While Nationwide News Network can be generally acknowledged to be useless, there are still a few instances where it serves some purpose. Take for example yesterday, when they basically did a repeat of the Biography Channel’ Gangsters: America’s Most Evil episode,The Kingston Kingpin: Christopher “Dudus” Coke. They did the usually thing they do in their Cover Story segment. They basically just took large segments of the show and aired it verbatim (do they have the rights for this show?), without any moral judgement, just boring commentary.
This meant that I was able to get most of what the “documentary” was about without any unneeded commentary. And what I got was that Peter Bunting has serious emotional problems stemming fro a desire for approval, perhaps resulting from some childhood trauma, or a lack of attention from his father. In other words, he is batshit crazy. This guy makes “Shady” K.D. Knight seem absolutely sane.
His batshit craziness revolves around two statements:
- That the 2007 -2011 JLP (Jamaica Labour Party) administration was a client of Christopher Coke
- That the Attorney General’s Department was under the thumb of Christopher Coke
These two statements are extraordinary claims that require extraordinary evidence – none which was given, or could be given, by Mr. Bunting. The first claim that was made rests upon two other mini-claims made during the documentary by him and other sources.
The first mini-claim was that the JLP’s electoral campaign was funded by Coke. This is of course , nonsense. No one man has the power to fund the electoral campaign of a major Jamaican political party. Both parties, if they choose, can rely on the much more legitimate funding of the group of capitalists at the heart of their respective parties, local and overseas. They are the refugees of the Jamaica Democratic Party’s failed 1944 campaign, who instead decided to join the two main parties. So you have names like Matalon for the PNP (People’s National Party), and Ashenheim for the JLP. These are men whose wealth and access far exceed that of Mr. Coke. The Ashenheims ran the Gleaner newspaper for nearly 100 years, and the Matalons basically built most of urban Jamaica. These are the people behind the scenes, not some gangster dressed in drag.
The second mini-claim is that Coke swung the vote for JLP in the 2007 General Election. If all it took for the JLP to win elections was for a Coke to swing the vote, then they would not have had lost an election since the days of Lester “Jim Brown” Coke. The PNP got booted out due to a middle class electoral being tired of scandals, corruption and incompetence. If the Trafigura scandal was the snowball, then the Cuban light bulb scandal was the avalanche that got an apathetic middle class running for the polls. That is not something that Coke, or the JLP, could have had orchestrated.
The idea that Coke could have had manipulated the Attorney General’s Department is libelous at worst. But this is to be contested, as such claim is unsupported by subsequent investigations.
Most of these things are common knowledge to most Jamaicans,yet Mr. Bunting chose to make a fool of himself on a “documentary.” And I use the term “documentary” loosely because the structure of the program is not one that is geared toward education, but one for entertainment.
- The use of the quick, MTV-style jump cuts that do not linger on a scene for more than 10 seconds,
- the rapid-fire comments from the “interviewees”, the preference of phrases over paragraphs,
- the deep voice of the interviewer to suggest authority, who produces “Dudus”as “Doo-Doos” in a basso profundo baritone
- the use of theme music to create a leitmotif
These are all techniques that serve to manipulate a viewer into thinking that what he is watching is a serious work of journalism, when it is really nothing more than a cheap ripoff of BET’s (Black Entertainment Television’s) American Gangster. Does anybody really expect that the complex history of the intermingling of crime and politics in Jamaica could be explained in one hour, minus 12 minutes for sponsors?
Apparently Mr. Bunting did, which is what makes a him a complete nut. Could you imagine Michael Manley, Edward Seaga, P.J. Patterson or Bruce Golding appearing on a trash program like this? No, we cannot, because we still think of these men as serious intellectuals who would not degrade themselves to appearing on some trash documentary with mediocre ratings. We used to think the same of Mr. Bunting, but he is apparently a man driven by emotion, not reason. The problem is that his emotions are the type of crazy driver that cuts of 5-ton trucks to get to head of traffic at an intersection.
This is just the latest of Mr. Bunting’s recent insanities. But this should come as no surprise to the average Jamaica, as this is itself the latest stage of Jamaican politics. No longer are our politicians intellectuals who take on the persona of either “The Preacher” (Michael Manley, Alexander Bustamante) or “The Dignitary” (Edward Seaga, P.J. Patterson), but emotional clods who can only (barely) manage, not lead. And they manage through displays of emotion and and gimmicks, like Last Lick Politics, not through reasonable analysis, sensible ideology, or moral character. This is how we have this fool Bunting , bawling like a little bitch, saying only God can save us, and appearing on trash TV making a fool of himself. Mr Bunting is the new generation of Jamaican politician – the politician not as leaser, but as a cartoon character.