It is high time to take action against rogue media elements that are allowed to slander the names of people and companies with no repercussions.
For some time now an online site called Caribbean News Now has launched a vicious and slanderous attack on Sandals Resorts, clearly with an agenda that is supported by either pitiful politicians or vested hospitality interests that want to see one of the few proud institutions of the Caribbean fail.
It shows their deceit, it shows their hatefulness and it shows their lack of patriotism.
In particular, a gentleman by the name of Melanius Alphonse seems to have a particular obsession with Butch Stewart and his company – maybe Butch refused to give him a job. The latest assault by this so-called author is so devoid of commonsense it leads me to believe that the owners of this ‘news’ organisation must be equally culpable, or they would not let anything of the sort be published.
Alphonse is trying to suggest that Sandals Resorts has in some way been illegally charging guests to its Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort, taxes and retaining it instead of remitting it to the government. This in spite of the fact that the company is not only audited on an annual basis, but the Premier of the TCI Sharelene Cartwright-Robinson herself is on record as saying that there was no issue with Sandals paying its taxes.
But more than that, this pseudo news site tried to bring opposition leader Washington Missick into the mix, claiming he said Sandals owed US$164 million in unpaid taxes, which Mr. Missick has since refuted.
But shamelessly this website is insisting that the man said, what he said, he never said! Utter madness!
But one only has to revert to commonsense to expose the utter nonsense of Alphonse’s attack on Sandals. In other words, why would a company expose itself to retain 40% of a 12% tax, which would amount to only a few dollars, when all it has to do is increase its room rate to make the same money?
The argument by Alphonse is so illogical it reeks of bias and vindictiveness.
Is this what the media has come to in the Caribbean? Once upon a time we upheld a certain standard, now these literary mercenaries and assassins are being allowed to poison the hard work of real entrepreneurs like Butch Stewart, who have toiled for decades building a company that provides not only massive revenue for many governments throughout the region, but tens of thousands of jobs for Caribbean people.
Isn’t there a Caribbean Media Association? I would like to hear what they have to say about these journalistic hitmen.