CARIBBEAN/TRINIDAD (Naked Departure) — CRIME WATCH SUSPENDED — Ian Alleyne’s Crime Watch programme has been suspended pending an internal discussion between management at CNC3 TV and host Alleyne later today.
The Express learned that Alleyne was called before CNC3 boss Nicholas Sabga on Thursday and taken to task for remarks considered to be politically inflammatory made on air.
While Alleyne asked questions about whether the wives of two Government ministers benefited from multi-million-dollar contracts at the Brian Lara Stadium, Tarouba, which is being refurbished, it was a single question about whether “Andrew’s wife” got a $17 million contract that proved to be the last straw.
Though Alleyne never used a surname or clarified who was Andrew or Andrew’s wife, he was called on by Sabga to explain and provide documentary evidence of that claim.
The Express learned that Alleyne was told that Andrew’s wife called the station and threatened to sue for defamation. Alleyne has been advised against commenting to the media and has since taken to his Facebook page to muster support for protest action he is planning to take outside the Guardian building on St Vincent Street, Port of Spain. His show is taped there at the offices of CNC3.
“Tomorrow history will be made when I am asked to sign a document not to speak ill of the government,” Alleyne said in a social media post.
“Massa day is not done, massa day has come back again and it our own that is now responsible for our bondage,” Alleyne said in another post.
Despite the cryptic posts, Alleyne remains unsure of Crime Watch’s future. That will only be determined after a meeting with Sabga today.
In a brief telephone interview yesterday, even Sabga was unsure what the meeting will bring but he did find it strange that there was so much interest in the matter.
He denied that Guardian Media Ltd (GML) was seeking to “muzzle” the media or was pandering to a political party.
“There really is nothing to discuss as this is an internal issue,” Sabga said yesterday.
Sabga then texted that “at CNC3, we take accuracy and fairness in our reporting seriously and we have asked Mr Alleyne for evidence corroborating a story he aired in a recent edition of his programme. We are currently discussing the matter with Mr Alleyne and his representatives, making it inappropriate to comment any further at this stage,” Sabga said.
Head of the Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MATT) Francessa Hawkins, who is also a CNC3 weekend anchor and senior journalist, did not respond to calls or texts to her mobile yesterday. (Source: TrinidadExpress)