It’s a sad fact that powerful people are the ones hiding those bits of their lives they don’t want you to see. It’s never people like you and me who manage to keep the worse bits hidden. Since they have the capacity to hide things, I’d like to explain why we should keep an eye on them.
Max Mosley is a former president of the Formula 1 governing body. He sued the UK government in 2011 to change the law on privacy. He wanted media houses to notify people before publishing anything embarrassing about them. He lost that case, with the court declaring that
“pre-notification […] would inevitably affect political reporting and serious journalism.”
Harvey Weinstein is now a disgraced film producer and a convicted sex offender. As allegations emerged, Weinstein hired investigators to look into the journalists reporting them.
In both cases, the implication is clear:
- Can I stop the media reporting on things I don’t want everyone to know?
- Can I manipulate the system to control what people know about me?
These two preferred acting whichever way they wanted and then shooting the messenger.
Only people who are hiding things insist the press should be re-written.
Only people with lots of money can afford to do this. In other words, the more rich and sleazy you are, the easier it is to be an asshole.
If you’re an asshole, then you already know all this.
If you’re not an asshole, you’re wondering why I’m talking about old cases.
What does all this tell us about modern-day life?
Over the past decade, we’ve seen many instances where the powerful tried to shut down the media:
- Assassins targetted journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017. She was working on stories involving corruption deals linked to the highest levels of government in Malta.
- Defense lawyers tried to bribe journalists who report on the trial of Yorgen Fenech. Mr Fenech is accused of masterminding the assassination of journalist Ms Caruana Galizia.
- Mr Neville Gafa, who worked in the Maltese Prime Minister’s office, threatened an Italian journalist.
- Thugs in the Prime Minister’s office locked journalists in a briefing room to prevent embarrassing questions.
What does this teach us?
For this reason, if people in power or authority try to hide stories, you can be sure it is something that we, the public, should know about.
Never trust those who hide
things that can change your mind.
- Max Mosley, Donald Trump and Oleg Deripaska: The sex-mad rich don’t want you to read this; Sarah Baxter; The Sunday Times; 2018-02-18
- Harvey Weinstein’s Army of Spies; Ronan Farrow; New Yorker; 2017-11-06
- EXPLAINED: Why ElectroGas Could Be The Motive Behind Daphne’s Assassination; Julian Bonnici; Lovin Malta; 2020-09-10
- Former chief justice heads probe into lawyer’s cash offer to journalist; Matthew Xuereb; The Times of Malta; 2020-11-0
- Italian journalist ‘threatened’ by Neville Gafà insulted outside court; Sarah Carabott; The Times of Malta; 2020-10-01
- Detention of journalists at Castille ‘a threat to press freedom’; The Shift News; 2019-12-07
All references were valid and correct when this article was published. Changes to referenced websites or web pages may render some references invalid. If this is the case, please leave a comment below.
Written by: Antoine P Borg
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