Sometimes you have to admire Poles their openness. The new head of the state TV channel is the right wing Bronisław Wildstein. In the puling adolescent west the new boss of a TV station or newspaper might be expected to trot out some feelgood cliches about how he does not intend to interfere in anyway with editorial decisions made by the journalists under him. One would expect him to pay some lip service to the idea of independent reporting. Poland is an altogether more robust place. Today’s Dziennik – jumping the gun only slightly – carries a list of journalists likely to be fired for having different opinions to that of their new, politically appointed boss.
On May 9th Dziennik had a front page headline reading: “Prime Minister attacked over left wing director of PZU” (a state-controlled insurance company). President Kaczyński himself is reported to be scandalised by the presence of a lefty in the director’s chair. Again, in the west we would be subjected to lofty, empty talk about making appointments on the basis of merit, not political persuasion. Not Poland. Here it’s quite unabashedly a case of jobs for the boys.