President Concerns Over Headline

March 05, 2008

Dear Bill Jaynes

The President has asked me to convey to you in writing his concern about the misleading Headline in your Kaselehlie Press, "Is Congress Set to Impeach President Mori". While a person may have a right to freedom of expression, such right does not protect factually irresponsible expressions. The Headline is devoid of factual basis but it raises serious nuances which even you yourself may not intend.

While the President supports the right of expression, he cannot tolerate any abuse of that right. Any factually baseless report intended merely to inflame the readers one way or another, like the Headline, does not fall within the penumbra of the protection of that right. I, therefore, ask that you retract the Headline, by the use of another Headline in your newspaper for the purpose of reversing whatever nuances your readers may have drawn from reading your headline. Also, in view of your informal (email) to the President and most especially your February 21, 2008 letter to Speaker Figir, it is only fair that you not only retract the headline but apologize to the President and members of Congress in your next issue for the irreparable damages done as a result of the headline. The damages are not only confined to our national borders but have reached an international audience.

I encourage you to report, what you believe to be newsworthy information, but with objectivity, impersonality and detachment based on concrete facts. While the MicSem Discusses (sic) Forum has served a useful purpose for discussing issues of importance to the Nation, I find it difficult to believe that you had no choice but to write the article because of much information floating on MicSem Forum. Postings on the Forum are by those who chose not to reveal their true identity. They are not accountable to anyone but perhaps to the Forum Moderator, having the tabloid characteristic of a paper.

I am looking forward to your kind remedial action on this important matter.

Lorin S. Robert


Department of Foreign Affairs

[Editor's Note: Notice by a phone call from Foreign Affairs that this letter was coming via email to The Kaselehlie Press was received on February 29 (the letter was also dated February 29) one day after I had written and published online (www.kpress. info) my item that you will find on page 10. At the same time that I posted that apology online I changed the headline for the article in question on our website to the one that I should have used in the first place by my own previous admission.

Over an hour before I received the above letter, the two letters I sent to the President (one was a courtesy copy of the one I'd sent to the members of Congress) and to which Secretary Robert refers in the above correspondence were posted in their entirety (including the typo) on the MicSem forum under the headline "MicSem Posters Misled Public on Impeaching the President, Bill Jaynes of KP Apologized for It!!" The exclamation points were especially enticing. The chosen headline reminds me of the famous former President Bill Clinton line, "That depends on what the definition of 'is' is." Rather than a verb, the pronoun "it" is in question in the "headline" posted on MicSem.

The item was submitted under the user name FSMPIO (FSM Public Information Office). As the Australians say, "Fair dinkum." Some people from France might say "Touche'". Americans would say "turnabout is fair play," or maybe, "what goes around comes around."

The problem with their headline was that my apology had nothing whatsoever to do with a "forumer" misleading the public on the issue of whether or not Congress was considering the impeachment of President Mori. I am not the person who posted that "information" on the MicSem Forum a week before my poorly headed article ran. The apology had to do with my own poorly chosen headline for an article that really was intended to cover the tensions between the Branches of Government.

I had hoped that the letter that was coming, whose nature had not been explained to me in the phone call that came before it arrived would be something that I could use to help clear up Vice Speaker Moses' accusations from the floor of Congress as I had invited the President to help me to do. I was truly disappointed when I found out that it wasn't. I had thought that he or the Senators able to help do that.

I will allow my apology for my bad headline to stand as sufficient in the way that I wrote it before I was asked to do so by the above letter.

I won't ask for an apology from the President's office for the misleading "headline" his office posted on MicSem which also goes out to an international audience.]