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Hope Is Dying But Later – Assessments about Simulated Chronicle

March 17, 2010

Tako Khutsishvili

After the hot days of the August of 2008 the society still got afraid of war. The reason is so-called simulated chronicle aired by the TV-Company Imedi on March 13, 2010. The reportage was about possible intervention of Russia and break out of the new war.

The telecast of the Chronicle panicked part of the population because there was no warning subtitle running during the reportage. Protest demonstration started in front of the TV-Company Imedi before the talk-show ended. People protested the fact on the Rose Square, Tbilisi next day.

Political leaders and society representatives made strict assessments about the simulated chronicle. Many people considered it was ordered by the government which aimed to threat the population. Leader of the Democratic Movement for Georgia Nino Burjanadze intends to appeal against TV-Company Imedi at the court.

“Alliance for Georgia” categorically condemns the simulated chronicle and imposes complete responsibility over the government of Georgia. “Television has become the source of disinformation and dangerous propagandist tool under control of Saakashvili and his authority. Before the elections Saakashvili has habit to start artificial hysterias. Health of Georgian population and international reputation of Georgia shall not be sacrificed to the chair of Gigi Ugulava (Tbilisi City Mayor),” it is said in the statement of the Alliance.

Family of Badri Patarkatsishvili (founder and former owner of the TV-Company Imedi) spread special statement about the reportage. In her conversation with the News Agency Medianews Nana Patarkatsishvili spoke about necessity of temporary closure of Imedi-TV. “The purpose of this program was not only increase the fear of the war. They might speak about the license of the TV-Company. They do everything to achieve these goals. By the way, our family is for seizing license from the company and we think it shall be closed before court identifies the real owner of the company.”

Catholic-Patriarch of Georgia, His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II responded to the topic of TV-Imedi in his Sunday sermon. “I want to request the government to pay attention to these facts. TV-Channels cannot be uncontrolled. Yesterday, people though the reportage was true. God will save us from it but if it really happens, people will not believe then,” … “We ask the God to lead us to the correct road,” said the patriarch.

Governmental officials made different assessments about the simulated chronicle. President Saakashvili said the simulated telecast was very close to reality. However, he added that warning subtitles should have been on the reportage.

“Simulated reportage of Chronicle was very close to possible developments of the situation. It really was very unpleasant movie but the main inconvenience is that the reportage was very close to what might happen; or what the enemy of Georgia plans. We saw really bad film in summer of 2008. They decided to show to us how Georgia is falling down and they expected Georgian people to be obedient spectator and to accept everything calmly. But they failed and Georgian people stopped their film,” said Saakashvili during his meeting with residents of Rachisubani in Bolnisi district on March 14.

Unlike the president, MPs from the ruling party categorically condemned the reportage.

“We want more and more investments come into Georgia; more and more foreign businessmen come to Georgia; however, they state Georgia faces the threat of the new war and it is most likely to happen. Similar propaganda, of course, does not impact on national interests positively.

“It is not result of any governmental propaganda. Those, who speak about it try to gain political dividends from it. On the one hand the reportage aimed to damage the government and on the other hand the government categorically opposes releasing similar reportages and does everything not to develop similar scenario,” said the leader of the parliamentary majority Petre Tsiskarishvili.

Although the TV-Imedi was ordered to apologize to people, one thing is clear – part of society still suffer from the tragedy of possible war.