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Radio has been used as bully pulpit

Verbal attack: A tirade about the Government aired on radio

Dear Sir,

On Thursday, August 27, at 4.30pm, a caller made the most vicious denunciation of the Government on the Everest Decosta talk show.

This unedited tirade ranted on for about 25 minutes of free airtime. This very personal vilification of the finance minister and the Government in general covered areas of being the worst administration ever, having done nothing right.

Then he presumes to speak for all Bermudians of their utter disdain and contempt for them as he saw it. This bombastic verbal attack was allowed to flow freely, unabated and uninterrupted by the radio host.

Words such as “stupid”, “uncaring”, “careless” and “taking the country to ruin” — and a call for multiple thousands to refrain from going to work on September 8 and keeping their children home from school to attend this mass protest called by one disgruntled individual.

This and other callers have made the call to “shut the country down” on many occasions with an Islandwide work stoppage to get what they consider a rogue government to see it their way. The caller appealed to 15,000 people to do what amounts to depose by intimidation a duly elected government. While I really do not want to use one media to criticise the other, I feel that this is abuse of free speech and using the radio as a bully pulpit.

I subscribe to the principle and the right of free speech fully, but are there no boundaries when using the airwaves on what seemed to be an unpaid political broadcast?

Are we allowed to insult, belittle and denigrate those who we disagree with no holds barred, without reputations taken into consideration?

Say whatever you please, never mind how inflammatory, because it is free speech over the public airwaves? If this is so, I would be wrong to feel the sense of outrage when hearing a call to destabilise the entire community to preserve such a right that comes with no strings attached.

If this is the new paradigm to be employed to slash and burn the Government or the Opposition with impunity, with no restriction by the host or the station, we may be headed to anarchy and outright madness by crazy people.