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Friday, November 17 2017 @ 03:32 PM AST

Trinidad & Tobago fell for the Anthony Bourdain trick

COMMENTARY

A friend today, forwarded to me a video clip of this show called Parts Unknown featuring Trinidad & Tobago. But my friend, I wouldn't give him more ratings/views than he already has. I think he came here, saw an opportunity to fan the embers of racism and classism, which, from his experience traveling the globe, he would have known would always be present, albeit latent, in a multi-cultural society like ours.

He succeeded in getting the engines of social media, and the internet at large, to drive people to see his show. That's ruthless opportunism. It's not his problem or concern if people who were getting along fine now watch each other through the lens of race. He has moved on to the next country to bobolize.

The best part of his scheme is that his very victims (us) are helping him to promote the show, and CNN loves that too because residual and online views keep rising, which by extension would position the network in a stronger place to ask clients for higher advertising rates in the medium-to-near term.

Then of course, Bourdain, himself, is positioning the company 13thStreetPromotions to ask for more money from CNN as well.

T&T is not the classist, racist place he made it out to be, slicing and dicing just the right sound bytes. I think we all know that, but hey, if CNN says it is, then we're all wrong, right? On the contrary, I see Trinidad and Tobago people as friendly and loving of all creeds and races. The fact that he was able to get people to talk to him and welcome him into their homes is testament to that.

Now, which serious journalist hasn't been accused of picking just the right sound bytes to highlight the negative? But when a major issue is hidden in a report or glossed over in a speech, of course, that needs to be highlighted whether it's negative or positive, but are race and class major issues in Trinidad and Tobago?

To all who keep sending these Anthony Bourdain clips, ask yourselves, why do you think his company name, and not CNN's, is stamped on screen bottom? You think a fan did that?

Those who come to developing countries like ours to plunder and exploit are not all dressed in suits and ties. Some wear disarming casual clothes and bear tattoos.

How much T&T food did he talk about exactly? How many CNN viewers rushed out to seek a 'doubles' or 'oil down' after? Did you feel like you were watching a show hosted by a chef, or even traveling foodie like Mark Wiens?

This was a calculated, premeditated attack on our country and until we see that, I guess I have more clips to receive from unsuspecting friends.

Responding to questions on Bourdain's show, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, said: "It's rather unfortunate that on an opportunity when we should've been showcasing the best of T&T, we showcased the worst." We did not showcase the worst. The best was edited out, and the worst has been put in a short video clip that has gone viral

In time, the good hearted Muwakil will realise he was played like a violin. Sabga-Aboud, I'm sure, already has.

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