And I’m glad it was Therese Comodini Cachia. On Twitter she shared Times of Malta’s report of the scene in court when its journalist Julian Bonnici was being questioned by the politician who brought a lawsuit against him, Adrian Delia.

Adrian Delia is far from the first or the only politician to drag journalists to court to make a scene of diluting the reporter’s credibility. This was one of those situations where the journalist had seen the truth with their own eyes but when they published they still knew they would be taking a legal risk.

Sometimes, often, you are made aware of the truth on condition that you do not reveal how you came about it. Your source would get into trouble if they’re exposed. Or the way you came up on the information could be used by evildoers to prejudice some other, separate process.

Journalists dragged to the stand with these uncompromising inhibitions are made by their interrogators to look taciturn, ambiguous, perhaps even suspicious.

Politicians and other bullies who try to publicly turn the table on reporters normally hire henchmen lawyers to do that for them. There are specialists, some of them notorious, in the art of riling up journalists in libel suits and use their discomfort on the stand to misrepresent them as enemies of truth.

But it takes Adrian Delia’s unique brand of bad taste to volunteer to use his own lawyer’s license to actually do the grilling himself. He must take some pleasure in what he must imagine is a reversal of fortunes. What? A journalist questioning a politician to hold him to account? Whatever next?

Instead, we get a politician, armed with an arsenal of non sequiturs, garden variety sophistries, senatorial gesturing, rhetorical devices from the paniġierku tal-festa and ambivalent facial expressions less genuine than a smiling Thunderbird, putting questions to a journalist that everyone in the room is perfectly aware cannot be answered for eminently cogent reasons.

It is significant that Therese Comodini Cachia spoke out against this. She’s his Parliamentary colleague, at least for the last remaining weeks of this particular Parliament. She leads the effort to promote media freedoms and the protection of journalists from, among several other threats, overbearing schoolyard bullies dressed in the honourable robes of politics.

Here’s a picture of the future of media freedom in this country without reference to the atrocious Labour Party. Therese Comodini Cachia will not be in the next Parliament. Whether out of utter disillusionment with a political system that chewed her up and spat her out without making any material use of her in the process or because she does not fancy her chances should she seek re-election, she’s decided not to run at the next election. Adrian Delia, on the other hand, seems determined to be a permanent feature on the scene, now, stunningly, enthusiastically endorsed by the party he used to lead and dispatched to speak on its behalf as a genuine reflection of its views.

Here we are, stuck in the middle with this.