Twenty-seven lawmakers have threatened to sue the New Dawn newspaper for “maliciously publishing a story,” allegedly accusing them of receiving US$4,000 each to thwart their intention to remove Speaker J. Alex Tylers Sr. amid his indictment by Criminal Court C, if the newspaper fails to retract the story and apologize, according to the House’s Press Director Isaac G. Redd.
Director Redd said the publication was intentional and demonstrated the New Dawn newspaper’s level of “hateful lies, and the practice of yellow journalism.”
A press release signed by Director Redd said the lawmakers have expressed their disappointment and annoyance and would seek legal redress on a “misleading story, published on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, with the title, ‘Tyler Shares Over US$100, 000’ on the front-page of the newspaper.”
He further said the newspaper consciously misinformed its readers that the Chairman of Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning, Moses Kollie, was seen with bags of money that he gave to minority members of the House.
Director Redd indicated that the newspaper showed a level of “falsehood, by calling one of the Representatives, Alfred Juah, who received the imaginary US$ 4,000.”
“For the record, there is no Representative called Alfred Juah. And the House and Press and Public Affairs Bureau is reminding the media that lack of news headlines for commercial purposes is no incentive to create lies at the detriment of other people’s character,” the release said.
“The House of Representatives has admonished its Press and Public Affairs Bureau to work with the Independent Media group, (Legispool), to employ means to weed out imposters and scammers, who are masquerading the corridors of the Capitol Building using the ‘media’ as a source of extorting money for news items,” it said.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has already made a formal complaint to the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) against the reporter, Nathaniel Dayegbor, and the New Dawn newspaper for the erroneous story.
The letter states: “We are constrained to enjoin your office to kindly investigate and thereafter institute the necessary penalties against such practice of yellow journalism.
“Mr. Kamara, please be informed that the House of Representatives or individual members of the House reserves the right to bring lawsuits against the New Dawn newspaper for such malicious diabolical fairytale.”
The House’s Press Director, however, dismissed reports that the reporter, who is also the president of LEGISPOOL, has been banned.