Naval Blast Aftermath: Shooting the Messenger? Not Surprising
The president and government spokesman's attempt to blame the media for the public outcry against the administration is the age-old refuge of desperate politicians who are trying to shoot the messenger.
In comments to the press this week, Stefanos Stefanou and Demetris Christofias both criticised the media amid persistent questions about the calls for Christofias to resign and an investigation into the deadly explosion at Evangelos Florakis naval base.
In fact, the media was doing its job - to inform the public and expose any abuse of power that is against the public interest. In this reporter's opinion, the media did a brilliant job of bringing all the circumstances leading to the blast into the public domain. Communist party AKEL's call for 'solidarity' is really just a plea for everyone to stop criticising and questioning the president. Solidarity, according to them, means shutting up and covering up. But the media is not part of the political system, other than Xaravgi newspaper and Plus TV which are both run by the communist party. The media is under no obligation to make any political party or politician look good, that's for the PR experts.
The flow of information in the aftermath of the explosion was vital because the public needs to know whether it can trust the government and parliament to do its job. Those who prove untrustworthy, irresponsible or negligent can go home and give up the leadership privileges given to them by voters.
Determined stonewalling by the spokesman and president will not divert the media this time. Leaks are coming from all sides to expose who was responsible for leaving high explosives under dangerous conditions near the island's biggest power station. The reason for these leaks is that the public at large will not tolerate a cover up during the investigation. People are genuinely afraid that the government will make another huge mistake that will cost lives and infrastructure. So they and the media are not about to be diverted by the slings and arrows of outrageous government statements.
Slinging mud at the media is just another evasion and a calculated gamble to see if any of the mud will stick.
It won't. Not this time.