Opinion: Badness outta style

POSTED: 11/30/12 12:36 PM

Our photographer Milton Pieters went to the Sparrow show for the elderly on Wednesday evening on the pier, but he never got to take any pictures.

When Pieters arrived, Tempo CEO Frederick Morton was waiting for him. Not to greet him, but to point fingers.

Mr. Morton had a problem with our reporting about the poorly attended service in the Festival Village on Sunday evening. Pieters caught Morton crying on camera, and our reporter thought that he was close to a nervous breakdown when he realized that, with around two hundred in attendance, the place looked virtually empty.

“On Sunday night, he tearfully said that he had given St. Maarten his all.” This sentence in our report on Tuesday is at the core of Morton’s criticism.

He told our photographer that he was not crying. “I was sweating like a pig,” he said. The finger pointing continued and Morton said something like “Who do I report this to – Mr. Gibson?”

(Wrong: you should have approached me).

Morton maintained that he was not crying whereupon Pieters – correctly – first pointed out that he had taken the pictures and that he had not written the story and then offered to provide evidence to the contrary. Upon seeing the pictures, he said, Morton would have to apologize. Morton wouldn’t hear of it.

Instead the owner of God’s property insulted our photographer –who has an excellent track record – by wondering whether he “even had the credentials to be here.”

Pieters chose the only logical option: he left, because he’d had enough of Morton’s badness outta style attitude.

I applaud our photographer’s reaction to this situation.

If Mr. Morton disagrees with our reporting – fair enough. There are ways to deal with that, for instance by sending a letter to the editor which we would have gladly published.

Calling the credentials of a reputed photographer into question says more about Morton’s way of thinking than about the quality pictures Milton Pieters produces day after day for our newspaper.

Hilbert Haar,

Editor-in-Chief @ Today.

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