Posted: Thursday, January 27, 2022. 8:27 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Channel 7 News Director Jules Vasquez has told us exclusively in the aftermath of his exclusive interview with Leader of the Opposition Patrick Faber that “I brought too much heat at the outset where light was needed,” and it drove him to their visceral confrontation on his “Uncut” talk show.
Vasquez said that he tried to walk the line between two competing interests – wanting “to illuminate a situation, not explode it, but within that situation, there is a thick red line around that victim’s private life – she is a private citizen, her private life, her private diagnosis – and I felt Mister Faber wanted to go in there, and create a certain historical revisionism, to revise some of the history that’s out there and that’s fine, but that’s not something I’m willing to go into without the two parties present.”
In seeking to protect the privacy and private personality at the center of this story, he said, he tried to stop Faber from going into an area of “moral and ethical hazard” and that created “a visceral reaction” and “put too much of my feelings” into the near-15-minute showdown.
“I led from an ethical position, but also infused with a lot of my own emotions. And I felt that perhaps I was too emotional and not tactical enough, but I felt that he was really crossing a line that was dangerous and I couldn’t have upheld it,” the veteran journalist explained, pointing out that Belize has long had a problem with intimate partner violence and the removal of women’s agency in speaking to their situation.
It mattered not that Faber claimed he had his fiancée’s agreement, Vasquez said; while he does not claim it happened, there is the possibility of “gaslighting” of the victim in order to advance a differing narrative from what is in public. She would have had to come to him separately agreeing to speak about that matter publicly, and is still invited to do so.
“He [Faber] had told me he wanted to speak about these things, indeed; and I indicated a readiness to speak about it, but the minute he told me that the statement was full of untruths, that’s when the show changed, because it’s unfair, you know that. If you say something is untrue – we will not put her statement out there and we will not; we will not excavate her statement. That is a private, domestic matter and too much is already known,” Vasquez explained, adding that it would simply not be fair to the accuser to try to put what she said under the microscope by the man she allegedly accused.
As for whether the interview was too early, Vasquez told us that was up to Faber and it might have helped that he had not canceled a planned press conference on Monday and instead issued a resignation video address. It was after that address that Vasquez contacted Faber and pitched “the ultimate exit interview” about his political career, which Faber agreed to while allowing he wanted to introduce some of the personal aspects, which Vasquez said he would entertain “to a point.” And he reminded that Faber remains answerable as a public figure for his actions.
And what of Faber’s political career? With his resignation all but certain, Vasquez said he believes that while the Collet representative seems “politically dead,” he is a lifer in politics and has a chance to redeem himself after taking some time away. If it remains his wish to be Prime Minister, he must get his house in order and prove his viability with the support of those around him.
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