Friday, May 06, 2005

Indignance from Polish press signals deeper problem

The response was surprising to last week's post about a possible top candidate for Poland's next ambassador to Washington.

It was surprising, first, because of the big deal the Polish media has made about it: breathless front-page stories in Warsaw based on a single posting in this obscure little blog.

The other surprise is much more serious - and disturbing. Most of the Polish journalists who called me about the story were defensive or outright hostile.

Not hostile to President Kwaƛniewski or his reputed candidate to be Poland's next ambassador to Washington, both of whom, the archives show, were agents of the communist secret police.

The Polish press seems outright indignant that I should ask questions about the ambassador-in-waiting. Most Polish reporters make it clear by their questions that they don't like people to go around asking such things.

That's too bad. It shows that, just like the politicians, many of Poland's best journalists would rather see the issue of collaboration with the Soviet occupation swept under the rug. That's not a good sign. It indicates that not all is well in the Polish press corps, and that the journalism profession in Warsaw deserves special scrutiny for its own conveniently forgotten past.


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