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Poland hates Poland

8 Nov 2015 #1
Okay, this is a bit of old news, and not surprising for any Pole who hasn't been living under a rock. For foreigners, this Dutch article might be eye opening. It cleanly explains why there's so much vitriol flying here.

Emphasis mine.
Polen haat Polen
Ekke Overbeek − 28/09/15, 20:11

Elections are coming in Poland and everything indicates that polish populists, kinsmen of Wilders and Marine Le Pen will rule. They've been working for this victory for years - using their own media funded by their own banks. Because whoever has media, has power.

In the recent years new press outlets have been popping up like mushrooms after a rain. One of them is "wSieci" magazine, which calls itself "A Weekly of Young Poland". Journalists who work there call themselves "rebellious", as opposed to competition, whom they sum up as "mainstream" and "politically correct". As such, they're becoming a part of European trend. "The nation" no longer trusts "lügenpresse", the lying press, as Pegida supporters say in Germany. So alternatives show up. However, the observant will notice it's not a spontaneous process. It's steered by politicians.

The central part is played by the former prime minister, 66 year old Jarosław Kaczyński. There are many similarities between him and Geert Wilders or Marine Le Pen. The refugee crisis has emphatically shown, how very alike they are. Kaczyński, like Wilders, can't stand the "politically correct mainstream". But there's one notable difference: Wilders can exploit media, whom he hates, to further his goals. Kaczyński hasn't learned it. Wilders surfs on the scandal waves. But they overwhelm Kaczyński.

So Kaczyński is dependent on friendly media. The largest is Radio Maryja, with subordinate Trwam Television and the paper "Nasz Dziennik" (Our Journal). The radio has became one of the most popular organisations in Poland's Catholic Church. Its charismatic founder, rev. Tadeusz Rydzyk, has hundreds of thousands of listeners, mostly in advanced age. They take his voting advice to the heart. And he says: vote for Kaczyński.

Yet Radio Maryja's support proved insufficient. It's been shown in 2011, when PiS couldn't regain the power lost in 2007. But the leader knows who's responsible for all the setbacks - in European, domestic and regional polls. It's all fault of the mass media, which spread remarkably perfidious lies day after day.

Kaczyński knows something else: media is power. When he gained power in 2005, he immediately placed all public media under party's control, and in a very determined way. But the control wasn't enough to keep the power in 2007. Then he must have asked himself, what can he do if he can't claim media using power. And he's found the answer: you need to claim power using media. You need to make sure the media will carry the voice of the party.

The "True Journalists" from "Gazeta Polska" are named "" (independent) in the internet, but since 2012 the majority of journal's shares is owned by a foundation with close ties to PiS.

The weekly "wSieci" is, in turn, a product of "SKOKs". In 2012, the SKOKs have founded a media network, which encompasses "Gazeta Bankowa", "Fronda" and a weekly "ABC". Nothing unusual in that, except SKOKs also fund the Kaczyński's party. They don't do that directly, rather through a web of foundations which fund exhibitions, concerts, events and book publishers. All pieces fell together when it was discovered that SKOKs are also sponsors and shareholders in two large commercial ventures of Radio Maryja: geothermal basins and its telecom network. Well, the actions of SKOKs show the nature of Kaczyński's "moral revolution". Since 2011, the founder and chairman of SKOKs is also a senator from PiS. The party managed to keep SKOKs out of reach of financial controls for years. A significant role in this was played by (president as of 2015) Andrzej Duda, at the time a clerk in president's Lech Kaczyński's chancellery. But ultimately SKOKs fell under scrutiny of "Komisja Nadzoru Finansowego" (Financial Supervision Authority). It's been revealed that millions were disappearing inside. Those were distributed technically as loans, but never repaid. The founder of SKOKs has siphoned an equivalent of 15,000,000 EUR off to a foreign company, of which he's the main shareholder.

Eventually "Bankowy Fundusz Gwarancyjny" had to step in ("Bank Guarantee Fund" - unofficial translation) as it hasn't received a dime. In practice all banks' clients pay for this, which means all Poles. The weekly "Polityka" calculated that this effectively made each Pole pay 80 PLN (18.72 EUR) for Kaczyński's party.

