The unbelievable Owen Bonnici – Kevin Cassar

Owen Bonnici has praised an EU plan to stop national governments from using public broadcasters for their own propaganda.  Can you believe it?

Owen Bonnici is commending EU efforts to stop governments lying to their own people through their national broadcaster. Yes, Owen Bonnici, again – the king of buffoonery, the champion of contradiction, the master of duplicity.

Bonnici keeps rising to new heights in pretence and dishonesty – or rather new lows. He’s made it a habit of travelling to Europe, trumpeting his democratic credentials while trampling on fundamental human rights back home.

Bonnici’s notoriously embarrassing defence of Jason Micallef in Friesland singled Bonnici out as Labour’s defender of the indefensible.

Jason Micallef, Valletta 2018 chairman, had drawn ire from Valletta 2018’s twin culture capital Leeuwarden in the Netherlands. Micallef had mocked Daphne Caruana Galizia with photos of revellers on St Patrick’s day tagged with his comment, “The situation is desperate. There is (sic) happy people every where (sic) you look”.

Jason Micallef’s post mocking slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia’s last words when he was Chair of Valletta 2018 Capital of Culture.

The Dutch were understandably outraged at Micallef’s sheer callousness.  They expected the minister responsible, Owen Bonnici, to sack Micallef on the spot. But Bonnici wouldn’t even condemn Micallef’s comments, leaving his Dutch counterparts incredulous and shocked.

But Bonnici went a step further.  He robustly defended Micallef.

“I will not censor anyone for expressing his thoughts,” Bonnici insisted. Yet he had no qualms censoring those who placed flowers and candles at Daphne Caruana Galizia’s memorial in Valletta.

Bonnici had personally ordered the removal of candles and flowers hundreds of times with a zeal for suppressing freedom of expression that is unmatched. The Court was clear.  Bonnici, who “will not censor anyone for expressing his thoughts”, had breached the fundamental right to freedom of expression with the “specific intent” to hinder all who wanted to protest.  That was 2020.

Bonnici’s still there. He didn’t resign.  Robert Abela didn’t sack him. He’s still paying lip service to democracy in Europe while diligently destroying it back home.

Bombastic and patronising as ever, Bonnici declared, “As a minister for culture, when we met in the council (EU Ministers), I explained that Malta is in favour of such a proposal”.

The proposal is for a European Media Freedom Act. It is intended to protect the editorial independence of State broadcasters, to ensure transparency in State advertising and requires member states to provide “plurality of information and opinions, in an impartial manner”.

Malta’s public broadcaster is so overtly partisan, so obviously controlled by Bonnici’s Labour government, that it even censored the Pope.

When Pope Francis visited Malta and delivered a stinging sermon about corruption, PBS cut it out.

When PBS reported on disciplinary action against a water polo club official, Rainer Scerri,  a well-known Labour activist, the news item was taken down shortly after on direct instructions from Castille.

Scerri had been suspended and fined for making death threats to a sports official. PBS Head of News Norma Saliba was directly ordered by the Office of the Prime Minister to take down the report – and PBS duly complied.

Norma Saliba was asked why she took down the news item. She refused to answer. She was sent several reminders. She ignored them.

PBS is not only abused by Labour to drum its distorted narrative into the people’s minds, but it is also entirely controlled by Labour. The Center for Media, Data and Society classified PBS as state-controlled media in September 2021. That’s the worst rating on the Center’s seven-point scale.

The Media Pluralism Report published in July 2021 showed that the risk to PBS’s independence increased significantly (from 83% to 92%) since Robert Abela took over from Joseph Muscat.

“We are four-square behind the Commission in securing more media freedom and a better media landscape,” Owen Bonnici said.

His bluff was soon called out. “Do you intend to introduce legislation to achieve this?,” Bonnici was asked. “Well… we need to let the process take its course….we are going to actively contribute to the debate,” he replied. More hot air from the minister.

Bonnici has absolutely no intention of making any changes to the status quo. If anything, he’ll ensure Labour’s control of PBS is consolidated.

Bonnici’s hypocrisy is just staggering. He even refused to disclose the names of the three persons who form PBS’ editorial board, denying the public the right to know who’s making editorial decisions.

