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Grandly Blenched Eyes

January 20, 2011

Aleko Tskitishvili

If we follow the terminology of the Georgian leading TV company “Rustavi 2”, 2011 started with grand concerts. The New Year concerts in Tbilisi, Batumi, and Mestia were accompanied by a several-day long grand promotion by the national TV companies. Journalists from Rustavi 2, Public Broadcasting and Imedi TV covered the concert preparations in similar telecasts. They convinced the audience that Georgia has already beamed up and residents of “lit-up mountain and valleys” are extremely happy in Tbilisi, Batumi and even in Mestia (mountainous region of Svaneti).

How Splendid It Is!

The dispersal of the veterans’ protest rally in the Hero Square, Tbilisi did not halt the excitement of the national TV channels.

On January 3, when the veterans were detained, all three national TV channels kept a grand silence about the incident. They highlighted the incident only on the second day – on January 4 after several independent editions blamed them in grand impartiality. However, the telecasts of every TV channel, prepared with grand similarity, did not condemn the illegal activities of the law enforcement officers, but they reported that oppositionist leaders protested the detention of the veterans because they wanted to gain political points.

Soviet-time news programs – Moambe and Vremia could have been jealous of such cynically biased telecasts.

But, unfortunately, it was not the end!

On January 20, all independent media-outlets in Georgia reported about the IDP eviction in the Orkhevi and Bagebi settlements in Tbilisi. “Eviction” does not express the real process in fact. If we use the favorite epithet of the Rustavi 2 to describe the situation in Bagebi based in former students’ dormitory and Orkhevi based in a former building of the customs department, it was grand cruelty, grand brutality, and a grand violation of human rights.

At this time, our perfect TV-Triplet has their eyes grandly blenched. It is grand impudence when forced eviction of IDPs is covered only in the 9th or in the 5th telecast.

In its fifth telecast of the news program “Rustavi 2” reported that “scheduled eviction of IDPs is underway in Bagebi settlement. If it were a concert, of course they would not miss chance to use the epithet “Grand” when describing the process. The leading telecast of the news program was the TV-Item prepared together with the PR-department of the MIA – certain police captain was detained for abuse his power. Can you imagine?! The MIA is cleaning its institutions from dishonest officers! How splendid it is! After that, the telecast was about the quake in Vani district; the return of the stolen books to the library of the Tbilisi State University, postponed court-hearing on Darejan Jokhtashvili who was detained in Malaysia.

The Public Broadcasting (Channel I) acted more impudently and highlighted the dispersal of the IDPs only in its ninth telecast. The news program started with grand topics – discussion of quakes, then – weather forecast that was really grand impudence because this information is always released at the end of the program. 4th telecast was grand detention of the police captain, 5th – books stolen from the TSU library…

And, the 6th telecast started with astonishment – “rallies started again, mass detentions still take place…” (here Rustavi 2 was more likely to use the word “grand” instead “mass”). I thought, the PB was finally covering the IDP eviction because the News Agency Interpresnews had reported that 10 people were detained an hour before. But don’t be silly! They were reporting about the incidents in Moscow as if the demonstrations and detentions in Tbilisi remained in the deep past. After that, a telecast was about Georgian Foreign Minister’s visit in Baku and then postponed court hearing on Darejan Kokhtashvili. And finally, when grandly bored TV viewer is ready to switch the channel or switch off the TV set, the PB finally reported about the eviction of IDPs.

I have to discuss the misrepresented interview with a leader of the Georgian opposition Kakha Kukava; the soviet demagogy leaders could have been jealous of similar mastership. “We should struggle with all our force to liberate the capital of Georgia from these occupants and enemies before we liberate Abkhazia and Samachablo from them,” Kakha Kukava said in the telecast. Here he meant police officers but audience might think that he was speaking about IDPs in the telecast.

The patience of the society should be extreme to stand life in the captivity of similar subtle disinformation.

I am finishing with the hope that the patience of the society will soon expire.