The following is a compilation of Net News editorial statements from editor and publisher Dismal Sleaze and his vaunted editorial staff. I’m simply providing this service to help everyone read between the Not News’ blurred lines of reality and the fish wrap’s self-proclaimed altruism and journalistic integrity. Enjoy.
Net News: According to the Observer, in a somewhat tortuous paragraph, Cayman Net News “casually jettisoned that cornerstone of investigative journalism – to never identify the anonymous source of a story – for the reason that doing so somehow served the wider public interest. The opposite was true.”
Reality: I agree with the Net News 100%. They didn’t "casually jettison that cornerstone of investigative journalism,” they took it out back, kicked the crap out of it, stomped on it, shat on it, set it on fire and left it to smolder in the wreckage of journalistic integrity that fills all of the trash bins within a 1,000-foot radius of the Net News property.
Net News: ...We can reasonably assume that he really doesn’t care to sustain his standing as a purported confidential source, or that there was never any need to preserve his anonymity in the first place.
Reality: When you’re a journalist, there is no such thing as a “reasonable assumption.” Unsubstantiated conclusions based upon uncorroborated conjecture is reckless, irresponsible and lacking in integrity - which is why it’s no surprise that “reasonable assumptions” serve as the foundation for your rag.
Net News: …We made the decision to publish the original articles, based upon the material supplied by Hon Charles Clifford prior to his election to the government in May of 2005, because we felt that it was in the interest of the public at large to know what was going on.
Reality: No you didn’t. You felt it was in YOUR interest to publish the original articles. The next time your paper acts altruistically will be the first time.
Net News: When our economic viability is threatened in this manner, we will fight back. We have always done so and we always will.
Reality: Stop fighting back and start paying your bills.
Net News: We did not identify an anonymous source “for the reason that doing so somehow served the wider public interest. What we said was that we made the decision to publish the original articles... because we felt that it was in the interest of the public at large to know what was going on.
Reality: Kinda sad when a bald man is caught splitting hairs. You say “tomato” I say “bullshit.”
Net News: We have never said or intended to say that it was in the wider public interest that Mr Clifford be identified as the source. For the reason already stated, we can only conclude that Mr Clifford really doesn’t care whether he is identified as the source or not. Whatever his contractual and/or moral obligations were in relation to such documents is largely his concern not ours and, again, one must assume that Mr Clifford feels secure in his position in this respect.
Reality: Well, your conclusions are wrong, dangerous and irresponsible. What you do for “freedom of the press” can be likened to what Hitler did to “tidy up Germany.” Did you ask Mr. Clifford if he wanted to be identified as the source, or did you “reasonably assume” he just didn't care?
Can we “reasonably assume” that Desmond Seales would want to be identified as a party to a sexual affair with a member of the civil service - or his staff - or should we ask him first? I think it’s in the public’s interest, and his moral obligations are none of my concern.
It’s obvious you have no concerns for moral or contractual obligations, otherwise your newspaper's delivery to the Sister Islands wouldn’t be in the state it is today. The Observer states, “a newspaper should never name a source who has not previously granted their consent…” They are 100% correct, much like Woodward and Bernstein who didn’t name their source in the Watergate scandal of the 1970s Richard Nixon administration – even though it was most definitely in the public’s interest. You should never have named an anonymous source – period.
So, Dismal, you DO have a moral obligation to (at the very least) respect that foundation of journalism in spite of the fact that you want to continue to spin your schizophrenic “The World vs Desmond” crap, and will use every trick, excuse and lame-ass application of journalistic principals to do so.
Net News: If this had happened to the Observer, we can be sure they would not be resorting to sanctimonious musings – then, on the other hand, from all their utterances to date, it certainly appears that they too are intimidated by the economic and political powers-that-be to emulate our determination to be independent without favour or fear of the consequences.
Reality: Yet another assumption. You can’t be sure they wouldn’t resort to any measures; although common sense and logic would dictate that they would not engage you in meaningless public debate over your own spilled-milk journalism, and something like this more than likely would never happen to a reputable paper. At least not intentionally. As far as emulating your determination to be independent without favour or fear… you’re the biggest sell-out in Cayman and Carol Hay’s recent diarrhea-esque column says so; so sell your independence somewhere else - we're not buying it.
