The Office of the Prime Minister, through Director of Government Communications Kirk Jean-Baptiste, yesterday requested the audio recording of a morning radio show on which the Prime Minister was disparaged.
According to a media release on the issue yesterday, Jean-Baptiste confirmed that political activist turned talk how host Lennox Smith used derogatory references to describe the PM on 104.7FM.
The release described the comments as “unwarranted and erroneous” and said they were made by Smith on November 17.
“The Office of the Prime Minister, Communications Division, formally demands a copy of the entire programme with Mr Lennox Smith,” Jean-Baptiste said in the letter, giving the radio station until 3 pm that same day to cooperate.
It is understood the recording of the morning programme was delivered to the Office of the Prime Minister.
But in an immediate reaction yesterday, fellow radio talk show host and political activist Michael T Kerr “Mikey K” issued a statement saying he was planning to protest at the Queen’s Park Savannah next Tuesday. He questioned why Jean-Baptiste didn’t go through the Telecommunications Authority of T&T instead of writing to the radio station.
“Is it that Kirk Jean-Baptiste couldn’t write to TATT because he would have to mention, on who’s (sic) instructions he was acting upon?” Kerr asked.
“What authority does Lt Cdr Kirk Jean-Baptiste has (sic) to demand a copy of anything? Is Kirk Jean-Baptiste Dr Rowley’s new attorney? Has he replaced Michael Quamina? Is Kirk Jean-Baptiste an attorney?”
He also questioned who instructed Jean-Baptiste to request the recording and if he consulted with the Minister of Communication.
“Why was he allegedly removed from the Communications Division of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service?” Kerr asked.
He also questioned whether Jean-Baptiste’s correspondence was a pre-action protocol letter or press release.
Kerr said, “We demand answers. We will not be silenced and our democracy is under threat”
He also called on the citizenry to stand their ground and “push back.”
In 2008, former Prime Minister Patrick Manning visited Radio 94.1 FM after he grew concerned about statements made by the announcers then.