Populism is an ugly political force because it’s based on hearsay and on the victimization of migrants and minorities. Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Vesa-Matti Saarakkala claimed Friday on Ilkka that schools are censoring traditional Christian festivities to appease migrants and atheists. Saarakkala felt so strongly about the matter that he sent a written question to the government.
This story published by the Seinjäjoki-based daily is a good example of sloppy journalism and how the media becomes the mouthpiece of groups that spread intolerance and racism in this country.
We’ve seen this type of careless journalism in Finland too many times. Why do we continue to see it? Because the national media, which wields power, is owned and run by white Finns.
Migrant Tales got in touch with Ilkka and they agreed that the journalist who wrote the story should have asked the critical question.
By forgetting to ask the crucial question, the journalist became – as we’ve seen so many times before – the mouthpiece of the anti-immigration politician.
One matter reveals itself after being a journalist for about 25 years and reading stories on the national media for years about the anti-immigration message: It’s mostly conjured and grossly exaggerated.
This email was sent to PS MP Vesa-Matti Saarakkala on December 21. It reads: You were interviewed by Ilkka where you claimed that “schools have censored their festivals during Christmas and spring mainly to please migrants and atheists.” Could you elaborate how many schools and day care centers [in Finland] are doing what you claim. Thank you for your response.
Migrant Tales asked the PS MP the question that the Ilkka journalist should have asked in the first place. We have yet to get a response from MP Saarakkala.
In this case a no response is as good of a response as any.
* The Finnish name of the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The names adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.