ST. CROIX — Former Senator Kenneth Gittens did not show up for his Virgin Islands Political Consortium (V.I.P.C.) interview scheduled for Monday night, his reason being that the interview, though mentioned to him, was never confirmed.
But Ernice Gilbert, the president of VI Consortium and host of the V.I.P.C. interviews, said that he confirmed the interview date and time with Mr. Gittens last week Tuesday, when the two met at the Alfredo Andrews Elementary School.
“I confirmed the Monday interviews with Senator Kurt Vialet and Kenneth Gittens the morning of Tuesday, September 4th at the elementary school,” Mr. Gilbert told The Consortium last night. “I confirmed with Mr. Vialet first, then immediately after I met with Mr. Gittens in the school’s lobby, confirmed the interview for Monday, then proceeded to interview the former senator seeking his thoughts on the first day of school following the storms.”
On Monday at 8:00 p.m., when Consortium staff realized that Mr. Gittens had not arrived to the studio, Mr. Gilbert — following the interview with Mr. Vialet — called Mr. Gittens twice, but he did not answer the phone. Mr. Gilbert then went on air to explain to the viewing audience that the candidate for Senate failed to show, and he proceeded to extend another invitation to Mr. Gittens. Watch the video here.
After Mr. Gilbert and co-host Ashley Scotland went off air, Mr. Gittens called to contend that the interview was never confirmed. He also said that seeing the story on VI Consortium relative to this week’s interviews, which included him, was not a formal invitation, and therefore he did not attend.
“Let’s say for the sake of argument that Mr. Gittens is right and the interview, though mentioned to him for Monday, was never confirmed, but then he sees a story stating that he was scheduled for Monday. Wouldn’t it be prudent to at least call and say, ‘hey, I see you have me up for an interview today, but I can’t recall confirming this with you,’ or something along those lines?” asked Mr. Gilbert.
After going back and forth on the issue of confirmation, Mr. Gittens told Mr. Gilbert, “Write whatever the hell you want,” although Mr. Gilbert never said he planned on writing anything on the matter.
The Consortium seeks to interview all candidates vying for elected office this year to help Virgin Islanders make informed decisions when voting on November 6. The platform has partnered with W.T.J.X. for an event called Count it Up: The Voter Registration Drive, in an attempt to get residents more involved in the election process.
“As a widely-read media firm, we deem it our responsibility, as a member of the fourth estate, to help boost civic engagement during all election cycles,” Mr. Gilbert said. “Especially this one, which we believe is one of the most consequential elections the territory has had.”
Mr. Gittens, who was voted out of the Senate two years ago, won a spot in the Democratic primary on August 4, placing 6th with 1,521 votes. “We will again invite the senator to the show to be interviewed, as we believe Virgin Islanders have a right to know his plans for St. Croix and the territory, were he to be elected to the Senate,” Mr. Gilbert concluded.