The PS’ dangerous advice to the Finnish media

by , under All categories, Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

It was pretty surprising to read about Perussuomalaiset MPs like Jussi Halla-aho and James Hirvisaari offering the Finnish media lessons on how they should do their job. Whenever governments and politicians start to blame the media for their shortcomings we know there is something wrong. 

Just like the separation of the church and state, there must be a clear line between the media and politicians. Telling journalists how they should do their job or what the editorial policy of a newspaper should be is simply unacceptable in a Western democratic society.

Certainly we could take examples of countries like Myanmar, North Korea or Russia to see how governments and politicians manipulate the media for their own aims.

Apart from criticizing the media on numerous occasions and preferring not to answer tough questions by journalists, Halla-aho has now decided to boycott Tampere-based daily Aamulehti. The reason? He does not like the pictures that the newspaper prints of him.

Halla-aho did not like this picture published of him by Aamulehti. He said he would no longer give interviews to the newspaper. (Picture by Kimmo Brandt)

In another odd statement, Hirvisaari said that the media was treating the PS with disrespect.

Both Halla-aho and Hirvisaari reached public notoriety with the help of their xenophobic blogs. They are what some have called the “far-right extremists” of Timo Soini’s party.

Both are members of Suomen Sisu, a “Nazi-spirited” association, according to the Finnish Criminal Police (KRP) and Supo.

Can representatives of a “Nazi-spirited” association seriously offer advice to Finland’s media?

Can two people who base their writings on spreading stereotypes and hatred of immigrants and refugees in Finland tell the media what is ethical and correct? Seeking advice from Halla-aho and Hirvisaari would be like an ex-smoker with terminal lung cancer asking tobacco companies for advice.

Halla-aho was asked recently on a television program if he renounced the work of Alfred Rosenberg and David Duke, a former Klu Klux Klan head. It is understandable why associations like Suomen Sisu don’t have any issues with Rosenberg, who was tried in Nuremberg and sent to the gallows in 1946.

In Rosenberg’s The myth of the twentieth century, his argument is the antithesis of cultural diversity, or multiculturalism, which Suomen Sisu and Duke are vehemently opposed. Rosenberg believed that in order for the Germans to become the “master race” it needed to expel the Jews from the country. Only then would Germany reach greatness.

Tens of millions of people perished in World War 2 after Nazism and its representatives like Rosenberg were defeated and placed on trial to answer for their crimes.

It is ludicrous that people like Halla-aho and Hirvisaari want to teach our free media how to do its job. By keeping these two politicians, as well as others under scrutiny, we know that the media is doing its job.

  1. Allan

    Enrique – you are reaching public notoriety.

    “Both are members of Suomen Sisu, a “Nazi-spirited” association, according to the Finnish Criminal Police (KRP) and Supo.”

    That is a fabrication, and I have given you the proof it is not such an association according to KRP nor SUPO. Truth by repetition, eh?

    And if you go check out Kimmo Brandt’s original picture at the media source, you can clearly see what is “wrong” with the picture.

    The only conclusion I can make is that you are among those that this advice is offered to. For a very good reason, you need to be taught how to do your job.

  2. ARainbowInFinnsMidst
    ”Suomen Sisu

    The board of Suomen Sisu congratulated Hirvisaari for the victory in the parliamentary elections and referred to him as its member. The congratulations on web page of Suomen Sisu was updated 18.04.2011 21:56 The other members of Suomen Sisu recognized by its board in the True Finns’ parliamentary group after 17th Apri, 2011 elections are Jussi Halla-aho, Olli Immonen and Juho Eerola. [6]”
    ”The board of Suomen Sisu congratulated Halla-aho, who is a member, for being elected.[38]”
    Onnittelut valituille kansanedustajille
    18.04.2011 12:33

    ”Käräjät haluavat onnitella kansanedustajiksi valittuja yhdistyksen jäseniä, Jussi Halla-ahoa, Olli Immosta, James Hirvisaarta ja Juho Eerolaa. Sisu on vaaleihin liittyen huomioitu myös ulkomailla.
    Vielä kerran onnittelut valituksi tulleille. Pitäkäämme päät kylmänä ja jatkakaamme yhteistyötä paremman Suomen puolesta. – Suomen Sisu ry:n hallitus”

    Julkisen sanan neuvosto

    Can you show that proof for the benefit of others please Allan?

    There is nothing wrong with the photographs. Sounds like he is letting his EGO get the better of him.. either that or he needs to remind himself what he does look like in the mirror. Err.. the same as in the photos! That is just part of being in the social ‘limelight’.

    I agree, polticians should not tell the media what to do at all! Disgraceful.

    • Enrique

      Hi ARainbowinFinnsMidst and welcome to our blog. Thank you for posting those links, which are always useful to have around.

      The media is and should be our guarantee that Finland will become an autocratic state.

