April 30, 2004
NCC urges leaders: ‘Keep talk-show hosts in check’

The National Consultative Committee (NCC) has appealed to Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace to keep their talk-show hosts in check.
The NCC met with both political leaders on Thursday, April 15, at a meeting held at the Methodist Church Hall. The objective of the meeting was to address the concerns that exist regarding the political polarisation in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. {{more}}
Both Dr. Gonsalves and Eustace were challenged to encourage their talk-show hosts to be more responsible and to display more appropriate behaviour on radio. The political leaders and the talk-show hosts, whilst pushing their party-line, must also understand their role as nation builders, as they themselves have a tremendous level of influence on those who are
One of the main concerns of the NCC is that while both political parties use the medium of radio to push their party’s agenda, their talk-show hosts are guilty of abusing this privilege of communicating with and coming into people’s homes.
A press release from the NCC accused the talk-show hosts of being sometimes rude, insensitive and abusive to both of the political leaders and to fellow Vincentians. It added, “Often, half-truths and innuendoes are too common place.”
Besides the use of the media, the NCC also discussed the issue of political competition with the leaders. The NCC agreed that whilst the nature of politics is competitive, decorum, dignity and statesmanship must be maintained at all times, as both leaders have great influence on their supporters, especially young, vulnerable and impressionable minds.
Both the Prime Minister Dr. Gonsalves and the Leader of the Opposition, Arnhim Eustace, admitted that parliamentarians occasionally cross the line in the House, but these are rare occurrences. After in-depth discussion, both leaders agreed that the meeting was timely and productive, and that the National Consultative Committee should initiate other meetings of a similar nature with other stakeholders.
The meeting also agreed that an invitation be extended to all media owners to discuss their role in nation