Monday, August 18, 2008

It's a Tie: When Personal Offense Replaces Political Integrity....

"As he waited for a BBC interview to begin, Mikheil Saakashvili took a call on his cell phone, absentmindedly stuffed the end of his red silk tie in his mouth and began to chew it in an apparent attack of nerves.

What he did not know was that the cameras were already rolling and the BBC would broadcast the footage on Friday, with a joking comment about the Georgian leader chewing over his next move."

The above article by Anna Malpas appeared in The Moscow Times earlier today, stirring quite a bit of "youtube-esque" interest once the BBC clip was picked up and spanned by the news sources in Russia.

In fact, criminal psychiatrist Mikhail Vinogradov, who specializes in serial killers, told the Vesti news channel that Saakashvili "shows the highest degree of anxiety" and that he is "psychologically inadequate."

Moreover, the web site went further, writing that "such mental unbalance leads to irresponsible political decisions, which lead to chaos, human deaths and humanitarian catastrophes."

Personally, as one of the many, many millions of readers and viewers following the current events back in Georgia, Russia, etc. I can't help but wonder how much further and even more so - lower - can the media get at times when political and purely diplomatic stories just won't suffice in satisfying the editors and the general audience and they simply have to dig in deeper and deeper, overstepping way beyond professional boundaries.... It is staggering at best and quite offensive and even insulting at its worst, or is it not?

One of the other online media sources, also commenting on the BBC clip, made the following suggestion about the "live" incident: "Saakashvili seemed very hungry. Obviously Georgia really is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis and needs the help it gets from the United States."

Whether we support one party or another, without being biased - there are times when it's just a bit too much - the very point where one's journalistic integrity and ability to use his/her professional stature in the most effective manner.

When an objective, unbiased yet healthy news coverage and editorial commentary is replaced by personal insults and questionable but offensive attacks, it's hard to take the information covered in the politically incorrect material with any more trust or interest than any given article from The National Inquirer or the UK's Sun.

Again, I only voice my personal opinion(s) in these blog posts, but at the end of the day, we - those who live in the 21st century democracy - have every right to say what we think and write what we believe is true. We all have our political beliefs, religious outlooks and general opinions on this, that and the other.

Not one political leader in the history of humanity has ever been impeccable in their actions and deeds, rarely far from being saints and angels, but does that give anyone (e.g. a journalist, a fellow political figure, an ordinary civilian) the right to personally and openly attack, insult and as a matter of fact to morally destroy anyone (be it a politician, a celebrity or a regular person) - by ridiculing continuously, on daily basis, their innermost habits, private affairs, personal lives (unless any of this truly affects our lives as a result), etc.

Without defending anyone nor taking personal sides, it pains me to see that our society has become so "small" and minuscule whereby we have to dig for the cheap and superficial trivia in order to greedily satisfy our morbid curiosity.

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