Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairperson Riikka Purra praised Ykkösaamu, claiming that it “has the best news and current affairs format in Finland, led by a professional journalist.” It is further proof of how the host, Seija Vaaherkumpa, didn’t do her job but offered journalistic lipservice to a radical right party with ties to violent groups in the far right.
I have said it once and will repeat it: If I ever win an award for my many years of anti-racism activism, I have failed and become complacent.
Vaaherkumpa should take the same advice. If the head of the PS hurls kudos at her for being “a professional journalist,” maybe it is time she retires or takes a long and hard look in the mirror.
Apart from not using Purra hard questions, Vaaherkumpa played along, even agreeing with her on generalizing about “rising” gang violence.
Yle should and can do a better job. Even so, the state-owned broadcaster is responsible for spreading unsubstantiated facts and leaving out important questions.
One of these is why we haven’t seen any hard statistics on “rising” youth gang violence. Another is why some media, like Yle, allow Purra to lie and openly distort the facts.
Alarm bells should start to ring when politicians like Purra warn about “taking Sweden’s path” and that Denmark, which has one of the toughest immigration policies in the EU, is a country we should copy. We should remember that migration continues to help Sweden’s economy and that some 750,000 Finns moved there after World War 2. “Finland’s path” is not doing anything and scapegoating immigration.
Matters have reached such a low bar in Finland that politicians can openly claim they want to legalize discrimination. A good example of the latter is PS’ plans to amend the constitution so that only Finns are entitled to social welfare.
“The Perussuomalaiset’s long-term aim is to make social welfare rights based on nationality, but this will, unfortunately, not happen in the next [parliamentary] term but is a long-term aim,” she said on Ykkösaamu.
Considering that a politician can make such a suggestion should raise alarm bells. Instead, Yle and the media look the other way and act dumb.
In all fairness, Vaaherkumpu has done some good interviews on her show.
The fact that some of us are numb and indifferent to the suffering of others is what Hannah Arendt referred to as “the banality of evil.”
One matter is regurgitating such a suggestion, the other is not even questioning it. Why wasn’t a non-white Finn expert commenting on what they think about Purra’s suggestion? What do you think Finland’s Somali community would say?
We can only guess, but we don’t know because of the media’s blind spot to racism and far-right ideology disguised in sheep’s clothing in interviews of Purra by Vaaherumpu.