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Stop the Savage Attacks on the Mannings

By Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 29, 2002

Dear Editor:

The Express may not like the Mannings or may have taken umbrage that Mr. Manning selected his wife as the Minister of Education. That is your democratic right and you have every right to express your objections to such an appointment. However, you do not have a right to use your newspaper to launch a savage and unprecedented attack against the First Family for their lawful right to be remunerated for the jobs they do and for which every minister receives similar emoluments ("Big Bucks to Keep the Mannings in the South, Express, April 24).

The question must be asked: what legitimate public interests is served by using the front page of your newspaper to publicize the salaries and benefits of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Education earn by virtue of the positions they hold? If it is that the PM and the Minister of Education had cheated the public in anyway or were deceptive in their public conduct then your article would have served a legitimate public need. Since the Mannings have done nothing illegal and enjoy the same benefits their colleagues enjoy (Mr. Manning enjoys the benefits of a Prime Minister) one can only conclude that your article is meant to bring them into disrepute and to subject them to the public's contempt.

Such a savage attack upon the reputations of the Manning should find no place in your newspaper nor, for that matter, should it be a lead story. It is unbecoming of a serious newspaper to indulge in such cheap journalism. There is no compelling public interest in your story since the Mannings' emolument comes from their legitimate and lawful duties. That Ms. Manning may have been selected a minister in spite of your wishes is no reasons that she should be subjected to your ridicule. The Constitution gives the Prime Minister the right to select anyone who he thinks can do the job. He selected Hazel Manning. She should not be subjected to public scorn and belittlement.

Such cheap journalism is not becoming of the Express. The newspaper should apologize to the Mannings for a mean and misguided and article. Why should they not be "in the money," as you put it? Is it that their Africanness and their honesty should doom them to a life of poverty and shame forever?

Selwyn R. Cudjoe, President

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