If the Minister of Communications has her way, then I will no longer be able to take President Jacob Zuma for a gat.
In fact, Minister Faith Muthambi wants to stop all media, which includes the Daily Voice, from what she calls “stigmatising a black government”.
According to the minister, journalists are ignoring regular post-cabinet briefings with “insightful comment” and are instead on a mission to paint the government as “corrupt, hapless and inept”.
She even pulled out the tired old race card. Why or why does it always have to come down to race? If the media catches a minister with his pants down or with his hands in the cookie jar, then it’s not because he’s j** or a skelm, no! It is because he is black and that’s why the newspapers printed it!
It’s one of this absurd eye-blind arguments that’s becoming more and more prevalent these days. Nobody can paint anyone as “corrupt, hapless and inept”, unless that’s what they are.
There are many people in government that are seldom criticised by the media, especially the previous bunch of MPs. Kader Asmal was one of my favourites, by the way. But I digress.
The minister forgets that the media played a huge part in The Struggle by pointing out these very things about the NP government. It was OK then and must be OK now. Of course it must be fair, but calling it racist and accusing journalists of digging where it doesn’t itch is just dumb.
It’s statements like these that result in journalists like me calling her out and reminding her of how much worse off we would all be if we did not have a free and independent press.
Instead of telling her colleagues to stop catching on nonsense, she is blaming journalists for finding out about the nonsense and then telling the public about it.
She calls it “scandalising the government”.
Trust me, most journalists would rather not have a scandal to report. But we are not going to ignore it just because government feels victimised. ||||
For heaven’s sake, minister, stop your colleagues from giving us scandals to report on!
If it wasn’t for the media, many scandals would have gone unnoticed by the public, like Nkandla and the arms deal.
Now Muthambi is determined to tighten the reins at the SABC, giving ultimate power of the content to a man appointed by government.
So what do you think you are going to see on SABC news? If that’s all you plan to use as your source, then it’s soon going to look like everything is hunky dory in government.
The truth is, most of our |current crop of politicians are Machiavellian and it is our job to point that out, not ignore it.
Otherwise we become accomplices.