The climate of tension and brawl that Podemos and Vox are stirring up in the streets and in parliaments is already unbearable, and confirms their populist roots and that they are sides of the same coin.
Yesterday they returned to star in a blushing show pointing out two journalists who were limited to fulfilling the main task of their trade: to ask. They also did it, in the Congress of Deputies, where forms, correctness and civility should be the norm.
The spokesperson for United We Can, Pablo Echenique, he denied the answer to a reporter “out of respect”, he said, of those who are “really”. At what point does a political representative assume the power to decide who is a journalist and who is not? Does Echenique intend to decide based on his political affinity? Will he propose to distribute the press accreditations at some point?
The Vox spokesperson, Macarena Olona, He did not show a less shameful image, curiously, a few minutes before reproaching the Podemos spokesperson for his attitude to the press. The deputy confronted a reporter for having requested her opinion on the insult of a Vox deputy to a PSOE deputy. Olona shouted and threatened the journalist for an answer: “Did you ask this question when they called me a fascist and attacked me in this plenary session?”
These attacks are unacceptable within a consolidated democracy that had overcome this type of speech. They reflect the contempt of populisms for press freedom and their will to kill the messenger who does not dance the water for them. They also reveal his tireless effort to trigger tension and sour the coexistence.
These politicians forget that journalists, in their work, do not represent themselves or their media, but rather the citizens as a whole. When Vox and Podemos behave with this impudence and with the vocation of discrediting the press, coming to confront reporters, they demonstrate their absolute contempt for the most basic principles of liberal democracies, which include freedom of thought and of the press.
Press associations must stand up to this verbal violence that runs the risk of becoming systematic. It is not enough that these attitudes receive individual reproaches from fellow professionals. More if possible when they occur in the seat of national sovereignty.
It is also worrying that the nonsense of Echenique and Olona do not suppose for them a reason for humiliation, but for pride, as their reactions (and those of their parties) attest in social networks. Something that gives off, on the other hand, a perverse truth: that point out critical or divergent journalism as an adversary, and that as an adversary it is one more objective to beat.
As much as there are media outlets that must make self-criticism, enlisted as they are in the partisan battle and oblivious as they are to the rigor demanded by journalism, this belligerence against the press is not justifiable, in any way. A belligerence that cracks our democracy and from which no effort should be spared to banish.
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