Today opinion: Screening

~ TODAY opinion ~ Friday November 18th, 2016 ~


With the untimely fall of a coalition that never was, questions arise again about the screening process. We do not know whether screening-failures are at the heart of the collapse of the cooperation between the National Alliance and the United People’s party, but as usual the island is buzzing with unverifiable stories. Nobody will have an argument with the idea that this is unhealthy.

On the other hand, there seem to be people having problems with the concept that the screening process ought to be confidential.

So now we have stories floating around about the screening process, alleging for instance that UP-leader Theo Heyliger failed the screening “because he is under investigation.”

Heyliger is no stranger to being the subject of wild stories, but this one seems to insinuate something that might very well not be there at all. In the meantime, perception gets the better of most people, causing them to believe that, indeed, Heyliger is under investigation.

But is this really so? We popped the question to the prosecutor’s office, expecting answer along the lines of yes/no he is/is not under investigation and if he is, not you divulge what the investigation is about. Either answer would have provided the clarity people with a serious interest in what is going on are craving for.

Unfortunately, our question did not resolve the dilemma. “The Public Prosecutor’s Office cannot say anything about investigations that are or are not underway,” was the response we got.

From the point of view of criminal investigators, we perfectly understand this position. At the same time, this is highly unsatisfactory because it leaves people depending on whatever the gossip websites are feeding them. And as we all people are insanely fond of gossip.

There was a time when people used to say, it was in the newspaper so it has to be true. As we all know, those days are gone. The newspaper is no longer the respected gentleman.

That has nothing to do with the newspaper, but everything with a mentality of people who like watching insane and tasteless reality TV-shows and gobble up information from websites that write whatever nonsense enters their silly heads.

Gossip has become the new reality. It does no longer matter whether something is true or false. What matters is how many people are ready to believe what they are reading. The numbers are alarming and in a way this is a direct threat to society as we know it today.

When facts no longer matter mob mentality takes over. This man is guilty of A. B or C and that woman is holier than thou. Amen brother, welcome to the insane reality of the internet.

Is this what we really want as a community? That same question was posed over and over again in the United States during Donald Trump’s run for the presidency.

Well, we all know the answer to that one. And while we still have some reluctant (though probably idle) hope that the Donald will calm down once he enters the oval office, there are no guarantees. The people have spoken and – in our opinion – what they are thinking is not pretty. Not pretty at all.

Source: TODAY