Who is Father Tadeusz Rydzyk?
One of the most powerful media barons in Poland.
What, he owns all of them?
Not quite. But he is the top man at the Lux Veritatis Foundation, which does run them all.
He must carry a serious amount of clout, then.
Quite. His title at the foundation is Father Director. Nasz Dziennik has 600,000 readers, and Radio Maryja is listened to by ten per cent of Poles. There are no reliable figures for TV Trwam viewers.
Media is money, especially TV – this must please the government
Ahem. TV Trwam is funded by ‘donations and fundraising’. It’s run by the church, so state accounting and tax rules don’t apply.
Okay, so Father Director isn’t filling the national coffers, but he at least has national support, yes?
To be honest, he’s been a pain in the neck for the nation. Two years ago this month, in June 2011, he told European parliamentarians that Poland was uncivilised, totalitarian, and run by foreigners.
That’s a bit strong!
Too right. It prompted the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to complain to the Vatican.
But Poland is a Catholic nation.
Quite right. But that’s not the same as it being willing to put up with Father Director.
Hm, understood. Well, at the end of it all, he’s a man of god; only trying to do his best.
Absolutely, if ‘doing one’s best’ includes slating the EU while applying for its money, breaking the law to raise cash for TV Trwam and facing regular and serious allegations of homophobia, anti-semitism and xenophobia.
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