oh, the things we find “unsurprising”

when the president of the country can call a journalist “stinky gypsy” and get off scott free, as long as he justifies it by arguing that he got angry, and anyway it was a private conversation between him and his wife…

here’s something else pretty horrifying: Bucharest mayor Neculai Ontanu was filmed scolding and attempting to “motivate” a city sanitation employee by putting out a cigarette in her palm, and the fact first gets “noticed” when blogger Andressa writes about it in her post “Incalificabil”. before she pointed out the mayor’s unspeakable action, it had gone completely uncommented, by the reporter within the news story on Prima TV which the footage was part of, or by anyone else… because to the population at large and to the mass media (as many of the ensuing commentary on Andressa’s blog shows), that kind of thing is just not surprising at all! (though even the most un-surprised can’t deny that sexism, racism, classism are at play there.)

Ioana Avadani from the Center for Independent Journalism then wrote about the story on her Hot News blog – (“Ontanu pe ‘plantatie'”/”Ontanu on the plantation”), and it finally became a news piece. Ontanu’s spokespeople are denying that he did what he is plainly doing in the footage – but also arguing, in his defense, that he was very very mad that the sanitation workers weren’t doing their job properly.

here’s the video:

you can write to Prima TV at office@primatv.ro (additional contact info), and to Ontanu at neculai_ontanu@ps2.ro (email addresses of his staff, his primaria sectorului 2 info page)