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A so-called “journalist” with an obscure Trinidadian newspaper is crying foul now that she’s been busted and is facing the consequences for essentially threatening rap star Nicki Minaj’s swollen-testicle cousin.
Late last week on Instagram Stories, Minaj shared screenshots from her cousin’s WhatsApp account that showed Sharlene Rampersad, a “journalist” with the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian (not to be confused with the U.K. Guardian), pleading with him (the artist’s cousin) to speak with her.
WhatsApp is an instant messaging platform.
The screenshots show that Minaj’s cousin ignored her messages. Yet Rampersad continued pressing him, though her messages quickly grew far less friendly.
“Hi good day. My name is Sharlene Rampersand. I am a reporter with Guardian Media. I was hoping to speak to you for an article?” one of her initial messages read.
But by the following morning, she was singing a far more sinister tone.
“I know you are hesitant to speak with us. But just letting you know, CNN is in the country looking for you. And when they find you, they won’t hesitate to reveal where you live or where you gf lives…anything and anyone who is tied to you. If you speak to me, we won’t reveal those details. So, what do you say?” she wrote.
While Rampersand had a valid point about CNN’s willingness to doxx anybody — including even jurors — what she wrote came off as a threat.
To Minaj and her supporters, it sounded as if Rampersand was basically saying that the artist’s cousin could do things the easy way by working with the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian or the hard way by working with CNN instead.
But it’s not even clear how him working with Rampersand would have prevented CNN from doxxing him.
Apparently annoyed by the perceived threat, Minaj posted screenshots of the messages to her Instagram Stories.
According to the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian, this led to the so-called “journalist” being flooded with death threats.
“Today, in the legitimate pursuit of a story that has been local and international interest, one of our journalists was subjected to a range of attacks via social media including death threats. This is unacceptable and we have taken all measures within our control to ensure her safety and security,” the paper complained in a statement Friday.
“At Guardian Media Ltd. we denounce intimidation of journalists in any form. Balanced reporting which presents all perspectives is fundamental to the democratic process and we will continue to champion vigorously the freedom of the press.”
— T&T Guardian (@GuardianTT) September 18, 2021
The statement did not go over well with Minaj’s growing fanbase.
So Guardian Media just going to ignore the part where their reporter threatened Nicki’s family with exposure if they do not speak to her? Or is that just part of their journalistic style? Just asking.
— Raymond868 (@trinibeachboy90) September 18, 2021
you literally harassed her family, stop with this victim car
— purkie 🤍 (@alisononika) September 18, 2021
Why silent guardian? Why you dont speak about how your reporter harassed nicki’s family and threatened them?
— Trini.barb (@Putajazzy) September 18, 2021
You don’t like it when your “journalists” are treated the same as they treat other people, do you? Do you think you’re special?
— Adiabat (@Adiabat79) September 18, 2021
So repeated harassment, aggression bullying and threatening someone and anyone attached to them is OK by your reporting standards? You reap what you sew. An eye for an eye. Bless your hearts…we’re praying for you
— Angelina Aleman (@AngelinaAleman) September 18, 2021
The anger was palpable — and for a seemingly understandable reason.
The press, whether in Afghanistan or Trinidad and Tobago, has a known habit of behaving badly and then screaming foul when their behavior triggers backlash.
Taylor Lorenz of The New York Times is an example of this phenomenon. She has a habit of smearing people, yet when others merely criticize her poor “reporting,” she always starts claiming she’s being harassed.
The most extraordinary part of all this is that the only reason anyone is talking about Taylor Lorenz is because she twice fabricated serious accusations about someone, so by equating criticisms of her with “abuse,” she gets to somehow become the victim and her sins are absolved: https://t.co/dpADdTJzli
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 9, 2021
But that’s the playbook which media elites use to immunize themselves against criticisms from the riff-raff. Equate criticisms and even harsh insults with violence, and then you get to be the victim – even though you are highly privileged – and no criticisms of you are allowed.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 9, 2021
What’s not so commonplace is someone with Minaj’s massive cultural influence fighting back against this media malpractice.
It all started when, in defending her coronavirus vaccine hesitancy, she tweeted about a “cousin in Trinidad” whose friend allegedly “became impotent” and suffered from swollen testicles after being vaccinated.
The artist’s tweets triggered a wave of backlash from the mainstream establishment left, including those in the media.
And because Minaj is smarter than the average bear, she quickly figured out what was really happening:
‘How the media REALLY works’: Nicki Minaj takes NO prisoners in anti-media tear, brings receipts https://t.co/3tYIFkNUxv
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) September 14, 2021
As she’s explained in several tweets, she’s being demonized for simply asking questions and dissenting.
But unlike so many others, she’s unwilling to bend the knee to the mob.
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