Exchanging roles

The type of militant journalist, particularly in the electronic media, who modestly styles himself as the genuine expression of popular will but otherwise engages in politics from his television show, has been around for a long time. We watch him as he hits out at politicians (who appear willing to put up with all the trouble for the sake of some publicity), as he condemns people with summary statements, attacks ministers because they did not leave their post to rush to the studio for a public apology, excludes parties from his panels, and issues threats – sometimes blatantly. Journalists, it seems, are running the show. Faced with journalists’ expansionist drive, politicians have come up with a similar remedy. Using their long television experience, they have started to act like journalists – and especially like those champions of the populist, investigative genre. The reversal may deepen the confusion between their so-called powers, but, given the far-reaching roots of corruption, it was only a matter of time. Just like cheap reporters who present a rumor or exclusive information they never bothered to check as unshakable truth, some politicians spread unchecked reports and regurgitate heavy accusations against their political rivals. According to the scenario popular among politicians and journalists alike: «everyone takes bribes.» Unless one has a very short memory, they will still remember who was behind the mantra «all politicians are corrupt» and what surgical methods were used to treat that patient. One need not think too hard to conclude that the only people to take pleasure in such blanket generalizations («everyone is the same,» «everyone is corrupt») are those who are truly corrupt because they can get lost in the anonymous crowd.