But Poles hear two completely different narrations. Public opinion no longer exists in Poland. Those on the opposite sides of the barricade don't read other side's newspapers, don't watch other side's TV, and don't listen to other side's radio. Many, tired by the mud wrestling, have turned off their receivers entirely. No one gets out clean. It no longer matters, who started. An increasing number of Poles is fed up - they shrug and take offence at politics.

But politics goes on. Poland hates politics. That's the image painted by the "rebellious" media. The ruling PO is the enemy. If PiS comes into power the next month, there will be payoff time. Kaczyński's media promise themselves a lot. Opponents of the PiS's leader point out he incites people against each other for political gain. Naturally, Kaczyński's followers see this differently. Both sides agree on one thing - Poland fell prey of "Divide and Conquer". According to all polls, PiS will win the next month's election.

Until now, the similarities between PiS and the anti-muslim parties of Western Europe weren't apparent. The topic of immigrants and muslims didn't exist in Poland. The refugee crisis has changed everything. Last week, the leader of PiS painted his vision of Europe conquered by radical muslims. The he asked if that's the Poland they want, and assured PiS doesn't. The differences between the Polish and the Dutch populists are significant: the far right PVV wants to protect Netherlands from foreigners and Brussels, so the country can remain as it is. Kaczyński, however, desires fundamental changes in his country, he wishes to wipe out the anti-polish elements. The "rebellious" media are the avantgarde of the "moral revolution". They adore catholic values and patriotism. They call European Union a German domination machine, and postulate a "repolonisation" of economy. That's the recipe for success - that's Kaczyński's way to make his country great, strong and respected.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163
8 Nov 2015 #2
So Kaczyński is dependent on friendly media. The largest is Radio Maryja

I stopped reading here. +90% of PiS voters have never listened to RM even for 1 minute.

this Dutch article

Was written by a far left "expat" living in Poland.

Borsuk, just go and find a real job.
OP Borsukrates
8 Nov 2015 #3
I dunno, "Ekke Overbeek" doesn't sound like someone living in Poland.
The article is at:
You can verify that I translated faithfully.
Ironside 49 | 10,171
9 Nov 2015 #4
Was written by a far left "expat" living in Poland.

Indeed you are right. He is that guy who is obsessed with pedophilia and Catholic church.
9 Nov 2015 #5
The author portrays PIS as rebellious, populist, crazy and other things. The article has many errors.
Im sure a party like PIS is not liked by social liberals/leftists and EU fanatics so they lump all these parties together wrongly.

Western Europe has and is continueing to become rather antireligious.
They are very secular and have vocal leftists who make sure they are heard. Much of the media is also socially leftwing.
At least compared to Poland. You can hear the media in some countries bashing Poland for electing this party.

This goes back to the French Revolution, and continental and latin freemasonry was quite anticlerical, antireligious.
They have left an imprint in most of Western Europe.

PIS is not a populist party, its only a little bit euroskeptic, its pseudo-national, and in general different compared to Le Pens FN and Wilders party.

Populism-any of various, often antiestablishment or anti-intellectual political movements or philosophies that offer unorthodox solutions or policies and appeal to the common person rather than according with traditional party or partisan ideologies.

There are basically two dominating sides in Europe. One is Germany (sometimes French) EU and the other is Anglospeaking US and UK.
PIS is more similar to UK Cameron Conservatives except PIS is Catholic. PIS has close relations with both the right wing Anglos and Catholic Church.

So its not antiestablishment its part of the establishment. And both are only slightly against EU.
Levi 12 | 450
9 Nov 2015 #6
Was written by a far left "expat" living in Poland.

Indeed, exactly what i think.

Who are the dutches, specially the Left-Wing ones, to try to rule Poland? They could not rule even their own country!

One of them is "wSieci" magazine, which calls itself "A Weekly of Young Poland".

