By Mero Baze
It is entertaining to witness President Ilir Meta sharing journalism lectures, while his greatest trauma in life was precisely the result of journalism. The publication of a corruption video-scandal has left him the idea that journalism must be controlled through advice, money and even threats. He did not spare the latter against the TemA Newspaper on Monday.
This is not the first time that I hear such advice from Ilir Meta. I have read investigation files that show the conversation between him and a media owner and through them, one can very well understand the President’s ideas regarding media. In the file one can read how Ilir Meta advises the media owner to blackmail one of his political opponents as well as to manipulate an Italian poll in order to improve his party’s image. They are in other words pretty similar to the advice he shared on Monday, though more concrete as the President plays the part of a media owner. Therefore, I am not curious regarding his concept of media since it is pretty clear to me.
Meanwhile, the attack against the TemA Newspaper from a politician known as the most corrupt in Albania’s history is actually a good news. It would be an issue if he decided to support us. Concerned that we have shared various pictures and videos of his illegal electoral meetings, while also breaking the Covid-19 restrictions, President Meta believes now that we are following him. As a matter of fact, it is the people he meets with that share such videos and pictures with us as if to prove that they are his hostages in a Don Quixote-esque campaign that will eventually end up with losing even those few votes he has at the moment.
On the other hand, we as a media support the President’s decision to campaign for the Socialist Movement for Integration. We believe that it is in favour of the Albanian society since it is the only way to get rid of this party. However, we cannot fail but witness Ilir Meta’s concern about the region of Vlora. He was not as worried five years ago when he used to send bags filled with cash to pay members of the Constitutional Court in order to eliminate Koco Kokedhima’s term and replace him with one of his own people. The issue is that the President now has no support in Vlora anymore. His previous investment has also gone to waste.
While we as a media can only witness the President’s past attempts, we cannot help him retain his lost power in southern Albania. Therefore, his attack against us as well as his request for a referendum against the TemA Newspaper sound rather ridiculous and we can barely wait to see the result. However, since Ilir Meta wants to publicly counsel press editors, I feel obligated to remind him that the media owners who pretend to be loyal to him, view Ilir Meta merely as an ATM. They are looking at his pockets, rather than listening to his advice. Meanwhile, the others are trying to investigate what he himself pockets in, rather than paying attention to his words. Therefore, his attempts for counsel and advice to the media are useless.