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Editorial

A ‘Hit Job’ Directed at Kyriakos Mitsotakis

It is not often that a newspaper of international renown, such as the New York Times, does itself so much injustice, undermining its journalistic standards and strict criteria, as in the case of Alexander Clapp’s opinion piece that was posted recently on the NYT website.

Even an inexperienced editor who only works on Sundays should have realized, with a first reading of the text, that this is what is called in the language of journalism a ‘hit job’ – a piece ordered by someone with a particular motive.

The writer was unfair to the prime minister of Greece without offering any corresponding evidence.

Each one of us has the right to his/her opinion, but when you are the New York Times, which appeals to a high-level readership, then you owe it to yourself and to your readers, if nothing else, to maintain your  journalistic integrity.

Clapp does not hide his aim: it is the defamation of the Greek Prime Minister.

And indeed, without adding anything new from what has already been published in the opposition press of Greece. He is simply igniting the propaganda flames of the opposition and attempting a character assassination of the Prime Minister, brazenly tarnishing the job he has been successfully performing for three years, in the form of… questions.

Here’s how it works. He writes: “Could Greece’s intelligence services, already conducting a vast surveillance campaign, have outsourced yet more intrusive wiretapping to a shadowy private company? Could Mr. Mitsotakis’ government be behind the hack?”

Consider if each of us attempted to tarnish someone’s reputation with attacks in the form of questions: “Did you steal?” “Did you rape?”

If I were to follow this tactic I would also submit to Mr. Clapp the following sample questions:

“Did you, Mr. Clapp, write this commentary as a favor to your friend, Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the official opposition?”

Or, “Is it possible that you wrote this commentary as a favor to Russia, which wants to punish Mitsotakis for his policy regarding Ukraine?”

It is clear that article writing in the form of questions cannot be tolerated. It is not honest. It degrades the newspaper in which it is published.

And therein lies the problem. Not with Clapp, but with the newspaper, the world famous New York Times.

And unfortunately, I have to say with sadness that in the past similar articles have been published in this newspaper by foreign, left-leaning journalists about other prime ministers of Greece.

Unfortunately, there are forces – it is to be expected – inside and outside of Greece, which are disturbed by the progress that Greece is making and with the successful handling of many serious problems by Kyriakos Mitsotakis – and which also have an interest in destabilizing his government.

And one way to achieve this is to tarnish the positive international image of the Prime Minister, because this way the country will lose its international prestige.

This is why both Mitsotakis’ triumphant speech and his reception in Congress bother them – and Clapp.

A speech that disturbed many people.

Among them, as we well know, is Erdogan.

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