We must stop stoking hatred

I do not believe the woman is sorry for anything, and if I had to put together the innumerable number of times she has hit out at those closest to me, I wouldn’t even know where to start.

I honestly have precious little time to waste, but if there was a time to speak up, then it is now.

Yes, I can confirm that ‘the woman’ herself did ask to meet up before her appearance in a court case in which she is being sued by Mediatoday Co. Ltd, as part of a civil claim for falsely alleging that MediaToday, the publishers of MaltaToday, was being sold to the General Workers Union. 

She came to my office and she apologised over comments she had made, but she did not specify whether her apology was for all the vile inventions about my family, my friends and my colleagues. In particular, she surprised me by saying that she did not see ‘why we should go on like this’ when she shared so many concerns.

Really, it does not matter anymore. I do not need to speak to her – it was she who came to talk to me. But I was indeed curious to see what she had to say.

To accept her apology would mean that all she said has meant nothing. That all she has stood for by way of her writing, that all the people she had decimated had been just a figment of my imagination. 

But they are not. She is what she is – a spiteful individual who just enjoys to hate others.

I do not believe the woman is sorry for anything, and if I had to put together the innumerable number of times she has hit out at those closest to me, I wouldn’t even know where to start. It is not only because she lied about and hurt my family and those closest to me but because she felt that guilt by association was good enough a reason to attack people on a personal level.

The odium she landed on her blog about me and other people, a blog that only served to attract all the repulsive traffic that shared one common goal: hating anyone who was not avowedly a Nationalist Party voter.

I made it a point not to read her blog or the newspaper that hosts her. I hardly can forgive those who delighted in spinning her spiteful commentary and hate-talk and who simply enjoyed the spectacle: an orgy of hate that has literally no limits. I cannot ever connect with that part of the Nationalist Party, who protected and encouraged her and recently even resorted to quoting her. 

Which also raises questions on the Malta Independent directors, who offer her a platform without questioning the quality of her filth. I reiterate what I have always said: her vile attacks coincided with a time when people high in the PN were either under attack or scrutinised. This was no coincidence.

She calls herself as a journalist. If journalism is about invective and vitriol then I don’t want to have anything to do with such sewer rats. She is downright diabolical and hypocritical.

As she faced investigations on her own alleged tax under-declarations, she encouraged the newspaper she writes to reveal limited number of Swiss private accounts of two former PN ministers, but stopped short of revealing the names of Maltese businessmen who are very well known to the directors of Standard Publications.

Her interest in talking about subjects when she had no credibility were abundantly clear: they were meant to deviate public attention from her own dire tax situation. Indeed, at the time she faced a garnishee order of €45,115 on her bank accounts by the Inland Revenue department. And she was in court to contest a tax assessment of €101,194 in outstanding VAT arrears.

The garnishee order was issued on 3 February 2015 by the commissioner of tax and the department claimed that the blogger did not submit a tax return for years.

Neither did her blind followers bat an eyelid when it was revealed that she, the woman who is the first to pour scorn for the pettiest of peccadilloes, had constructed a rubble wall around the land outside her Bidnija home, and in the process encroached on 400 square metres of public land.

And yet, the uncouth and injudicious gossipers who enjoy fomenting the crass comments on her blog and who are obsessed with class hatred, did not even consider this very unsightly beam in their blogger’s eye.

When she was forced to answer a police report lodged by her own husband Peter Caruana Galizia at the Mosta police station on some domestic brouhaha, she decided to demolish the reputation of a magistrate and her partner: because she wanted to deviate public attention from her own problems; because the silly magistrate gloated about the case with her two dinner guests, Lou Bondì and his partner… and as the story goes, it was a text from Bondì’s partner from Consuelo Scerri Herrera’s home that leaked the gossip.

Today, the infamous Bondì no longer has a crush on the PN. He is more like Muscat’s sidekick. But back in the day, together with Andrew Borg Cardona, the trio took on anybody who was a nuisance to the PN, even those who held no public office.

That we as individuals may share the same concerns when it comes to our trade, is a simple coincidence.

But unlike her, I do not believe that the Nationalist Party has a God-given right to govern, and the same applies to the Labour Party. When she came to my office, I told her that I have no problem publishing a story about anyone, including Joseph Muscat. Nobody is sacred I said, and we will write about everything. But unlike her, I don’t elect myself to hate labourites as a pretext for ‘journalism’.

Many would ask why such a woman was so unkind in hitting out at so many people who may have had little to do with public life, or whose personal lives were not worthy of the hatred that was brought upon them. Some people were led to despair at seeing themselves blithely being turned into a topic of online gossip, over the weakest of transgressions.

The answer does not lie with her mental state but with those who support her, especially those inside the PN, and who encourage her to continue; or those pitiful followers who thrive on this kind of hate talk.

Last Thursday in Court, the woman herself was expected to testify in the defamation suit Mediatoday brought against her. Instead she took the opportunity to call for unity among journalists. Everyone, myself included, was gobsmacked at her gall.

She took the stand with a surprise call for journalists to put aside their differences and unite in their role of public watchdog. “On further reflection, I think the situation of journalists attacking each other is actually causing more harm than politicians attacking us… Abroad you have a ‘journalists versus politicians’ situation, but in Malta it is ‘certain journalists and politicians against other journalists and politicians’.”

Rich coming from an artist of the poison-pen whose targets are pretty much anyone who does not swear fealty to the Nationalist Party. 

She echoed sentiments regularly expressed by myself – that libel cases were a deterrent to journalists due to high costs and time wasted. “I notice many of my fellow journalists stop short of outright criticism [of politicians], simply to avoid vexatious lawsuits.” 

She continued that she had no interest in carrying on “a stupid and pointless personal battle”. 

“Mr Balzan and I both have the same concerns. The law needs to be changed and the pressure for this to happen is not going to come from politicians as they are well served by the law as it stands. The pressure should come from journalists who are independent. We cannot carry on like this.” 

I have one thing to say to that: you have no right whatsoever to use your ‘writer’s’ credentials to use lies and incite hatred towards those who do not share your political views. Especially with your unabashed tax evasion and scant regard of the law. You can never be a journalist, because you are a liar.

Your campaign caused more harm to journalism than anyone else, and even more damage to the Nationalist Party. If Simon Busuttil decides to use you once again as his predecessor did in 2013, it will serve him no good.

I buried my hatchet. And you should be forgotten, ignored. Your case has got nothing to do with freedom of speech, but a perfect example of unacceptable hatred, lies and abuse. I can only see you for what you are, the queen of bile, a peddler of hatred.