On Thursday, August 5, 2010, the front page of the Democrat Newspaper was the center of attraction and discussions from various perspectives. The obscenity which characterized the publication was enough to raise eye-brows in several quarters of the Liberian society.
Thomas Kamara, alias Tom Kamara and his Democrat Newspaper had consciously chosen to publish the “naked body” of the British Super Model, Naomi Campbell on the day of her appearance before the Special Court for Sierra Leone sitting in the Hague to testify in favor of the prosecution.
It is an open fact that Tom had chosen to super-imposed the head of Naomi into the “shapeless” body of another female, which is professionally criminal. More disgustingly and unfortunately for the Liberian media, the publication deliberately ignored all professionally civilized norms, including international codes of ethics.
Regrettably and more puzzling was the negative intervention of the leadership of the Press Union of Liberia (by intentionally representing interest of Tom and his Democrat Newspaper despite violating the very PUL Code of Conduct and Ethics), instead of instituting harsh punishment to avoid recurrence, as was done in 2007 to Mr. Sam Dean and his Independent Newspaper by the former leadership when they knowingly published the photo of the “Knuckles Sex Scandal.”
Mr. Dean and his Independent Newspaper were indefinitely suspended and the public was warned against doing business with them for the time-being.
The same applied to our colleagues at the Authoritative Heritage Newspaper in 2004 over the publication of a “cartoon” depicting dogs mating with Liberian girl in Europe as disclosed by then Speaker George Dweh, following his return to Liberia.
SO, WHY NOT TOM KAMARA AND HIS NEW DEMOCRAT, when t he publication and broadcast of such obscene material was a complete breach of all internationally recognized ethical codes?
What makes Tom and his Democratic so different and special from the previous newspapers which committed similar ethical transgression?
Probably after awarding Tom and his Democrat with five prices un-meritoriously, the present PUL leadership sought to buy another favor from that family probably for support and out of extreme fear.
We strongly think that the decision by the present leadership of the PUL to pacify Tom and the Democrat by rendering apology on their behalf was not only segregate, but a complete disservice to the Liberian media.
Moreover, the government’s lip-service action, through the Minister of Information was another manifestation of the fears being harbored in its circle that if it came down hard, Tom may have “dug into their closets” of many of its officials who may have deeds not compatible with morality.
Again, the “cold-shouldered” condemnations from rights and influential women groups were even so discouraging, as if they were not at the full front of previous unfortunate situations.
Again, the fear of Tom’s wrath, knowing him to be the father of Hate Media in Liberia.
If, for the fear of Tom digging into our closets, we will continue to remain silent on his persistent hate media campaigns against good societal norms and well-meaning people in our country, then, we are a complete contradiction of our very campaign against the culture of impunity we claim to be preaching.
Tom Kamara must be brought down to his knees and made to understand that Liberia was now a civilized society, and that he was not above the law.
If the media in Liberia was at the full front to criticize and expose the ills of our society, there must also be check and balance in all of its activities.