So much for freedom of expression and freedom of speech

Today’s decision by the Press Ethics Commission added nothing but disgust as to the accountability and responsibility of this nation.

First of all “Ic-Chairman tal-PBS Patata” isn’t equivalent to “PBS chairman was drunk“. One can be “patata” for various reasons, including having one’s drink spiked if one insists on alleging so (so far there has been no proof as to what caused those famous “patata” moments since the police investigations still haven’t been concluded after nearly four months). The fact that he was “patata” not only cannot be disproved but is substantiated by the very video in question. What caused him to exhibit himself in such situation is a different argument altogether.

Secondly, both whatever happened and whatever got shown on the media is a direct consequence of him being a public figure. For heaven’s sake, don’t enter the kitchen if you can’t bear the heat (or if you can’t help burning the food on your first show in public). 

Does anyone seriously think that had it been this person’s equivalent in the U.K., the U.S.A. or other developed country such video wouldn’t have gone viral on all news portals and on YouTube? Does anyone really think that had it been Mr. Mizzi’s equivalent in another developed country such story would have wound up by giving the entire blame to the media-person who publicised such video after it got in public hands?

Don’t misunderstand me, I have nothing against Mr. Mizzi personally but I tend to have a grudge as to where such situations are judged using two weights and two measures. I’m sorry, but the guy deserving a rapping here is the same person who either lost control of himself or else was negligent enough to get his alcohol spiked as he himself is claiming.

We’re not writing about a teenager here for heaven’s sake but the head of the Public Broadcasting Services, an adult past his forties, who was representing Malta in his official position, as opposed to his personal capacity, in another country together with hundreds of similar representatives of their respective countries (incidentally none of whom ended up in a vaguely similar “patata” situation).

So if something happens and this guy makes a fool of himself, now it is the newspaper’s journalist who obtained and published the video covering this incident who is to blame for “attempting to ruin” his reputation?

When will this country grow up?


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