“Pay-To-Play” Rodney Sieh, Where is Thou Pride?

By:  Mike R. McCarthy, Member ALP

By all measures, Rodney Sieh, the phony Publisher and lead Editor of the grotesque and unethical Frontpage Africa Newspaper is a disgrace and disdain to the noble journalism professionalism, and to illustrate him more bluntly, may I say Rodney is nothing more than a “join-the-list” element willfully and purposefully distorting the facts to satisfy his embedded motives and feathers his nest in return.

For the entire span of his toxic and accursed journalism career, Rodney Sieh has brazenly defied the sacred ethics and standards of the journalism profession in the full glare of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) and sadly, the umbrella body of the Liberian media has markedly failed to muster the temerity to decisively call him out. Instead, the PUL ludicrously flowers him with its yearly awards as Best Journalist of the year and best this and that, and for the most part, his awards have been greeted by mixed feelings with more voices frowning on the move by the Union. How can you crown a man whose entire career has been characterized by “Pay-to-play” tendencies with your best awards? Does that not amount to promoting unethical journalism?

No wonder why Liberians across the broad spectrum have described the PUL as an “ineffectual regulatory body” adding it is spineless and has not the moral scruples to penalize unethical journalists and media institutions in any appropriate measure, and that is the rai·son d’ê·tre why a daft and disreputable chap like Rodney Sieh and his kind continue to ravage dignified Liberians with his toxic journalism.

Our attention is particularly drawn to his vicious, malicious yet vague outburst pitched at my dear leader and distinguished father Honorable Benoni Urey, a feeble machination that is being funded by political weakling and hubristic-minded Alexander B.Cummings of the Alternative National Congress (ANC). We are fully aware that “Pay-to-Play” Rodney Sieh is a card bearing member of the ANC and a Communications Consultant to Cummings. We are also aware that Cummings fully bankrolls the Frontpage Africa Newspaper including the monthly payment of its staffers.

The Cummings-Sieh’s bromance doesn’t surprise us by any measure as it only takes money to lure Sieh in bed with anybody—even with Satan the devil. The truth of the matter is Rodney values money over everything—you pay him, he performs regardless of ethics and standards. He has no ethos and moral compass. The one who greases his pockets is ultimately the Lord he worships with all his heart and soul. At one point in time, he was in bed with President George Weah and his gang of crooks. Before then, we recall he praise-sung the very Benoni Urey he is now pointlessly attacking. We know how he callously blinded his eyes to the excesses and abnormalities of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Administration because he was handsomely paid to keep his pen silent. This is why we call him “Pay-to-play” Rodney Sieh, a man bereft of pride and esteem all because he values money over the truth, humanity, and dignity.

In his recent imaginary and an erroneous piece entitled: ” Liberia: Boakai Facing Pressure To Cut Ties With Individuals Linked to War Crimes”, Rodney Sieh a career mercenary journalist mendaciously stated that the Unity Party Party Political Leader and former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai is being pressured in-house to sever ties with individuals linked to war crimes. He is suggesting that Boakai is pressured by influential individuals within his parameters to cut ties with Benoni Urey because he is purportedly linked to war crimes.

Firstly, It is a bloody lie from the belly of Rodney Sieh, a menacing monster with the pen, that Boakai is under pressure to cut ties with Urey because Cummings and Sieh imaginarily link him to war crimes. How can Urey be linked to war crimes when he didn’t wage war, fight and/or finance any way in Liberia? Has Rodney Sieh’s vicious hatred for Urey degenerated into madness? Has he gone wacko over Urey to the extent that he uses the pages of his disgusting and poorly written Frontpage Africa to publish grim imagination and malicious stories about the ALP leader?

Of the four leaders in the Collaboration of Political Parties or CPP, the world knows very we that Benoni Urey has heralded the loudest call for the establishment of a war and economic crimes court in Liberia to prosecute war crimes and economic misdemeanors that occurred over recent years. From the 2017 presidential debate when Cummings and others were playing political correctness and deception with the Liberian people as their tunes depicted regarding the establishment of the war crimes court, Urey was precise, concise, decisive, succinct, and in no uncertain term loudly stated his support for the establishment of the Court demonstrating his unbridled quest and uncompromised stance for justice. The recording of that Presidential debate is available and being played by various radio stations in and around Monrovia. “Pay-to-play” Rodney Sieh knows this fact but would pretend not to know to satisfy the vaulting ambition of his political leader Alexander Cummings. How can a man who is guilty of war and/or crimes be the bulwark crusader for the establishment of a tribunal that will prosecute him? Who does such harm to him/herself?

Secondly, in the same weird article Rodney Sieh categorically and intentionally lied that Urey confessed to the US Department of Homeland Security saying he (Urey) diverted public funds to buy  Ex-military helicopters, which was part of the reason he was designated for sanction by the Department of Treasury. This is nothing more than mercenary journalism where libelous and slanderous stories are machinated in the form of truth to hurt the reputation of a person. This is exactly what Rodney does for a living and exactly what he is doing to Urey at the moment. All well-meaning Liberians must fiercely and publicly rebuke Rodney Sieh for committing such a woeful and barbaric act in the name of politics and seeking money. No one should pursue their cravings at the peril of other people’s reputations.

This is downright reprehensible and utterly ridiculous. At no point in time did Urey divulge to the Department of Homeland Security that he (Urey) diverted public funds to buy ex-military helicopters and/or weapons. We challenge Rodney Sieh and his political Leader Alex Cummings to release the affidavit evidence to the effect. By the way, what power did Urey have to personally divert state funds to the purchasing of military helicopters and/or weapons? Was Urey the President of Liberia? Was he the Defense Minister? Of course, NO. He was Maritime Commissioner within a legitimate government of Liberia with all rights appertaining thereto, to deal with the outside world as it saw fit bearing in my the consequences of dealing illegally or ulteriorly.

