Did you say weird?

On April 15, 2020, the newspapers  Het Laatste Nieuws and  De Morgen both published an article following Alexandre Penasse’s question to Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès during the press conference of the National Security Council.

« Bizarre moment », « Bizar », in Dutch. This is the expression that the sites of these two media chose to use to describe the intervention of the journalist who questioned Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès on the legitimacy of her government to take decisions for all Belgians and the conflicts of interest that could exist within this same government. 

The even word, in two different versions à some minutes apart. Weird and nothing else! However, there was no shortage of words to describe this moment: punchy, expected by the Belgians, interesting, destabilizing, annoying, fresh, unexpected, surprising even… But no, definitely, the Flemish press has decided: it was a  » weird  » moment, nothing else.

« Bizarre moment at Security Council press conference: ‘critical’ reporter asks about conspiracies between advisers and industry ».
 » Weird moment at Wilmes press conference: ‘critical’ reporter asks about conspiracies  » . DM HLN 

The difference between the two titles is that one mentions the actors of these « conspiracies » denounced by the journalist, while the other seems to have been satisfied with the word « conspiracy ». Everyone understands what a conspiracy is, so why bother reminding readers of the collusion mentioned by the Kairos reporter? Weird! The photo is also the same in both articles. Weird! And what about the choice of this photo, which evokes, not without irony, the little polite cough that the question generated?

« This is Alexandre Penasse of the information site Kairos, which describes itself as an « anti-productivist journal, for a decent society ». « Curiously, Penasse was the first to speak. During his ‘question’ he mentioned the links between the experts assisting the government in the Corona crisis and the pharmaceutical industry. He also asked if the entire population was being monitored via the 5G network. »
« He is Alexandre Penasse of the website Kairos, which describes itself as an « anti-productivist journal, for a decent society ». « Curiously, he was the first to speak. During his ‘question’ he mentioned the links between the experts assisting the government in the Corona crisis and the pharmaceutical industry. He also asked if the entire population was being tracked via the ultra-fast 5G network. » DM: HLN: 

Further down, the article in De Morgen talks about the journalist who asked the question, while the article in Het Laatste Nieuws also talks about it! Obviously, when a journalist asks a question that is disturbing, what is important to talk about is the journalist rather than the question! 

You could feel it coming, both articles are identical and written by the same person. The article is signed « LH ». There is no need to dwell on the fact that they find it  » curious » that Mr. Penasse spoke first, nor on the fact that they claim that  » he also asked if the entire population was being tracked via the ultra-fast 5G network.  » This last statement being false and easily verifiable by watching the video again at this very moment: https: //youtu.be/kGQfRTw-i8I?t=85. We will then realize that indeed, during his speech, Penasse refers to 5G but simply to hypothesize that the Covid-19 crisis could be the opportunity to accelerate the installation of a 5G network.

The best is yet to come. In the next paragraph, both articles (or rather, the article) explain that  » It is striking that the journalist was able to attend the press conference. In the morning, the Prime Minister’s Office asks all the regular media which person will be sent. « Since we had to organize and restrict access to the press room to best comply with the instructions in force during this pandemic, we could not give access to all journalists/editors », said the Prime Minister in a press release. » So we have two media outlets that seem to find it surprising that Alexandre Penasse, journalist and editor of Kairos, was able to attend this press conference, because usually it is the Prime Minister’s Office that ASKS all the REGULAR media which person will be sent. 

He There are several oddities in this paragraph. Firstly, we have two media outlets that seem to consider that they are more legitimate than others à assist à of events official. Weird! Secondly, the employment of the expression « media regular « which suggests the existence of « non-regular media « : would we secretly be under a dictatorial regime in which there would be a official press and a resistant press? Weird! Finally the fact to say that the Office of the Premier minister ASKS which person will be sent while in reality, the First Minister does not ASK, but CHOOSES who will be able to attend the conference and that the other journalists (however not less legitimate) will be evicted, even if they have a press card, and even having made a request in due form with of the Premier’s Office Minister.

Answer from the spokesperson for Sophie Wilmès to the mail announcing that we will be present to the conference April 24 press release:

 » Hello,

As announced last time, we are proceeding « in pool » due to the limited access to the press conference room because of the social distancing measures. Your colleagues should also have access to the press room. The teams are rotating. As already mentioned, the content is available, live, on the internet. If you have a question, I invite you to get organized with your fellow journalists. It is customary for some journalists to also ask a question for another newsroom. It is also possible to send it to us later. »

In the end, the question is: who are these people who found the question  » weird »? Obviously not some readers of De Morgen, as the following comments indicate. The citizens are thirsty for truth…

Reader comments following DM ‘s article:

  • « Critical journalists are rare.
  • Instead of this mockery, I would have preferred to read the arguments as to why De Morgen finds the conflict of interest issues « bizarre ».
  • With this article, the newspaper inadvertently gives proof of the existence of the regime’s press.
  • I don’t think he’s that stupid. He works for http:// kairospresse.be interesting articles. Can we no longer be critical and swallow everything. Do you hold the truth or should we take everything from you like Ukases?(1)  »

* Article from Het laatste nieuws: https://www.hln.be/nieuws/binnenland/bizar-moment-tijdens-persconferentie-veiligheidsraad-kritische-journalist-stelt-vragen-over-complotten-tussen-adviseurs-en-industrie~ad4498d7Articlefrom De Morgen: https://www.demorgen.be/nieuws/bizar-moment-tijdens-persconferentie-wilmes-kritische-journalist-stelt-vragen-over-complotten~bd4498d7

Notes et références
1. Un oukase ou ukase: (en russe : указ, oukaz), mot parfois orthographié oukaze, est un terme juridique russe, dont l’équivalent en droit romain est décret ou édit. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukase
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