Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mordor Falls

In J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy masterpiece, 'The Lord of the Rings', Middle Earth was controlled by demonic forces centred on two towers, that of Isengard and that of Mordor.  Isengard was home to the treacherous wizard Saruman, who set about building an army of trolls to do all sorts of evil.   Mordor was the base of Lord Sauron, who used magical powers to control the minds of his subjects.

The good wizard Gandalf assembled a rag-tag band of hobbits, elves, dwarves and humans to take on the evil forces of Saruman and Sauron.  Bringing down Isengard required a touch of magic (trees coming to life), but was otherwise relatively straightforward.  Bringing down Mordor was a whole different story, requiring a perilous journey by the hobbits into the heart of enemy territory.

Moldova's Isengard (Communist political power) fell on July 29th.  It required the sacrifice of the protesters, the miracle of the golden vote and the hard work of opposition supporters to achieve.

Moldova's Mordor (Communist control of the media) has proved more difficult to overcome.  As a public broadcaster, Teleradio Moldova (TRM) is not supposed to be under political control (although it has been for the last eight years).

The AIE majority in Parliament has had to go through a tortuous process to effect the necessary change.  First of all, the Audiovisual Council was made functional through the appointment of new members.  Subsequently, new members have been appointed to TRM's Council of Observers (CO) to provide it with the necessary quorum to take action.

Then, finally, yesterday, as a Christmas gift to the nation, the CO went through the process of laying evidence at the feet of the TRM leadership's feet, proving both their failure to operate the company in the public interest and their role as a propaganda / brainwashing vehicle for the Communist Party.  Under the calm, confident leadership of their new president, Eugen Rabca, the council then voted to fire Valentin Todercan (CEO) and Adela Railean (Director of Television).  The Director of Radio (V Gheroghisenko) walked out of yesterday's meeting and was fired earlier this morning.

Adela Railean gave the game away when she protested that she always insisted on pluralism in M1's reporting, always having both a 'statalist' viewpoint and a 'pro-Romanian' viewpoint.  In using such slanted communist terminology, I believe Mrs Railean betrayed her prejudices and actually strengthened the case of the new members of the CO.

The battle is over and the war appears won.  Mordor has collapsed and with it goes the last major bastion of the communist control apparatus.  Let us hope that TRM is never again used as a tool to 'idiotise' the Moldovan population or promote the interests of a single political party.  Let us hope that Moldova's rural population will now have access to a range of undistorted viewpoints and factual truth about what is going on in the country.


  1. @Cristi, uite traducerea în română: Totuşi nu cred că e mai inteligibila decît versiunea engleză ;-)

  2. Zimbru, let us hope that the public television in the near future will become an independent source of information for the nation that financially supports this entity. That's why I consider this war ongoing, in order to keep the eternal "smart guys" away from what is considerd to be a public good&service.

  3. Crist, Mihai,

    excuse me for being oblique. What I was trying to get across was the image of TRM as a dark, foreboding place maintaining a form of mind-control over the nation. To me the parallel with the Tolkien fantasy seemed the best way to do this. Of course, that only makes sense to those who have read the books or watched the films.

    Another parallel I toyed with was the fall of Granada to the Christian Spaniards in 1492, which finally ended the grip of the Muslim Moors on the European continent. This not only saw Spain reunited, but also opened the door to a golden age of discovery and development for that country.

    Anonymous, I agree that the 'war' is ongoing, but the end of Communist control over TRM is a major turning point. My guess is that none of the four parties in the AIE coalition will be able to exercise exclusive control over the institution, so we may be in for a period of reasonably well-balanced coverage of life in Moldova.