Another instance of double standards in Finnish media
2019-05-01 15:43:45 -
Politics
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By Panu Höglund

 

Parliamentary elections are over in Finland, and with the hung parliament that was voted in, it’ll take some time to assemble a cabinet of ministers. To start with, it seemed that much of the previous support of the Finns Party had evaporated after the split in 2017. But when media did the canvassing for them, they were able to keep their seats in parliament.

 

Most of the newspapers and other media kept telling us during the election campaign that you were supposed to be “understanding” towards racist populists and that you should not ”exclude” them. As an example of this understanding, you’d never even see newspapermen using the word ”racism” when referring to True Finns.

 

It was another story, though, when it turned out that a new member of parliament who was representing the Social Democrats, a man of Iraqi background, had years ago posted racist and anti-Semitic stuff in social media. Newspapers went quite wild, and now there was no inhibition against calling the poor man racist.

 

He apologised profusely, trying to convince us that his thinking had changed since then – he even gave something of a comprehensive explanation of how all this had been part of the bad heritage he had got from his father, and how personal contacts and friendship with people from many different ethnic groups had influenced him since then.

 

But we know that media in our time are, to a great extent, just a bunch of vultures. The worse kind of journalists were judging the young man’s apologies everywhere, and usually outdoing each other in finding his sincerity wanting. They again just did their propaganda work for True Finns.

 

That’s how mainstream media are in Finland today: no better than the propaganda web pages of racists. They don’t dare to accuse of racism those white propagandists who are calling for mass murder of all immigrants, or even worse, on the internet. But if someone of immigrant background says anything improper, no apology is enough.

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Panu Höglund is a Finn who writes in Irish. His newest publication is the anti-racist thriller Tine sa Chácóin

TAGS : media racist Finland
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