Slovakian prime minister calls journalists “dirty anti-Slovak prostitutes”

Published: November 23, 2016 at 5:16pm

Journalists: even as our job becomes more and more important in the current climate of fake news, misinformation, and the rise of the far right, it becomes more difficult, with undisguised hostility from the newly fashionable kind of politicians – who are actually throw-backs – and their supporters.

Now Robert Fico, Prime Minister of Slovakia, has called journalists “dirty anti-Slovak prostitutes”.

Of course, we’re used to that kind of behaviour here in Malta, where the Prime Minister has ‘communications aides’ who are paid especially to spend their time targeting journalists who and newspapers which do not toe the government line.

The Slovak incident itself has perfect echoes of Malta. The Slovakian prime minister has poor relations with journalists and media operators who are critical of him or his government, refusing questions from certain journalists and even filing law-suits. Reuters reports this as though it is remarkable, unheard-of behaviour (which it should be), but it’s normal under Muscat’s government. Perhaps Robert Fico also slips out of back-doors like his counterpart in Malta.

Today, when journalists asked Fico about allegations that public procurement rules had been broken for cultural events marking Slovakia’s EU presidency (oh, so familiar…) he responded with hostile accusations of lack of patriotism and tarnishing Slovakia’s name (ditto). Then came the insult: “You are dirty, anti-Slovak prostitutes. You don’t inform. You fight with the government.” Then he accused them of a targeted attack to smear Slovakia’s presidency, which ends next month.