A safe distance
“So, Karamanlis turned out to be a wise guy,» a PASOK-leaning newspaper wrote a few days ago. And if I was not mistaken, this phrase contained both admiration and remorse as the PASOK-friendly press had long tried to convince us that Karamanlis did not have the ability to govern and that New Democracy lacked suitable cadres. Now, looking at the members of the former government bereft of their ministerial mantle, it is easy to understand what media organizations supporting the PASOK regime had been trying to hide – that Costas Simitis’s «expert» ministers were nothing more than well-manipulated puppets. So the challenge now faced by the new government is whether it can turn a deaf ear to the sirens of the media barons and retain the appropriate distance in its dealings with them. Of course, no one would wish for a government alienated from the mass media. But during PASOK’s reign we had reached the other extreme and had created a situation bordering on the scandalous. Journalists and politicians had become «one» and in many cases it was difficult to tell who was the most partisan. Now we can see that most newspapers which had formerly described the new ministers as incompetent are beginning to flatter them. But the new ministers should realize that they have a perfect opportunity to re-establish the relationship between politics and journalism by maintaining a safe distance.