In his recent interview or chat with the Liberian press, Urey intimated that upon the instructions of President Charles Taylor, the Maritime Comptroller situated at the Liberia Maritime Virginia, USA Office transferred funds for the purchase of helicopters to be used by the government of Liberia, and not for military purposes. The fact that the helicopters were branded as “Ex-military should suggest that they had zero military capacity, they were only meant for smooth transportation purposes.

In his capacity as Maritime Commissioner, Urey was certainly in the know of the transaction and might have attested to it. How does that make him culpable of doing anything wrong when such transaction was carried out upon the instruction of a legitimate setting President? How does a legitimate purchase of helicopters from a legitimate business firm for merely transportation purposes become war crimes or crimes against humanity?

In Rodney and Cummings desperate desire to secure a Vice Presidential slot to Joseph Boakai as it is getting clearer by the days and hours that Boakai will lead the much-heralded CPP presidential ticket as the popular choice of the Liberian people, they have illogically opted to launch a blistering attack on the character and reputation of Urey with the notion that he is close to Boakai and thus poses a threat to Cummings last hope of becoming a Vice running mate to JNB.

The strategy to paint a horrifying picture of Urey so that Boakai and his surrounding can detach from Urey is counterproductive, utterly stupid, fruitless, and a misadventure, to say the least. Both Urey and Boakai are good friends aside from politics.

Their bromance date as far back as 2015 when Urey would invite his bog brother to Song Service in his hometown of careburg. Boakai would home the invitation with his darling wife Kartumu Boakai and they spent quality time in Careburg with the Ureys and other residents who attended the religious song service. Since then, the pair have been good friends.

Then came  2017 when Boakai emerged second to George Weah in the historic presidential election and qualified for the runner-up. Urey was there with his big brother and friend. He was the first defeated presidential candidate to declare support for Boakai and since then he has been loyal and consistent with Boakai in good and bad times.

 He has been on the record that he doesn’t do so for political patronage in return, he rather does so because he believes with will and courage that Boakai of the four political leaders comprising the CPP, Boakai is fully fit for the Presidency and believes Boakai can reclaim Liberia from its years of decadence and degeneracy insofar he craft a team of right people within his cabinet and the entire government. In the name of politics, Leader and Elder Joseph Nyuma Boakai, that we know to be a person of gratitude and humility will never cut ties with such a gracious brother who shows him unconditional love and offers him unbending loyalty.

Urey’s only crime he has committed, at least in the widest hallucination of the ANC goons, for which he is being callously persecuted and castigated by Rodney Sieh with the acquiescence and to the delight of Alexander B. Cummings is that he firmly supports Boakai’s presidential bid. Is a wrong to pick a side and remain consistent with that side? Urey has said multiple times that he holds nothing personal against Cummings but politically and fundamentally he believes Boakai is the right choice at the moment. What is wrong with that? Does that warrant unleashing an attack dog in Rodney Sieh on Urey?

It is unfathomable and inconceivable how attacking Urey and others culminates into any political capital for Cummings.

Cummings avidity for power is paranoia and extreme. A few months ago, he and Senator Abraham Darius Dillon of the Liberty Party were best friends until recently when the reality dawned upon Cummings and ANC folks that Dillon will not support him (Cummings) bid to head the CPP presidential ticket but would rather support Boakai to head the ticket. It is primarily because of this Dillon has been the recent target of scorching attacks by Rodney Sieh and his shabby Frontpage Africa Newspaper.

The Frontpage would not have been slamming Dillon for the plane ticket saga if all was rosy between Cummings and Dillon. But is it not dangerous to open several fronts with people who have immense potential to brutally battle and bruise Cummings politically? What does Rodney gain from launching wild and folly media attacks at several fronts? What does Cummings benefit from such preposterous and aimless maneuvering? This is pure misfiring.

Here are the painful facts Rodney and ANC people have to grapple with:  Cummings is a very hard sell. He is politically obscured meaning he is not known by the people(voters). He is not preferred by the masses, meaning he has not garnered the public appeal to aim at the Presidency. The masses see him as an elitist politician. He doesn’t have the quantum of political and government to be President over Joseph Boakai who is more experienced and educated politically and governmentally.

He doesn’t connect to the people as compared to Boakai whose humble beginnings resonate with the people. Boakai has the appeal and brand. The people know him and have confidence in him, unlike Cummings. Does Cummings have a political base? No, he doesn’t? Has he convinced and wooed the political support of his professed native Maryland County? No. The recent Senate midterm elections exposed how weak Cummings is in his professed hometown.

To aim for the Presidency one must have a solid political base, this is solid given in politics anywhere around the world. His personality is not admirable. He knows not the political language to coax and charm the masses. He is not an offspring of the masses. He has never lived in a squalor community like Boakai. He doesn’t understand the people and their conditions like Boakai does. These are the hard, stinging, painful yet irrefutable facts that make Cummings a hard sell for the President at the moment, and bad-mouthing Urey and Dillon doesn’t answer these pressing questions neither does it make the case for the Cummings Presidency, Rodney. You and the rest of the ANC group need to wake up from your slumber and grapple with the blazing reality that Cummings is not presidential material at the moment. There is time for everything.

Urey and Dillon are just doing what is right, just, and honorable. Boakai is an immaculate and selfless leader. He earned his stripes. He has what it take to change the Liberian story. He is loved by the Liberian people and no one can do anything about it.  This is destiny engineered by God, not a mortal man. Wake up from your slumber, Rodney Sieh, the “Pay-to-Play” Journalist or “Join-the-List”.

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About Cholo Brooks 17446 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.

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