NEWS

The media and the televised debate

Radio and television networks have provided you with their support. How do you perceive this support? Do you feel it is an attempt to hem you in? There are supporters and opponents of every political move. The democratic camp is no exception. That general rule is often interpreted in reverse, that is that the media produce the political message and try to impose it on the politicians. I claim that this fatalistic view of the all-powerful nature of the media is unfair both to the media and to politicians. My political initiatives come from my political experience and my desire to contribute to a change in the political landscape. My initiatives have met with both favorable and unfavorable reception, often by the same medium. Only the politically weak-willed, who generate no new policies, are afraid of being hemmed in – as you so appropriately put it. You have given the impression, on a wide range of issues, particularly the televised debate, that you have backed down from your previous positions, with the result that you have been accused of vacillating. Are you not concerned that this image can create uncertainty in view of the elections? The democratic camp, and I say this without any vanity, is changing the political climate. What a political society imprisoned in outdated ideas might consider vacillation, I call a gesture outside the realm of political gains, as an attempt to do away with the dead ends, which some people have «discovered» in my actions and which are not that at all. I was of the opinion that a televised debate between the country’s candidates for prime minister would be of great interest to the television audience. I was in favor of a televised meeting of all political parties. When I realized that the other parties saw this as a plot, something which I never had in mind, I suggested the solution of a joint appearance. This does not lead to uncertainty, but on the contrary, it increases the certainty that the democratic camp produces politics and dominates the daily political agenda.