And as far as labeling the Observer's comments as “sanctimonious musings” I think a more fitting label would be “balanced and fair editorial commentary.” The Observer stated rather succinctly, and quite fairly, “We are prepared to allow some benefit of the doubt that his (Clifford’s) actions may have served the wider public interest.” They also said that if he screwed up he should be punished AND they offered a solution to prevent this from happening again. All you did was lie, breach your agreement with your source and then blame everyone else for you being a fool.
Net News: (Carol Hay) This is precisely why I try to avoid issues that I can’t prove or don’t get straight from the horse’s mouth. I should have known better.
Reality: Carol is 100% right. She should shut her mouth and open her cookbook, lest she turn “Glitchgate” into “Bitchgate.”
Net News: (Carol Hay)…But I will not condemn or remark on something that I don’t have first hand knowledge about.
Reality: But you do it all the time.
Net News: (Carol Hay) Like him or hate his guts, Desmond Seales in last Friday’s editorial correctly stated “it is certainly not up to us or the media in general to establish the contractual and/or moral responsibilities or obligations of a public official, or anyone else for that matter, in relation to materials that may be supplied to us.
Reality: This simply proves that Dismal’s irresponsible journalism is taking root in his mindless minions. I would argue that journalists have a greater degree of responsibility and must oft times be a moral touchstone for sources seeking nothing more than to lambaste an adversary; otherwise you turn into a publication like, say… the Net News.
Net News: (Carol Hay) But I’ve come to realise that all politicians at some point and time come full circle with Net News. One minute they’re blasting this paper to hell and the next minute they’re cozying up and all palsy-walsy towards it – depending on the political time of day of course! It seems like only yesterday that McKeeva had daggers drawn at Net News and its publisher; now not a solitary issue goes to press without McKeeva having a say. Such is the relationship between Net News and our politicians.
Reality: Are you kidding? Carol actually almost made sense? The Net News does, in fact, sell its soul to whatever politician is buying; in spite of the fact that the publisher and editor-in-chief stated the Not News is determined “to be independent without favour or fear of the consequences.” Your editorial positions are rarely independent and usually slanted, stilted and replete with vengeful ire –which is my job.
At the very least Carol's latest "editeribble" is glaringly inconsistent with her editor's and paper's position. If she'd spend more time at the computer and less time at the salad bar she might have figured this out BEFORE the paper went to press.
Net News: (Carol Hay) It’s called investigative reporting or a free press – not to be confused with Cayman Free Press; that’s just a clever play on words used by the Compass to feign news and print bulletins!
Reality: (Editor's note: That was Carol trying to be cute and funny. Grade: F) No, Carol, what you guys did is not investigative reporting. As you stated, the items were delivered to you on a silver platter without you or anyone at your disorganization having to do anything other that walk into the trap of hasty and irresponsbile journalism. And you guys fell for it hook, line and stinker. (Editor's note: That was Rufus trying to be cute and funny. Grade C+)
What your paper did is called "grandstanding, self-serving, biased, embellished, editorialized, over-sensationalized garbage." You wouldn’t know investigative reporting if it beat you over the head with your casserole dish – but God how I wish it would try.
There’s an old saying Carol, “If you’re gonna hang with the big dogs you gotta lift your leg a little bit higher.” It’s apparent that everyone at the Net News squats when they pee.
At the end of the day the Cayman Net News is a novelty - a dime-store tabloid of sub-standard journalism packaged in an over-produced high-gloss wrapper. It's lipstick on a pig. It's a gilded terd. It's a schizophrenic's feable attempt to hide the fact that he is a self-serving sychophant disguised as a really bad journalist. It is lacking in any socially redeeming value whatsoever. It is - in a word - garbage.
And Carol Hay is STILL a horrible writer... for what it's worth. Carol for God's sake stick to the salad bar!