Liberia: Government Downplays Growing Concerns of Attack Against Media
Monrovia – The Deputy Minister for Press and Public Affair at the Ministry of Information Culture and Tourism, Eugene Fahngon says the President of Liberia will not dignify anything coming from Rodney Sieh, publisher of FrontPage Africa.
Report by J. H. Webster Clayeh, [email protected]
Over the past few weeks, claims and counter-claims from the CDC-led government and the Managing Editor and Publisher of FPA have been hovering in almost every corner of the country.
The latest is Mr. Sieh’s response to President George Weah’s assertion that he (President Weah) allegedly gave Sieh US$10,000 to write positive stories during the 2017 campaign period.
The President made the ‘disclosure’ Wednesday when he met with a selected group of media executives in the Cecil Dennis Auditorium of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In response, Mr. Sieh said President Weah lied about paying him over US$10,000 to him (Sieh) for publicity during the 2017 elections campaign.
But addressing journalists at the MICAT regular press briefing Thursday, April 12, the Deputy Minister for Press and Public Affair said the Managing Editor’s statement toward the President was derogatory.
“He called the President of Liberia a born liar, we all know that he could had put it in a better way; that the statement is untrue but instead he called the President a born liar,” Fahngon said.
Minister Fahngon added: “And what it attracts is a response and I am sure the President will not dignify this; but when we respond then it is taken out of context – that we are attacking the media. I ask you again, (does) this represent the media or is this insult from the media or from Mr. Sieh?”.
Fahngon added that the action of one person should not represent the entire media landscape.
According to him, the government of Liberia will downplay every issue coming from FPA and its publisher.
Said Fahngon: “I am using this as a teachable moment. The action from one individual from the media on the president. We have great relationship with the press and we will do nothing to disturb the media.”