Flattery: who is who

Me as a reporter asking unwelcome questions to a lawyer

Having spend most of my life working as a reporter I have heard lots of insults and few praises. People like to call us vultures. Because we gather wherever something newsworthy happens. And we began to ask difficult, uneasy questions, in order to collect the information we need to report.

It’s true that there are reporters without ethics who can turn a tragedy in a show or a circus because they are a sensationalistic who only want to be the first in the breaking news or the best seller. But most of us have a hard time when it comes to inform about a tragedy. You are aware that you’re bothering people who are going thru very harsh situations. But there is no other way to find out what happened first hand.

Vulture! How many times I have been called vulture while I was crying inside! I’m too sensitive to the pain of the human being. My colleagues used to tell me that I had to detach my feelings from my work. But I never could.

So, no flattery for me.

I witnessed a lot of flattery towards the powerful during my career.

I remember the case of our socialist regional president’s wife many years ago. She was young, blonde, and thin but not very pretty. She liked to buy new clothes for every event and attract the attention of the photographers.

I remember one day that we were, journalists and photographers, waiting in the street for the beginning of a very important session of the parliament in which the president had to intervene, and she came to attend. It was raining slightly. When she saw the photographers, she took off her raincoat to reveal her new dress. She approached our group, and everybody began to tell her how beautiful she was. One photographer of a newspaper close to the socialists, gave her a photo of the day before. Some politicians began to tell her that she looked like a queen. I couldn’t believe my ears.

Years later the couple was involved in a big case of corruption and they had to go to the courthouse to be questioned by the judge. She made her appearance like in the old times. A fur coat (it was winter) that she took off to show her blue dress like she were going to a feast instead to a courtroom as a suspect of stealing the public money. Too much flattery during too much time made her lose her common sense, I think. Later, she changed her lawyer and began to appear in court in jeans and without make up. Better for her.

In the picture a younger me asking unwelcome questions to a lawyer of one of the suspects of the corruption case in which was involved the regional president an his wife.


Author: Olga Brajnović

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