By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Kweku Baako and many others like him in the media have already given themselves away as corrupt and notorious media practitioners who have dug in to serve political causes of their choice for particular purposes. They are all over the place. Even in the National Media Commission. Take the former Chair of that Commission (Kabral Blay Amihere, for instance.
Then, add others like Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo, formerly of the Daily Graphic Corporation, Gifty Afenyi-Dadzie, formerly of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, and many others who shamelessly trooped to the NPP camp from where they would churn out damaging publications about politicians that they are programmed to hate). There are many others who have also found comfort in the NDC stables and are publishing anything to undermine the NPP camp.
The truth, then, is that for as long as journalists can throw caution to the wind and declare their allegiance to politicians of their liking or political camps supporting their lifestyles, so should all other Ghanaians who know the value of networking be free to do so. Why does Kweku Baako feel that he can openly support Akufo-Addo while other Ghanaians should be restrained from declaring their allegiance to politicians appealing to them? Our chiefs aren’t stupid not to know how the tide flows. In that sense, who the heck is a “stomach” journalist like Kweku Baako to set benchmarks?
The spate of yellow journalism being done in the country is the direct upshot of the unhealthy competition among the journalists to catch the eyes of the unconscionable politicians paying them to do the piping. Our chiefs know all about this game. In assessing happenings, they know where to go so they can also win some official support to attract development projects. Does doing so make them unwise while journalists who have sold their conscience to the very politicians should be praised for undermining those that their idols cannot defeat at the polls?
Indeed, Kweku Baako’s insult to the chiefs will have damaging repercussions from many perspectives to torpedo Akufo-Addo’s electioneering campaign efforts. Take it from me that the negative fallouts have already registered, and the chiefs and people will react appropriately. I wait to see what happens when Akufo-Addo goes out to sell himself to them and their people. The kind of gutter journalism being done by Kweku Baako and Co. for him will spell his doom again.
Only in Ghana, where gutter journalism thrives will a school drop-out like Kweku Baako own a newspaper and function as a journalist. Only in our warped system will such a character become so ubiquitous to say anything at all just to please his manipulators. And we know that Kweku Baako is manipulated. He is in the pockets of those who cushion him to function in the media scene. He has a long and shoddy history of snuggling to politicians for personal benefits If he doubts it, let him come out to challenge us and we will prove to him that we know him more than he knows himself.
Just a brief background of Kweku Baako to prove that he is a shameless opportunist who is caught up in the trap that he has set for himself as far as bootlicking is concerned. We cite instances from the Rawlings June Four era to date, focusing on major landmarks.
Kweku Baako was an avowed Rawlings supporter until his arrest and detention for overstepping bounds (whatever that means, he knows it himself). He was a victim of a revolutionary/political cause that he didn’t understand but wholeheartedly supported and propagated. He has on many occasions boasted of working closely with Rawlings but ending up being victimized, which has turned him into an implacably angry critic of Rawlings.
When he suffered the scourge of his own miscalculation, he turned coat and joined the politicians opposed to Rawlings. His anti-Rawlings poisonous self came into its own when Kufuor led the NPP to power at Election 2000. Thinking that he could harm Rawlings, he stood his grounds and behaved in a gladiatorial manner, even if quixotically. Will we forget his boast to “strip Rawlings naked”? or how he allowed himself to be used by the Kufuor administration to undermine Rawlings? We recall the Ghacem bribery issue and how he and Gabby Otchere Darko were sponsored by the Kufuor administration to visit Norway on a mission that turned to be their own nightmare.
Once he set himself up to be used, he never relented in running the fool’[s errand given him by the anti-Rawlings forces. Kweku Baako sold his conscience to the NPP and has remained the worst fanatic in the media singing the NPP’s praise all this while.
My assertion at this point is that if he sees nothing wrong with a journalist’s selling his conscience to politicians, why should he be alarmed that chiefs are rooting for politicians of their choice? What is good about journalists’ declaring their support for politicians or political causes but wrong when chiefs do so?
In truth, the selling of conscience to politicians by journalists is worse than its being done by chiefs. Clearly put, journalists are known for what they are and their profession is established as the “Fourth Estate of the Realm”. What this qualification means is that journalists are expected to be torchbearers to throw the searchlight on happenings in the three arms of government (the Executive, the Legislature, and the Judiciary). In doing so, they are expected to substantiate the maxim that “the pen is mightier than the sword”.
It is a yeoman’s job to be done on the basis of public spiritedness, integrity, and discipline. It means upholding standards to uplift public discourse and governance. That is why in advanced democracies, laws exist to allow journalists have access to information for the common good. In Ghana, the persistent demand for the passing of the Right to Information Law isn’t going anywhere just because the journalists themselves haven’t created the conducive environment for it. They have all found safe havens to nestle in to exploit the loopholes of the system. They have thoughts for their own well-being and not that of the common weal.
In this regard, Kweku Baako and many others who have snuggled to the NPP and NDC, resp[ectively, and are making ugly noise all over the place know very well that they are a nuisance. Yet, they constantly make noise to deflect attention from their own corrupt nature to the petty problems about the government of the day to create misleading impressions.
A careful assessment of the place and role of this Kweku Baako in our contemporary political times will reveal the rot that he is. If his father were so, it wouldn’t be surprising how he ended. I am being very blunt here to prove my point that Kweku Baako is a treacherous journalist to be wary of. I wonder why the Rawlings administration didn’t send him to the west (as the saying goes) if, indeed, Rawlings were the murderer that Kweku Baako constantly portrays him.
Folks, I want to say at this point that the kind of agenda being pursued by Kweku Baako and all others like him in the media won’t help Ghana’s cause. The truth is that while they are politically aligned and openly defend the indefensible acts of omission or commission of their paymasters, they have no moral compunction to badmouth those in the other political camps not seeing things the way they do. That explains why Kweku Baako is all over the place, condemning President Mahama’s administration as if doing so would clear the hurdles for Akufo-Addo (whom he “worships”) to be in power.
The overarching issue, then, is: What is good about journalists declaring their support for or endorsing politicians that turns bad or sour when chiefs do same, at least, if we are to believe Kweku Baako’s claim? And are the chiefs endorsing the politicians as stupid as Kweku Baako portrays them? What will make journalists wise in this very circumstance when they endorse politicians and use the media they manage to sing their praise?
Is the Ghanaian journalist who adulates a politician, grabbing perks from those politicians to support their profession, any wiser than the chiefs genuinely endorsing President Mahama for fulfilling his promise regarding development projects? And who says that any Ghanaian journalist is ever wise?
Truth be told, our chiefs are really wise. That is why they remain respectable as the custodians of everything embodying our traditional values. Does Kweku Baako have a traditional home headed by a chief? I wonder. Of course, for such a semi-literate self-righteous character bent on pursuing the political agenda set for him by his handlers, there is no need to defer to the traditional authorities. I pity him.
He has stepped out of bounds and must bow his ugly bullet0head in shame. For as long as characters like him devalue the traditional authorities, they will continue to struggle in their political mobilization drive. Now that he has insulted the chiefs, what can his handlers do to get their goodwill? Let’s not forget that the chiefs also know where Kweku Baako’s bread is being buttered. They know where his political allegiance lies; and they will translate that knowledge into political capital on election day.
At this point, it can be established that Kweku Baako has added one more problem for Akufo-Addo to solve. Those who know him as an ardent and unrepentant Akufo-Addo buff can read deeper meanings into his drivel and draw conclusions that won’t favour Akufo-Addo. The credibility problem thickens
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