Opinion: Interesting gossip

POSTED: 02/5/13 12:22 PM

The truth does not exist in the absolute sense of the word. It is an interesting philosophical question. In journalism, we do not deal with absolute truth but with relative truth. We deal with facts, and you’d think it’s easy to make the difference between fact and fiction. But making that distinction is not given to everybody.

Bib Shaw wrote an interesting piece on her gossip web site that proves this point. “Maybe Haar should go back to the USA where he is wanted for a traffic violation” is one of the statements the gossip scribbler made in this article.

This is an obvious lie, something Shaw excels in, but that is not the point. Where is the basis for this statement? When was this traffic violation committed, and where? Shaw does not mention this, because this information does not exist.

Another lie in the article is that the prosecutor’s office “refused to press charges” against me after an incident that took place, if I remember correctly, in 2009. “Beating a female co-worker” is the second lie: it was a former employee. We both have put this episode behind us and moved on with our lives. The case was settled the way many of these incidents are settled. How? A real reporter would have found that out a long time ago, but that is probably too much to ask from gossip writers. It’s much easier to gossip, and to present this gossip as facts.

Then there is another lie: “his friends at the prosecutor’s office released him” Shaw wrote. The funny thing is: I have no friends at the prosecutor’s office, so I do not know what Shaw it talking about. I maintain a professional relationship with this office because my job requires that. Period.

The term professional relationship probably does not mean anything to Shaw. When she attended a press conference of Louie Laveist in May 2009 – at the time a member of the island council – about his legal troubles at the office of attorney Remco Stomp, she behaved like a school girl who was happy to have been invited to a celebrity’s tea party. “Constantly giggling like a teenage school girl and joking with Laveist” – was the way this newspaper described her demeanor at the time.

Shaw is now spinning her misbehavior in the courthouse. She has no clue about courthouse rules, and she has no clue about legal matters.

According to Shaw a prosecutor was “out of place first by taking up the place assigned to reporters.” This shows her level of ignorance: there are no “assigned places” in the court room. These places are taken on a first come first served basis.

And now Shaw has announced that she has “taken the necessary steps” against the prosecutor. Wooohh! The whole Public Prosecutor’s Office must be trembling in fear. Maybe Shaw should first deal with the traffic violation for which she was in court recently: talking on her cell phone while driving a car of which many people wonder how the seven or eight ads on her gossip-site pay for it.

Then Shaw makes a rather laughable mistake when she claims that my wife works as a translator (she probable meant interpreter) at the Court of First Instance (the correct term is the Court in First Instance). My wife does not work at the Court in First Instance.

In the same foul-smelling breath Shaw suggests that my wife (who worked in the distant past as an interpreter for the court) leaked information to me.

Well, well, again: where is the basis for this allegation? Shaw does not offer it, because she does not have it. Nada, zip. Working in the legal field requires a high level of trust and confidentiality – a concept that is totally alien to the gossip scribbler Shaw.

But here is the beauty of the society we live in. The constitution guarantees everybody freedom of expression. So due to this liberty, Shaw is able to continue distributing her gossip online, even though she has no clue about privacy-rules, let alone that she is capable of making a case built on solid arguments. She reacts to criticism not with arguments but with blind rage and more gossip, to the amusement of all.

What a wonderful country this is.


Hilbert Haar,

Editor-in-Chief @ Today.

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