You can fetishise any historical figure, polish anyone’s biography and make the worst people look good. If you have never heard of Benito Mussolini, the following collection of images will make you think of him as some heroic figure. If you’re reading this and you have heard of Benito Mussolini and think he is a heroic figure, please stop reading and go follow Jo Meli’s Facebook page. Otherwise scroll down to get my point.
History can be written as propaganda, to gloss over the truth, twist it and turn villains into object of admiration. Pictures as history make the job even easier.
The first historians are journalists. They are relied upon by their contemporaries and by future generations to testify to the truth so that our children may learn from our mistakes and not repeat them. This is how TVM — the public television station, first witness of our time, relied upon to testify to the truth — marked “Joseph Muscat’s political career” at its end when he resigned this week.
The video is a series of hagiographic, hero-worship semi-official propaganda photographs presenting Joseph Muscat as the invictus of his own imagination. This is not the truth. Which means it’s a lie.
Joseph Muscat has been the worst prime minister in Malta’s history. He maybe hasn’t been the most incompetent. He’s almost certainly been the most popular, for a while. But he’s been the first prime minister to make the world think of us as congenitally required to be crooks and thieves. He has persuaded us to think of ourselves as criminals, blind with avarice, without even the decency to regret the killing of a journalist.
That’s the killing by car bomb of a journalist, dear colleagues at TVM. That’s the truth you glossed over when telling the picture book story of Joseph Muscat. You ignored the killing of a colleague of yours, a woman who was doing the job you are supposed to do. You are glossing over the fact that the prime minister whose career you displayed like apologists for a fallen regime, resigned after being embroiled in the covering up of the murder of your colleague. You are glossing over the fact that your colleague was killed because she uncovered the corruption your prime minister led, organised and protected.
This, Norma Saliba, is your job you know. Documenting our times, bearing witness to what happened. Your collage of Joseph Muscat photos is similar to my collage of Bettino Mussolini photos, not only in style and content but in its deception and the false witness it bears.
The below was posted in June 2017 by your colleague TVM reporter Maria Muscat who, weirdly, calls herself “La Barokka”. There you are propping up Joseph Muscat and Chris Cardona who had every intention of being the two most powerful people in Malta even as you read this.
While you were smiling, Yorgen Fenech was chasing Melvyn Theuma. “Hurry up and kill her. Hurry up and kill her.”
Are you still smiling? Judging by your reporting, Joseph Muscat is.