Dr. Frank’s show muzzled

Replays of former Cabinet Minister Frank McField’s most recent broadcast of his Public Eye television programme were edited by CITN of critical comments he made about the Director of Children and Family Services Deanna Look Loy.

However, those comments were included in the live airing of the show on 13 July.

Public Eye is a paid programme and appears live on Cayman 27 every other week, and is replayed twice, once on Cayman 27 and once on CITN’s other station, Island 24.

Mr. McField said he did not think the things he said in the programme where out of line with content of his past shows.

‘Public Eye started in 1997 and I’ve never been censored before,’ he said.

Mr. McField said he was informed by CITN’s Rick Alpert that he had been instructed to cut references to the Children and Family Services Department and Mrs. Look Loy from the programme.

The topic of the cut programme segment, which also featured Mr. McField’s sister Beulah McField, dealt with the difficulties politicians can have with senior civil servants, Mr. McField said.

‘Although people want to hold their politicians accountable, politicians are not in a position to hold their employees accountable,’ he said in an interview last week. ‘[Civil servants] are employees of the administration, not employees of the political system, so politicians have no power over them.

‘I brought up Deanna Look Loy, with whom I had continuous conflict with [as a Cabinet Minister], to demonstrate a case on point.’

During the segment, Mr. McField said many people had come to him when he was minister responsible with concerns about Mrs. Look Loy’s handling of the Children and Family Service Department.

Mr. McField said that senior civil servants can sometimes frustrate the efforts of Cabinet ministers if they want.

‘Those with seniority can refute [the directions of a Cabinet minister],’ he said. ‘They can be a supporter of the Opposition [party].’

Mr. McField commented during the show about the inability of politicians to remove senior civil servants from their positions.

Off the programme, Mr. McField admitted that he made several attempts during his time in office to remove Mrs. Look Loy as Director of the Children and Family Service Department, and he said he took the matter to former Chief Secretary James Ryan and former Governor Bruce Dinwiddy.

A member of the United Democratic Party, Mr. McField said he accused Mrs. Look Loy of supporting the People’s Progressive Movement while he was in office and that she had agreed that she was.

Asked why the segment was cut, CITN’s Mr. Alpert said it was done on the advice of the station’s attorney and referred the matter to barrister Peter Broadhurst.

Mr. Broadhurst, however, was not available for comment.