The only good part of this article is that now i know a new good magazine to read :)
InPolska 11 | 1,821
9 Nov 2015 #7
To compare for instance PiS and French FN does not make any sense. Although both have a leftish economic program, FN contrary to PiS are not bigots, not homophobic (numerous gay leaders, including M. Le Pen's right arm, Florian Philipot), and generally speaking are more open in terms of other social matters (divorce, abortion....).

It's like comparing apples and oranges
OP Borsukrates
9 Nov 2015 #8
Regarding the "rebellious" part, it's the word I chose as the translation of "niepokorni". I think it's pretty accurate. They do call themselves "niepokorni".
jon357 63 | 14,261
9 Nov 2015 #9
It's a tough one (I just had a discussion in Polish (a philosophical/conceptual rather than a language learning thing since most there were Poles) about all the different words and concepts around 'pokora'.

Rebellious is a good translation - and you chose well (though that implies buntowny, if that's a word) however this is a tricky one conceptually. Defiant is a good way of saying niepokorni here, Recalcitrant is even better.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,863
9 Nov 2015 #10
Was written by a far left "expat" living in Poland.

Attack the person rather than discussing the article. Normal for PiS supporters.

If you actually read the article, you'd see that it makes one very very good point - the media landscape is now clearly divided between PO and PiS and not much else except a few fringe publications. It's very American, I suppose.
Levi 12 | 450
9 Nov 2015 #11
Attack the person rather than discussing the article. Normal for PiS supporters.

Oh it is so ironical YOU, delphiandomine, saying that. The guy that was banned from here multiple times because of personal attacks :)

FN contrary to PiS are not bigots,

Neither PiS are bigots. Nor Homophobic. Homophobic is Phobia against gays. Hitler was Jewfobic.

I Didn't remind any PiS parliamentary asking to put gays in gas chambers.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
9 Nov 2015 #12
@Levi: no need to send the gays to gas chambers to be homophobic ;). Just to stigmatize them and to refuse them equal rights is homophobia.
G (undercover)
9 Nov 2015 #13
FN contrary to PiS are not bigots

PiS is a CSU style party, while FN are national socialists with fascist roots, founded and run for decades by a Holocaust denier. More of black PR from "enlightened westerners" against "backward eastern europeans". Anything to the right from the center in "Eastern Europe" is "fascist/anti-semitic/homophobic" etc. while your own real fascists are... not that bad... What a joke :)))) You know where you can stick that whole thing :))) ? Just guess. Your crappy propaganda will not influence anything here, Poles know it too well already. Just go and eat some snail or other disgusting thing.

Attack the person rather than discussing the article.

It is so full of lies that there's nothing to discuss with. You could "discuss" as well with someone claiming that the Earth is flat.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,863
9 Nov 2015 #14
Again, you're not presenting any evidence to the contrary.

Then again, it's because you know fine well that it's true that the SKOKi network has more or less provided the funding for PiS and their media.
G (undercover)
9 Nov 2015 #15
No more than Adenauer's or Schuman's foundations financed PO and sure less than PO financed G(ó)W(no) and other friendly media with public money.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,863
9 Nov 2015 #16
Yet again, you're mixing up the two issues. We're talking about how PiS are financed, not how PO are financed.
G (undercover)
9 Nov 2015 #17
No, I'm not mixing anything, just a tiny bit of "the best of PO":

- they sold Ciech to Kulczyk for about half the price.
- they ordered ABW to burn the guardbox at the Russian embassy to blame it on the "far-right".
- they wanted the head of the national bank to print the money before the elections so the gov can spend it and affect the results of democratic elections (that alone makes Watergate a small potato)

- they bought Pierdolino (sure not without "benefits") when PESA had a prototype of a similar train.

My point is, where the hell Ekke was then and how many articles did he write on this one ? I haven't found a single one, will you help me ? Pliz do. When you don't say a word about such things (at least embassy thing and NBP should make a huge scandal across Europe) and at the same time launch a massive attack against the gov that haven't even started working, that's quite telling.

