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30. Jan 2007

Bent Jensen - Descending into the absurd

Henning Bertram har ordet i sin magt:
A government-appointed academic gets exclusive access to highly sensitive archives, in order to perform bespoke research about the cold war. Even at the time he is appointed, there is clamor about opening said archives to a wider selection of interested parties - perhaps even to the public at large. But this is denied, and it is emphasized just how sensitive the information still is, and how carefully it has to be handled.

Lo and behold: almost immediately said academic researcher writes a newspaper article (in a rather government-friendly paper), naming a certain journalist as a former KGB-agent. The journalist, of course, is not allowed to get into the archives, and thus cannot in any meaningful way defend himself from the specific accusations.

No, I am not kidding: this is presently happening here in Denmark - all part of the Kulturkampf the current government is waging.

This seems absurd, even Kafkaesque. One would imagine that the press as such (being, after all, watchdogs on our behalf) would cry out quite loudly.

Well: sort of. The government-oriented part of the press actually gleefully defends all this, already taking for granted that the newspaper article must be correct, and that the journalist in question is doubtlessly guilty as charged: we should just trust the researcher (who, by the way, is, in his spare time, a rather aggressive participant in the public debate - and who has often enough crossed horns with - well, guess who: the journalist he is now pointing his finger at.)

Also: one would have imagined that when the researcher gained access to said archives he would have signed some form that laid down just how he could use them? I would be surprised f the intention was to provide him with input for his various personal vendettas. But I may be wrong here...

So, one would hope, any amount of sympathy that Jyllands-Posten garnered during the so-called Cartoon Affair, must now have been squandered away: for they printed both the article, and a vehement defense of it. In this case they are but an active part of a nasty political struggle. Or, rather: in this case, once again.

But they really should stop doing their sanctimonious spiel about the sanctity of the freedom of the press: they just sold it down the river.
En rammende og præcis beskrivelse, må man sige - for nu ikke at gentage mit eget indlæg i JP om sagen forleden; Bertrams analyse hamrer den hjem med syvtommersøm.