May 07, 2004

Freedom of the Press in the EU

Journalist arrested for investigation into fraud. It appears that there is a vast scandal brewing in the European Union over fraudulently diverting Commission money into private hands. Classic corruption. Here, in the United States, a journalist who exposed such a scam would be heading for the Pulitzer Prize. In Europe, he's gone to jail, had his lap top seized, had his records taken, and had his bank statements reviewed. No such treatment has been meted out to those accused of the fraud. The crime this journalist has committed? Insufficient fervor in support of the EU and giving ammunition to the anti-Europeans (read: British). The thing that got me, among others, was the bit about the television station called Euronews. The author of the article, a British MEP (member of European Parliament) had this to say about Euronews:

"[W]hen it reports directly on the EU, impartiality goes out of the window and we are treated to Soviet-style items about millions of workers waking up to higher standards thanks to the Commission. I found the contrast suspicious, so I put down a written question asking Romano Prodi [EU President] whether he gave Euronews any money. His reply was beyond parody. Yes, he said, he did give it grants, but such grants 'in no way restrict the editorial freedom of the beneficiary, who must, however, respect the image of the European institutions and the raison d'etre and general objectives of the Union'." (emphasis added)

I have always had strong views about state funded media. This just confirms them. Remember Prodi's response, please, the next time you read a European newspaper attacking the United States press for being a tool of the administration. Remember that the journalist may have filed that attack while on his or her way to the bank to deposit his or her check from the EU administration.

Posted by Random Penseur at May 7, 2004 08:08 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?