OPINION

Courts of glass and paper

True to habit, keyhole journalism does not censor its own malice – even when murder has been committed. Of course, the talking heads in the media will rehash the same old compassionate sound bites, before they quickly slide back into their sensationalist and profoundly sexist gossip. The wife of the alleged suspect in the murder of Yiannis Vartholomaios, head of the Social Security Foundation (IKA), said she witnessed the entire incident from the peephole. In what might be an attempt to mimic that particular perspective, Greece’s television channels (and part of the press) examined the case in their pet voyeuristic fashion. Notwithstanding the weight of death, populist journalism remained faithful to its loose values. Before the police or the prosecutor even had a chance to launch an investigation into the slaying, television reporters (who appear to be experts on Freud, criminology and human anatomy) had already come up with their conclusion: the real culprit was that cursed woman, the wife of the suspect. The poor woman became the target of all the curse words devised by the dominant male discourse (according to which even the women victims of rape are guilty, especially when they are foreign). Even the color of her hair – blond – was invoked as a sign of psychological immaturity – if not of sexual promiscuity. We all know the subtext of the blond description. We all know that its use is not totally innocent or purely informative as happens with other cliches, such as «the thief, probably of foreign origin…» Of course, it’s the same people who voice these cliches. Their spontaneous sexism, it seems, is nothing but racism.