The Cook Islands Herald

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Mar. 20) - There is little hope for the Cook Islands if Member of Parliament Norman George keeps strong-arming his own Government members, the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Democratic Party, OMIA, and the island of Atiu.

Just as bad is the way that hypocrisy is allowed to spew to maintain the oppressive power and influence of one person. It must end. 

Already, this member of parliament’s level of desperation has revealed displays of muscle flexing unequalled since the years before the reforms of the mid-1990s. Reform is about to become a distant memory and wishful thinking. Instead, the misguided attacks on the *Pitt Media Group are now masking a new era of oppression that will be felt for years if unchecked.

It was not that long ago that the daily paper was crying daily about the free reign that Norman George seemed to enjoy on television, radio, and in print. Especially when he had a few words to say about dope-smoking journalists and other "dangerous criminals." 

Strange bedfellows are now cropping up all over the place but none can escape the transparency of their personal agendas. The daily paper and Norman George are now a Siamese twin tag-team of character assassination - a quality they so readily attribute to the Pitt Media Group without first looking in the mirror of hypocrisy. Right now, it suits them to be in the same bed. But watch out for the product of their ‘union’. 

The daily paper now hands Norman George all the column space he wants (at the taxpayers’ expense) in order to gut-spill the rage of a desperate man, who has obviously seen the writing on the wall. Perhaps the daily paper thinks it clever to jump on the bandwagon. 

The smears being concocted under the guise of an investigation are hiding the real threats of Norman George. There is a real threat to media freedom here because this Member of Parliament ’s hidden agenda goes well beyond the call for a regulatory Media Council. 

The threat goes all the way to gagging anyone and everyone who speaks against the dictatorship. And the kicking and screaming about the Pitt Media Group will just distract attention away from the oppression that hides corruption and abuse of taxpayers’ funds.

March 22, 2004

*(Editor’s note: Pitt Media Group owns and operates The Cook Islands Herald)


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