Opinion: Just another Labour weapon

Just imagine if the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the US independent agency regulating communications by radio, TV, satellite and cable, were to issue a directive ordering all stations that “any reporting or any information from the White House or any report that has to do with the President of the United States needs to be reported with caution” between now and the November US Presidential election.

Now imagine if the US FCC simply stood by, issued no directives and took no action against Fox News or One America News Network for spreading the multiple conspiracy theories created by Donald J Trump – including the big lie that the 2020 election was stolen.

Imagine that same agency failing to act over the “hit jobs” against Joe Biden or the disinformation about his son, Hunter Biden, and his laptop.

Of course, none of that would ever happen – for one simple reason. With all its failures, the United States is a far stronger democracy than ours.  The First Amendment of its constitution enshrines the right to freedom of the press and freedom of speech.

It would be unimaginable for the FCC to order broadcasting stations to exercise “caution” when reporting about the White House or the President. It would be too ridiculous, too stupid, too sinister for anybody to accept.

But that’s what our own Broadcasting Authority has just done. It issued a directive ordering stations to “report with caution” anything related to the European Parliament and, more importantly, the President of the European Parliament.

“Any such reports should focus on the news value of the story and whether the issue is a current and topical one”, the directive added.

That’s not a directive.  It’s a threat, a warning to all radio and TV stations.  The message is clear – “don’t report about Roberta Metsola” because we, the Broadcasting Authority (BA), decide what has “news value” and what is “current and topical”.

That’s a chilling warning for all TV and radio stations to stop mentioning Metsola and everything she does in her role as European Parliament President. Why?  Because the BA is simply a weapon in Labour’s hands. It’s just doing Labour’s bidding.

Any report about EP President Metsola exposes Labour’s lies about her.  Every mention of Metsola’s work in that prestigious role demolishes Labour’s narrative.

Every meeting she has with European and world leaders reveals her status on the world stage, her incredible achievements, her enormous experience, and her professional competence.

Labour can’t have that, so it’s resorted to the oldest tactic from Labour’s dark 1980s—one that ranks high up there with that notorious “Foreign Interference Act.”

Labour knows Metsola is a massive threat to their chances, not only at the European elections but far beyond. That’s exactly why Labour made her a target, why Labour won’t stop trying to assassinate her character with the most vicious and most ridiculous claims.

Labour must stop Metsola at all costs.  Labour knows only diehards who watch ONE believe Metsola is responsible for genocide in the Gaza strip, that she’s promoting war, or that she wants to send our children into battle.

For the floaters and the swingers who might watch other stations, they can see Metsola being honoured for her work towards peace and hear Portuguese president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa lauding her as a “beacon of democratic light.”

They’ve seen her accept the Roots for Peace Award by YMCA Europe or the Boniface VIII International Award for her outstanding political, diplomatic, cultural, and social contributions. They can hear her praised as a “true stateswoman serving Europe and the global community.”

Those floaters will quickly figure out who’s trying to con them.  The choice they face couldn’t be starker.  They could vote for Metsola, or they could vote for Claudette Abela Baldacchino, who accused Metsola and David Casa of “loving their party more than the country and were ready to work against the interests of Malta”.

That’s why Labour is in a panic.  That’s why it’s getting the Broadcasting Authority to stop stations from even mentioning Metsola. That’s the exact same tactic used by Labour against Eddie Fenech Adami in the 1980s.

Labour can only win if it plays dirty.  And when has Labour ever shied away from playing dirty? It’s no different now than it was in the 1980s.

Speaking of the 1980s, Frans Ghirxi, who joined the Union press in 1976, sits on the Broadcasting Authority. His CV lists as his major achievements that he “coordinated and presented television discussion programmes on Super One Television and a weekly discussion radio programme on ONE Radio.”

With people like him on the Broadcasting Authority, is it any surprise we’re seeing Mintoff’s tactics exhumed?

The Broadcasting Authority’s role is to safeguard the public interest.  Yet it allows ONE to systematically broadcast headlines such as “They say that Metsola is facilitating genocide in Gaza”, “Metsola described as complicit in protest against Gaza genocide”, “Metsola welcomed with anger by MCAST students who accused her of being responsible for Gaza genocide”.

How can the Broadcasting Authority warn broadcasters to report about Metsola “with caution” while allowing the constant flow of ONE’s libellous lies against her?: “Metsola in favour of other countries, but against Malta”, “Metsola proud to continue fighting against Malta”, “Metsola goes round Brussels speaking against Malta.”

The European Parliament Office is right to protest and demand the “immediate suspension of the directive.” The BA’s directive is “anti-democratic and shameful.” It is specifically intended to “impair the work of the media.”

The truth is that the Broadcasting Authority, like other institutions, has been captured by the Labour Party.  The Authority’s function is no longer to safeguard the public.

Its primary role is to protect Labour’s interests and to abuse its power to enforce Labour’s will. It’s high time the Opposition withdrew its representatives from that Authority and challenged every one of the Authority’s oppressive anti-democratic partisan decisions in the courts.

Labour’s autocratic noose is tightening around our necks – and we’ve barely noticed.

                           

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Mick
Mick
1 month ago

” It’s high time the Opposition withdrew its representatives from that Authority and challenged every one of the Authority’s oppressive anti-democratic  partisan decisions”
Your’e right as ever Kevin, however unfortunately they appear to live in a parrallel universe, so any well meant advise like this is meaningless, as they appear to not understand the implications of doctored/ missing/ or misleading information being put out there to wholly suppress the truth and render this nation to the ongoing dystopian one party state that currently exists.

D M Briffa
D M Briffa
1 month ago

Comparison with the Eighties is correct. The only good thing is that today we have the internet and, in particular, social networks. The challenge is to spread the truth among an electorate that seems to contain a large number of half-boiled frogs.

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
1 month ago

This is no surprise. We are being governed by clowns.

Edgar Rossignaud
Edgar Rossignaud
1 month ago

I have been saying that the PN should withdraw its members on BA Board because they’re useless and impotent! Or is the remuneration too good to lose?

Austin Sammut
Austin Sammut
22 days ago

The Leader of the Opposition appoints two members on the BA, but these are then independent and do not represent the Opposition. They cannot be removed by the Opposition. However if the Leader of the Opposition advises them that they have lost his confidence the decent thing for them to do is to resign.

Emanjel Cilia Debono
Emanjel Cilia Debono
1 month ago

The Broadcasting Authority has lost credibility as a truly independent regulator of broadcasting in Malta. There is no valid reason for the issue of the latest directive aimed at censuring the President f the European Parliament. The people of our island as wll as the European Union are entitled to an explanation without delay . ,

Albert Mamo
Albert Mamo
26 days ago

IS FASCIST GOVERNMENT WE HAVE IS RUN PUTIN STYLE!!!💯🐀🐀🐀

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