Editorial: The propaganda of disaster

Everyone also witnessed the government’s effort to manipulate public opinion, and the effort to temper the negative impressions regarding the catastrophe.

The method is always the same.
The newspapers write something that the leader and his entourage do not like, and then there is a revolt of the well-known group of propagandists and the “SYRIZA guard”.
The newspapers write that the government is faltering, and that the prime minister was exposed by participating in a parody of a conference with the Fire Service coordination centre in Halandri, and the explanation is simple: “The publisher is in a clash with the government and found an opportunity with the deadly Mati fire to topple the government.

Ιt is a permanent and convenient refrain from the circle of propagandists.

Others have used it successfully in the past.
Every time governments were in decline and their influence was reduced, they discovered or manufactured internal enemies.
So it is now.
Currently, the government is annoyed mainly by references, reports and commentary regarding the errors and omissions of state services, which reveal its callous stance towards the fire-stricken of Eastern Attica.
They are enraged by articles that reveal the difficult situation faced by the government, and by the prime minister personally. This is especially true with pieces that inform public opinion of the fact that the wildfire spread without anyone reacting as they should have, and immolated 95 people, damaging the prestige of the prime minister and calling into question the government’s ability to rule.
Of course, it is also true of pieces that without hesitation and reservations describe the wave of doubt and condemnation that prevailed throughout the country.
Unfortunately for the government, all these things are major, self-evident issues.
They may not be able to suffer it, but that is how the events occurred and unfolded. Everyone heard the accounts of the victims and those who were entrapped.
Everyone also witnessed the effort to manipulate public opinion, and the effort to temper the negative impressions regarding the catastrophe.
This, however, is the roar of events, which cannot be checked and manipulated, whatever anyone may say, and whatever the propaganda machine and the “guardians” of power may come up with.
It is of course true that the print and electronic press played a leading role in highlighting the operational inadequacy of state services and of the government. That is why the mechanisms of power were annoyed.
However, that is the role and mission of the press. It is not by chance that the government absorbed the criticism to the greatest possible extent, and adjusted its behaviour in an analogous manner.

As for the propagandists, we have no delusions. They are not about to become more prudent. One can expect the same and worse.

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