Slovak politicians  continue to vilify journalists

Former prime minister, and influential ruling party leader, Robert Fico, has refused yet again to answer journalists’ questions. Fico is well known for his aggressive attitude to the press -- once denouncing them as "dirty anti-Slovak prostitutes."  

Ria Gehrerová
Ria Gehrerová Denník N, Slovakia
Source: Denník N
Slovak politicians  continue to vilify journalists - NewsMavens
Robert Fico, WikiCommons

Why this story matters:

It was a very refreshing time when politicians stressed the importance of journalists in supporting democracy and justice in Slovakia. However, this era is fading away as fast their remembrance of murdered journalist Ján Kuciak.

Former prime minister Robert Fico, who is now the head of the ruling party, refused to answer journalists’ questions about corruption and disagreements among members of the ruling party during a recent press conference. So after the meeting, a journalist went out of the room with him in the hope that he would answer questions on his way out.

He became angry and said journalists have to stop "bothering politicians": "You cannot chase us down like animals in the corridors, I will answer your questions only during press conferences with a set theme. Not when you walk behind us and annoy us."

However, even during press conferences he generally focuses on straightforward and non-confrontational queries from journalists. Other questions remain unanswered.

Details from the story:

  • Former PM Robert Fico is well known for his verbal attacks on journalists and not answering their questions. For a few months, he even refused to answer questions from the daily newspaper SME because he found it too critical.
  • MP Karol Farkašovský (SNS) has said "journalists have too many opportunities to write freely" during the discussion on the new legislature on defamation in parliament.
  • MP Ľuboš Blaha (Smer) said journalists are "arrogant, cheeky, stupid and spoiled brats. They have done nothing notable in their life, but show their indignation every day."
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