So I crawl through the blogosphere and see this very serious headline from the official PLP Blog, titled "Gibbons calls Bermudians "Very Xenophobic"". That's a serious charge to levy against a senior MP, so I go to the blog entry and read through it. Now, there's no actual quote taken from the statement besides the two words "very xenophobic", so I go to locate the statement through the Gazette site.
Within that article, the paragraphs that I gather the snippet of interest comes here:
Now as a political party site, I'm not surprised that the goal is to interpret terms to suit whatever agenda is being raised, but this was blatant and appalling, to turn a statement that I personally see as accurate, into what's then portrayed as the MP labelling all Bermudians as xenophobic. Clipping one sentence into a mere two words can make any statement turn into something entirely different.
"We've spoken on this side of the House on a number of occasions on the issue of welcomeness. Bermudians have historically been seen as friendly, that was important for tourism, but we can also be very xenophobic as well.
"The report says we need non-Bermudians here and speaks to some of the difficulties and challenges they face in this Country.
"If we're going to continue to attract the best non Bermudians we can, we're going to have to continue to look at our policies in respect of immigration and how we treat non Bermudians as a whole. Bermudians need to understand the importance of having them here."
For the record I think the MP's statement was accurate. Sure, many of us enjoy meeting and speaking with visitors and guest workers, but I have witnessed on many occasions locals muttering under their breath (or speaking it loud), "damn Filipinos" or "damn Portagees", for example. It's behaviour that disgusts me, but is present in Bermuda and I don't think it can be denied.
Now the PLP and current government can choose to call for a boycott of the Gazette, and use their own avenues of communication to provide news, but on the basis of their own blog's twisting of a statement, it's extremely hard to believe that they have an interest in providing accurate information to the public.