A bitter taste of the PS’ idea of press freedom

by , under All categories, Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

I read with some dismay that 12 Perussuomalaiset (PS) party MPs have filed a complaint to the Council for Mass Media in Finland (JSN) about a cartoon that was published in the  Helsinki Lutheran Church’s weekly Kirkko ja Kaupunki, according to Helsingin Sanomat. The cartoon showed PS chairman Timo Soini and a number of MPs wishing those who weren’t white, conservative and heterosexual Finns a shitty Christmas.

This story and the action taken by a group of PS MPs is highly revealing since it shows that some in the PS are just as much in the dark about free speech as they are about racism and other cultural groups.

They expose as well their distorted view of the world. It is ok to insult Muslims but not ok to make fun of the PS.

Moreover it shows that the PS considers the cartoon more offensive than the racism and hatred of some of its MPs like James Hirvisaari, who got fined for hate speech or if its members belong to neo-Nazi and racist associations like SKV.

Getting a taste of one’s medicine can be humbling experience although I think these MPs are out for blood.

They are not going to get it for a number of reasons. For one, the PS is a political party and those portrayed in the cartoon are public figures.

Another important fact is that the cartoonist, Ville Ranta, succeeded at portraying the PS as seen by some Finns: A narrow-minded racist and conservative party.

Of course the PS will try to level the playing field in favor by cheating.  It will try to make a point that racism against white Finns by immigrants is the same thing. Before the PS sticks its foot in the mouth again, they should read a column on  Psychology Today that asked a timely question,  “Racism against whites vs. minorities: Is it the same thing?”

  1. justicedemon

    We can draw one conclusion from the fact that HS is willing to reprint the cartoon.

    As the complaint has not been published anywhere, it is too early to comment in detail on its prospects of success. At least the laughable suggestion of “racism against white Finns by immigrants” is quite literally a non-starter at JSN, as this is not the proper forum to decide on such matters. Tältä osin jätetään tutkimatta is the most likely response, perhaps with a suggestion that it is not too late for the f̶a̶s̶c̶i̶s̶t̶s̶ halla-aholaiset to submit any such complaint to the police.

    The terms of reference of JSN are essentially to supervise application of the code of conduct for journalists, and it will be quite a stretch of the imagination to find that the cartoonist or editorial board in question infringed this, even without allowing the ordinary margin of consideration granted to political satire.

    • Enrique

      JusticeDemon, what would be really revealing about this complaint to the JSN is which 12 PS MPs signed it. I tried to look for the names on the Internet but could only find one, Mika Nikko, which doesn’t surprise me. Probably others ones include James Hirvisaari, Juho Eerola and the far-right Suomen Sisu gang.

  2. Mark

    JD

    – ““racism against white Finns by immigrants””

    That seems to be the sole reason for making the complaint, to make a point they know their supporters will like, because it shifts the accusation of racism to their critics.

    Who drew this cartoon, by the way? Was it a white Finn, by any chance?

  3. Mark

    BlandaUpp

    Thanks for the info.

    So, am I being stupid here or what – they are saying that the cartoon is racism against whites by immigrants and yet it was drawn by a white Finn? They are trying to blame immigrants for a negative image created by a white Finn? And THEY are not racists, it’s the immigrants who are the racists and this cartoon is proof?

    And this list of 12 MPs from PS that was submitted, was it written on the back of a beer mat, by any chance?

    • Enrique

      –And this list of 12 MPs from PS that was submitted, was it written on the back of a beer mat, by any chance?

      I wouldn’t be surprised!