men got shot and killed before his very eyes at the Mano River Bridge in Grand Cape Mount County at about 4:40 am. Tom’s mischief has left him amputated today and has also left him with a false leg.
Tom goes around phoning and intimidating/threatening public officials to dig out their “woes of the past” if they did not honor his demands. As a result, public officials are today harboring serious fears and giving him all of the supplements/adverts. This, for Tom Kamara, is moral.
There are many more issues to raise with this 40-year old mercenary journalist that could be released in due course if he continues to defame the good image of other well-meaning Liberians.
For Tom to castigate the Minister of Gender and Development, only to revenge her outcry against his unprofessional and yellow journalism, is the saddest thing ever in the business of professional journalism in Liberia.
It is also important that well-meaning individuals and public officials must now put aside the fears and begin to challenge this “opinionist,” as a way of bringing to an end, this nightmare.
To allow Tom Kamara, who does not have any sense of human and decency to go with impunity whenever he engages in mischief and mercenary tactics only because of fear or maybe he’s above the law, is not only bad for the government, but the moral uprightness and civility of our society, which should be graduating from such civil backwardness and social degradation.