The Malta Independent 24 September 2020, Thursday

Who needs Pravda when we have PBS?

Victor Calleja Sunday, 13 September 2020, 08:54 Last update: about 12 days ago

In a land with escalating revelations you’d expect a prime minister to wake up, smell the rot and act rationally. Can’t a single Malta Labour Party leader think of country first before counting his popularity stakes?

A shred of rationality now would go a long way to get to grips with the reality we are facing.

Because we are living a worse version of Kafka’s nightmares.

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The news, the untarnished news, is full of facts that should see the whole population rise up. And go pitchfork our top authorities out of existence, shoving them into a sewer.

The appalling news issuing from the courts, of chats between ministers, prime ministers and alleged criminals or money launderers, is beyond belief. The collusion, the invented and inverted demarcation lines between big business, gangsters and politicians of all hues, should be enough to turn this country into a mass movement of anger, angst and fear for our future.

Yet all goes on as if the silly vouchers that give you a free pizza are our great salvation.

The official news lies practically dormant to the real problems.

Maybe if some of us turned into Kafkaesque cockroaches, all we’d need is a good pest control company, a good whiff, and pouf! the magic would be done. Off with the heads of the human cockroaches and all our horrors would be over.

We are not in Alice’s wonderland which has sensible nonsense to sustain it. There, at least, the irrationality is amusing and cute.

Malta is not just nonsensical. It is terribly tragic. And the more gloss is applied, the worse the reality seems if you dig or scrape a bit.

What does Robert Abela, and his band of rogues in power, do at this delicate moment of our island’s history? When we should all take a reality check and start hearing the facts as they are, not diluted, shaken, stirred and turned into fakery?

Robert Abela, or whichever puppet minister is responsible for these issues, nominates a board at PBS which is frightening. Which makes a total mockery of all things decent. Which makes sure the state broadcaster can perpetuate its lies and total garbage which might then have a few board members to question and ask for changes.

The main reason for the existence of PBS is to dupe and mesmerise the general public. To feed them enough doses of propaganda so that ultimately, they sincerely believe that Joseph Muscat was a sacrificial lamb and that all the rogues and roguery have not ruined this country.

Let’s be clear. PBS is the country’s taxpayer-funded TV, radio and digital broadcaster. A media house which should be totally balanced, free from political interference, and which should keep us, the Maltese public, well informed. It always runs at a loss, but government keeps pumping money into it.

In the past few days, the Labour government has allotted even more money to PBS to keep it going even stronger in its service to the nation.

Thanks to the flood of money and resources at its disposal, it has the numbers. Its audience, especially for news bulletins, is astronomical.

However, it never makes ends meet. It spends more than it ever generates. But who cares? Government, or rather me and you through our taxes, always acts as the subsidiser.

The people at PBS and its media house know that what they do will always get ministerial approval. Whatever budget they miss out on.

Of course, they inevitably repay government in kind. They are its mouthpieces, its propagandists par excellence.

News which is unpalatable to government either doesn’t get aired or is given a time slot when half the audience is comatose or absent.  Investigative journalism is practically non-existent. Or only existent to delve into puerile subjects.

Daphne Caruana Galizia was the only one who followed all the stories and who was a real investigative journalist. And because she was such a star at chasing stories involving top level corruption what did the state media do? They totally ignored her in her lifetime.

When the rogues in government or those close to them assassinated her the world realised what some of us always knew: she was an amazing woman who deserved, and subsequently won, myriad awards. But PBS never find this noteworthy.

Norma Saliba is now head of news at PBS. Her predecessor, Reno Bugeja, was a state lackey who coordinated all he did in conformity not with truth or journalism but with Castille. Yet even if totally compromised he had a bit more grey matter than Saliba.

That Norma Saliba is worse than Bugeja and has been given such a top position marks a terrible low.

The difference between PBS, One, downright propaganda and Pravda is hardly discernible.

Pravda, to anyone too young to remember or care much about history, was the leading newspaper in the Soviet Union where truth was subverted and transmuted to suit the party in government which coincidentally was always the communist party. Pravda also means truth in Russian. Anyone Maltese who feels proud that this is where we are heading with our state broadcasting, has really lost all sense of reality and truth.

Feeding the masses idiocy will keep Robert Abela and the rogues in power for very long. What total bliss, what total amnesia.   

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