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DA, ACCEPT

The Godfather of the political press

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Autor: Claudiu Saftoiu 21 Mar 2008 - 00:00

This week, we witnessed a show in which the Romanian media presented its limits and the cards up its sleeves. An attack against it that came from the only supplier of great political issues, President Traian Basescu, started a very strange reaction from the media.

ROMANIAN STAKES AND CRISES

This week, we witnessed a show in which the Romanian media presented its limits and the cards up its sleeves. An attack against it that came from the only supplier of great political issues, President Traian Basescu, started a very strange reaction from the media.

 

On the Otopeni Airport, the President appeared as a father who wanted to defend his daughter who is so much like him: she wants to be involved in politics at any cost. From that sensitive issue, he showed all his political qualities and launched the greatest truth on the media market in a memorable phrase. It is such an obvious truth but no one said or put it in a sentence better: there are certain journalists who are no more than “juke-boxes with euros” that write on command, harass on command, establish brands on command and so on. The common readers used to reading between the lines of the Romanian press might agree with this. So what? A truth that anyone knows about that is said out loud. Does it hurt that bad?

 

President Traian Basescu, a politician that had a lot to do with the media after 1990, a period in which the sensational talent, the corruption and the performances mixed in a very Romanian manner, had to deal and still has to deal with the juke-boxes in the media. This is the fate of the politicians. It is part of the game. However, the President agrees and promotes some of them and attacks the other ones in the official hall of the Otopeni Airport. Without intending to change the mechanism of the media juke-boxes, the President intended to attract a certain part of the Romanian press by separating it into “good juke-boxes” and “bad juke-boxes”. The strange part is that the media acted in the way in which the President wanted during his 20-minute long speech. The press fell into the magical net of the Cotroceni symbolism. The “bad juke-boxes” counterattacked while the “good juke-boxes” started censing haughtily and moralistically. Some of them condemn Basescu, some agree with him. The stark effect of this political attitude resulted in a strange reaction of the media: it stopped protecting itself and adopted causes that don’t belong to it. Like the cause of any politician, no matter his name.

 

The cause of the press is the citizen that informs himself, the civil society that consumes commercial and political products in the same time. The press has to maintain its place between these consumption needs, the place that makes it so important: “the watchdog of democracy”.

 

The limits of the Romanian press are based on so many professional conditions that made it capitulate in time. However, the great card up the sleeve of the Romanian press is that it accepts to go through the purgatory of the public opinion judgment. It infiltrates in the political life and baffles it andends up being held responsible in the same way the politicians are. Therefore, one can clearly say that, last week, the media received a lesson from the one who became the Godfather of the Romanian press. The “juke-boxes” existed and exist world wide, which includes Romania. However, they have to have a name.

 

• Translated by Sorin Bălan

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