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Last Updated: Feb 21st, 2011 - 13:21:51 
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COMMENTS & OPINIONS  

IMC has no Clothes On
By Sylvia Olayinka Blyden (Publisher, Awareness Times)
Feb 21, 2011, 13:58
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A story by Hans Christian Andersen tells of an Emperor who is convinced by two con-men that they can make him the finest clothes in the world. The con-men having failed to carry out the task, tell the Emperor that they had sewn the clothes but it was made from a material fabric that cannot be seen by anyone who is unfit to hold his current position or is of poor intellect. The Emperor is shown empty air by the tailors but though he cannot see the clothes, he pretends that he can for fear of appearing unfit for his position or stupid; his Government Ministers, Officials & Aides all behave the same way for fear of appearing stupid or unfit.


When the con-men finish miming their dressing of the Emperor, they urge the Emperor to march through the streets and the Emperor, not wanting to appear to be unfit and stupid, then marches in procession before his subjects with only his underwears on.


Many subjects, also wanting to appear to be fit and intelligent, all pretend to be seeing the Emperors finest clothes and loudly congratulate the Emperor as he marches by. It is only when a little child in the crowd called out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all but is walking the streets dressed only in his underwears that the Emperor cringed, suspecting the assertion is true and concludes that he has been conned by the tailors. But, so as to save face, the Emperor holds himself up proudly and continues the procession knowing full well that he is half-naked but yet still pretending to be fully clothed.


This is exactly the scenario now obtaining at the Independent Media Commission of Sierra Leone. Some Commissioners who have been grossly inept at curtailing indecency & pornographic titillation in the media, actually sat by throughout their tenure (now at its twilight), allowing unprintable, indecent words as well as pornographic contents to be the norm rather than the frowned-upon exception.


Now, theyre suddenly realising theyve been inept all this time but are too shamefaced to say so. Instead theyre putting on a brave face and issuing out [once again] another of their final warnings to Editors and News Owners but is anyone taking them seriously? The IMCs favoured editors will soon be out with another round of foul words and the IMC will continue to pretend as if they have not noticed those most objectionable, highly offensive and indecent publications. IMC can continue to pretend that they are doing a good job of policing the media but we all know that the IMC is only fooling itself because the IMC, like the Emperor, surely has no clothes on! Who is Mrs. Bernadette Coles crew fooling at this late hour? After 6 years of terrible tenureship, can she close the Barn Door now after the Horse has already bolted?


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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