It's just a repeat of 2005-2007 with the massive black PR campaign in the media. "They are laughing at us in Europe" nonsense did affect the result of elections in 2007 and Gerries got their agent of influence installed here. Feck Ekke, he's not a journalist but a propagandist working against Polish national interests. And regarding Duda flights, SKOKs or anything like that, they all do it, PO, PiS, SLD, PSL, Poland is not Sweden, Sikorski got 50 k EUR as a "fuel refund" as far as I remember. Feckers were eating dinners for 1000 PLN a piece using taxpayers money as could be heard at the tapes, that's what Polish "political class" do and PiS has never been better on such things. SKOK financed "W sieci" ? Government, Orlen and other were financing G(ó)W(no) for the last 8 years and we're talking about public money here, will Ekke comment on that ? Or you ?
OP Borsukrates
9 Nov 2015 #18
Guys, you are proving the point of the article. Poland hates Poland.

Kali's mentality: "If I steal a cow: good. I someone steal my cow: bad." (sic!)

How poignant that a party like this calls itself "Prawo i Sprawiedliwość", when it blatantly tramples law and democracy over and over. PiS supporters don't even understand what the fuss is about. They even brag about it (see: Agent Tomek). "Moral Revolution", yaaay! Agent Tomek is a tactic straight from the KGB playbook. In "Akwarium" by Wiktor Suworow, he describes how GRU operatives were trained: they were expected to recruit people from their own country. Then those civilians were sentenced for treason. I didn't vote for PiS, but somehow I ended up funding their media. I'm an atheist, but my taxes are used to pay for teaching of religion in schools.

PO are corrupt and lazy. Pick your poison! The cure of PiS reminds me of Julius Wagner-Jauregg, the Nobel prize winner from 1927. He was awarded for curing dementia by infecting with malaria.

I voted for neither. I chose Ryszard Petru and .Nowoczesna.

Wait, no, he cured neurosyphilis with malaria. Dementia caused by neurosyphilis.
milky 13 | 1,657
10 Nov 2015 #19
The CEO assured that the Polish affairs, particularly the relations between Poland and the US, are still extremely important to Polish Americans and the PSFCU. He stressed that the Poles anxiously follow the latest decisions of the American administration concerning its Central and Eastern Europe policy. Mr. Chmielewski also mentioned the close relations between PSFCU and Polish Cooperative Savings and Loans (SKOK).
OP Borsukrates
16 Nov 2015 #20
In the light of the above, how would you map the Polish media scene ? Who supports whom ?

I think a good method of estimation is: "Who quotes whom".

Old mainstream: "Gazeta Wyborcza" (a.k.a., "Polityka", "Newsweek", Radio, TVN24
New mainstream: "wSieci", "Gość Niedzielny", "Do Rzeczy", "Gazeta Polska", Radio Maryja, TV Trwam,

Honestly I'm not familiar with the nationalist / catholic media, so I would appreciate someone commenting. I also haven't watched TV for years so I'm not good on that. I call the nationalist side "new mainstream", because they're trying to become it. I won't be surprised in the slightest if TVP 1 starts inviting Ojciec Rydzyk and other priests on a regular basis, for instance.

And the talk about "political correctness" is misguided. There's no political correctness in Poland. There are TWO FLAVOURS of political correctness. For example, old mainstream's PC involves acceptance of homosexuality, refugees, secular state. Question these and they call you fringe. New mainstream's political correctness is no criticism of nationalism or catholic church.

Jerzy Urban's "NIE" is neither old mainstream or new mainstream. Urban is a proud old communist. He's over 80 years old, runs his own newspaper and doesn't give a damn. He's brutally honest, and has distance even to himself.

I suspect "" is also fairly independent. I recently read a long article which was critical of archbishop Hoser. Right-winged media would have none of that. Yet I have NEVER seen '' quoted by Wyborcza, Newseek, Tok FM, TVN24. But then again it's the only article I've read in

left wing / right wing is quite meaningless in Poland, because many of PiS's initiatives - like 500 PLN per child, free this, free that - are typical leftist moves.

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