  3. JusticeDemon


    Sorry, still can’t see what the fuss is about over that image. Very much par for the course with candid shots taken in the street. It’s not like he’s coming out of a brothel or picking his nose…

    When it comes to repeating a lie in the face of a clear refutation you have nothing to learn from Ricky.

    Perhaps PS should start their own media agency carrying anonymous contributions from ABC-asemaväki… 🙂

  4. Allan

    JD – at least not picking nose or taking a nap i ne cabinet box in parliament.

    The only thing “wrong” with the picture is the overexposure-edit. The original is quite dark as its been taken at night. I do not see any reason for the “fuss” either, but its the media whoring for headlines.

    Rainbow – you have the JSN verdict, so you find that the Länsiväylä reporter fabricated this lie.

  5. Enrique

    Allan, who should I believe: you or JSN?

    Again we are steering away from the main question: Can or should politicians, or those that belong to far-right associaitons, tell the media how they should do their job?

    In my opinion it’s a bit like a person with terminal lung cancer asking the tobacco companies for help. It’s the wrong place.

  6. Allan

    Do you understand the JSN verdict? There was no need for action as the NEWSPAPER HAD PUBLISHED A CORRECTION.

    The Suomen Sisu published editorial stated:

    ” Sisu alkoi tutkia asiaa ja sai lausunnot kaikilta kolmelta taholta (dosentti, KRP ja Supo). Dosentti totesi loukkaantuneena, että hänen sanomisiaan on tulkittu väärin, eikä hän ole kommentoinut Sisua lainkaan, koska ei ole tutkinut sitä. KRP kertoi lausunnossaan arvioineensa vain pk-seudun pikkurikollisryhmiä, eikä lausunut Sisusta mitään. Supon osalta selvitettiin ettei se anna sen suhtaisia arvioita kansalaisjärjestöistä lainkaan. ”

    So: the “Nazi-spirited” label has been put by someone writing an article, and not by KRP (who was talking of biker gangs) nor Supo (who does not give opinions on ngos nor associations) nor even the docent who had been surveying neonazis.

    I do not give a hoot if Suomen Sisu is described as a nazi-spirited organization according to Länsiväylä or according to Enrique. I do object this claim being ” authorised” by KRP and Supo when the source of this claim is a fabrication.

    The main question is Enrique, do far-left reporters and their fabricated stories have any credibility in the media?

  7. Jonas

    Hallo-aho’s argument with Aamulehti is beyond strange. And then we had yesterday’s news of a fight between two members of the party at a meeting of their parliamentary group. Strange, strange bunch these True Finns. One gets the impression that the media haven’t really given the attention these two things deserve. It’s almost expected – and thus somehow okay – for True Finns to behave irresponsibly. The media doesn’t seem to expect them to act to the same standard as members of the other parties and thus doesn’t hold them to account when they don’t. Imagine if members of Kokoomus or the SDP had had a fight with each other during the meeting of their parliamentary groups. I think we’d be hearing a lot more about it.

    Well, at least we have the good news that the Basic Finns will not be in the coming government. Although I worry how they will use their time in opposition. Nothing will now hinder them from continuing their populism. They will not have the brake that would have been government responsibility and the necessity for consensus in government.

  8. Johanna

    I rather liked the “kerma-persu” nickname Halla-Aho earned from these shenanigans. Media are not objective; get over it. In Finland perhaps there is the notion that the national papers *should* be completely objective, but what would be more useful would be to have a serious alternative to HS.

    PS rose by the tabloid, and now the tabloids will sell papers with them. Boo hoo.

  9. Allan

    “Hallo-aho’s argument with Aamulehti is beyond strange. ”

    Aamulehti and the rest of the media making “news” out of it is even more stranger. This is the second or third time they rise some kind of haloo about no comments. Reporters have been on a crusade against him since he started to get active in politics, inventing the facts as they go along, so its quite understandable he offers full reciprocality, which of course annoys the reporters further.

    Basically, some reporter had been asking a comment from him and he had replied if they could resist clowning around with the photos. (It seems that the publishing software commonly used flares up the photos for print use which doesnt help either.) So whats the idea behind the piece of news? Any added value to any discussion?

    “And then we had yesterday’s news of a fight between two members of the party at a meeting of their parliamentary group.”

    Mothers of invention at work again? The scuffle between the chair of the Kontulan PS Local and the district secretary of the Helsinki PS District at the Kontula PS Local meet did indeed involve two members of the party. I can’t figure out how that would evolve into a meeting of the “parliamentary group”, but hey, it makes a better headlines.

  10. Allan

    Enrique – “Whenever governments and politicians start to blame the media for their shortcomings we know there is something wrong.”

    Why, if the incumbent president blames the media of the “no two plates” issue?

    ”Minusta oli suuri tappio, että nimenomaan median painostuksesta suomalaisten mielestä [EU:n huippukokouksissa] ei voi olla muu kuin pääministeri. Minun mielestäni tämä oli henkilökohtaista.”