Thursday, July 06, 2006

Cult of Free Word and Freedom of Speech

There's nothing much more scarier for a journalist than this quote from a member of Poland's ruling party, PiS:

"This cult of the free word and freedom of speech goes too far."
- Law & Justice deputy Tadeusz Cymanski

Cymanski, that paragon of free speech, was referring to a satire in a German paper that compared Polish President Lech Kaczynski to a potato. Seems like our friends on the Polish Right (also known as the Polish Wrong) are losing their minds. Now the justice ministry is supposed to check whether the paper was insulting Kaczynski. This is after papers speculated that the article could have been behind Kaczynski's last minute cancellation of a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Jacques Chirac. Are potatoes this thin-skinned?

You really have to worry about Polish media when these kinds of examples surface. Kaczynski and PiS have already gone after their critics in the press. Instead of concentrating on some serious problems (hello unemployment, failing healthcare system), they are wasting time and resources on silly vendettas. So the justice department should investigate this German article instead of dealing with the gangs and corruption? This is just mind-boggling.

But don't let reason get in the way of this government. Just last week, coalition partner, League of Polish Families, called to take the EU flag off Polish car plates. Man, there must be nothing left to accomplish in Poland.

1 comment:

beatroot said...

Free speech as a 'cult'. Yup, truly amazing. I notice that the little magazine in Berlin has been slagging off lots of world leaders. As is their right. But even Lukashenko, who one of the crackpots that the magazine attacked, has acted more maturely than the ducks on this one.