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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Maciej Wierzyński’s column. Thoughts of an old-fashioned Pole

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The journalistic community took up the problem of whether Bogusław Chrabota, the editor-in-chief of “Rzeczpospolita”, acted ethically by printing an article by Jacek Kurski, Poland’s representative at the World Bank.

The text signed by Kurski bears the meaningless title “Spring Meetings in the Shadow of War” and does not contain any noteworthy information, nor does it attack anyone, but despite its vagueness, it caused outrage among journalists’ colleagues by the mere fact of appearing in a magazine, hitherto considered decent. In a word, the point is that a decent newspaper should not print Jacek Kurski’s productions. I will say in advance that I do not agree with this position.

Chrabota apologized for the tactlessness and provided Kurski’s article with a comment justifying its publication, but this did not meet with understanding, and a few days after the publication of Kurski’s text, Chrabota assured that nothing like this would happen again, and gave up publishing Kurski once and for all. Apologies and slouch.

But I insist that he did not sin by printing Kurski. I presented my position on the matter in the text “Węk symetristy” published on April 21. I believe that “Rzeczpospolita” did the right thing by printing Kurski’s text. She did her duty to her readers. By printing Kurski’s text, she gave them the opportunity to find out how Kurski, stuffed into the World Bank in a kind of well-paid political exile, understood his new responsibilities. Does he treat them as a short vacation from politics and propaganda, which have been his element so far? Or does he intend to seize the opportunity, to change his profession, to leave politics, to become an expert in international finance? Or maybe he intends to simply improve his education, get to know America and in a few years become a valued expert on the problems of an important country and become an outstanding Americanist. These are, of course, jokes, but a quite serious matter is the answer to the question of whether Jacek Kurski’s stay in Washington brings any benefits to our country. Or maybe it is just a nice diversion in the life of Kurski’s politician – politics?

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By printing the article, “Rzeczpospolita” made it possible for its readers to understand how their duties at the World Bank were carried out Jacek Kurski understands. And let’s remember that the World Bank is a financial institution to which Kurski was referred by two presidents: the president of the National Bank of Poland, on the recommendation of the president of all presidents. Thanks to this shipment, Kurski gets to know this temple of globalization from the inside. Not as described by intermediaries, officers of international media corporations hostile to our country, but first hand. It will also allow you to find out what conclusions Jacek Kurski will draw from these observations of international capitalism and tell the President about them.

I will not discuss his arguments, much less judge them. There is an original, everyone can read and form an opinion about the qualifications of our representative.

When I read Kurski’s confession, noting “with great satisfaction” for the first time in the history of the Spring Meetings, the presence of the Polish Prime Minister in the composition of the Polish delegation, you yourself understand that it is difficult for me to hold back the tears of emotion that come to my eyes. Nor do I have the slightest doubt that we are represented in Washington by a propaganda specialist.

And I really don’t understand the fierceness with which Mariusz Janicki criticizes the decision of editor Chrabota in the comment posted on the electronic pages of “Polityka”. Janicki reminds that a decent magazine, and “Rzepa” earned such a title, should not let Kurski into its columns, because it destroyed public television. Kurski’s print is, according to Janicki, crossing the borders of decency.

Personally, I think that Mariusz Janicki’s thought went astray at this point. In my opinion, the first duty of a newspaper is to inform. It is clear from Kurski’s text that he still sees himself as a propagandist. This is also what I see as the rightness of Chrabota’s decision, because it reveals faith in the reader’s mind, in his ability to independently distinguish the wheat from the chaff.

I do not rule out that I am deeply mistaken. Perhaps Jacek Kurski is right, whose opinion about “dark people” ensured his immortality. But I am stuck in an unfashionable, perhaps even old-fashioned, notion that the reading population is not entirely idiotic.

Opinions expressed in columns for tvn24.pl are not the editorial position.

OTHER COLUMNS BY MACIEJ WIERZYŃSKI

Maciej Wierzyński – TV journalist, publicist. After the introduction of martial law, he was released from TVP. In 1984 he emigrated to USA. He was a scholarship holder at Stanford University and Penn State University. He founded the first multi-hour Polish-language Polvision channel on cable television “Group W” in the USA. In the years 1992-2000 he was the head of the Polish Section of the Voice of America in Washington. Since 2000, editor-in-chief of the New York “Nowy Dziennik”. Since 2005, he has been associated with TVN24.

Main photo source: TVN24



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