Bonnici failed to publish PBS’ annual reports detailing how PBS spends taxpayer money. Labour refused Freedom of Information requests to provide the contracts it awarded to its politically appointed executive chairman Mark Sammut and board secretary Mark Vassallo.

Vassallo, a lawyer representing Keith Schembri in money laundering and tax evasion accusations, receives regular payments from PBS. While serving as PBS Board Secretary, he directed ONE’s broadcasts of Labour’s mass meeting at Ta’ Qali during the election campaign.

PBS employees are not allowed to work for other media stations, but, of course, Owen Bonnici hasn’t taken any action against Vassallo. But when does Bonnici take any action at all?

Even when an orchestra musician was subjected to repeated sexual abuse and pleaded for the minister’s help, he failed her.

The proposed EU Media law would require governments to appoint the head and governing board of PBS through a transparent, non discriminatory public call. Bonnici’s not going to let that happen.  He’ll just “actively contribute to the debate”.

Meanwhile, he’ll continue to stuff PBS with what’s left of ONE’s dwindling workforce. Norma Saliba, a former ONE sports reporter, was made head of news when Robert Abela became prime minister.

Owen Galea, another former ONE employee and communications executive for the prime minister’s office, was made online news co-ordinator.  Charles Dalli, the former head of engineering at ONE was made PBS CEO.

But Owen Bonnici disagrees with criticism of a lack of independence at PBS.  When presented with the litany of former ONE employees at PBS, Bonnici protested that there are “mixed CVs” at TVM. What a prat!

                           
                           
                               
guest

14 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
KLAUS
KLAUS
1 month ago

Owen Bonneci. 
The name stands for a person with no decency and no sense of justice.

That ROBBER Abela keeps him as a minister says enough about the state of the PL, which is clearly trying to establish itself as a mafia and Nazi party and hide the misdeeds under the carpet of corruption.

Certainly the PL is not a representation of the workers.
Absolutely sure!

Wenzu
Wenzu
1 month ago

Once a buffoon, always a buffoon. Major part of the qualifications of being a member of Abela’s gang of incompetents

Steve
Steve
1 month ago

The main difference between cassar and bonnici is the trust placed by the public in bonnici, as proven by the number of votes garnered. That’s what counts at the end of the day

KLAUS
KLAUS
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Did I miss somewhere that Kevin Cassar was going to get elected?
Could it be that your last visit to the doctor was a little longer ago?
Nice try. Nice joke.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  KLAUS

You seem to have missed the fact that he had stood for election. I think you’re the one who needs to see a doctor

KLAUS
KLAUS
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

In fact, I did not see that.

How could Mr. Kevin Cassar be so foolish as to promise no METRO and a tunnel to Gozo just before the election? 

KLAUS
KLAUS
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

BTW: Have you ever thought that the Metro would be built?

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  KLAUS

Of course it can.

KLAUS
KLAUS
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

1.500 scale?

Please Steve, please no more joke, I can‘t stop laughing.

Last edited 1 month ago by KLAUS
Austin Sammut
Austin Sammut
1 month ago

When a nerd has to rise above himself

Wenzu
Wenzu
1 month ago

Once a buffoon always a buffoon. But then that is the basic qualification to be a member of this disaster of a government.

Patrick Sciberras
Patrick Sciberras
1 month ago

Calling this idiot a “prat”is being too kind.

I. Gatt
I. Gatt
1 month ago

“I explained that Malta is in favour of such a proposal”.
Of course he is in favour!! Are we in any doubt?? He now has his loyal trolls actively seeking ways on how to perform the complete opposite of what he has stated above……! THERE TRULY MUST BE A HELL!

joe tedesco
joe tedesco
1 month ago

PBS – A PIGSTY CREATED BY THE PL GOVERNMENT, THE
SAME PL GOVERNMENT WHICH IS ANATHEMA TO THE
MALTESE ISLANDS.

Related Stories

Humans devalued
This article is not fresh. It scarcely says anything
The serenity of the institutions
A 20-year-old was assaulted, stabbed 17 times and her

Our Awards and Media Partners

Award logo Award logo Award logo