Have the “black” political strategists failed?16.03.2010 | 09:39
Political analysts in Russia and Georgia provide different opinions on the Imedi broadcast from the point of view of its contents. In Moscow, the report was taken as a provocative action, while in Tbilisi some people consider a scenario of the Russian attack like this to be quite possible. Both the Russian and the Georgian political analysts share the only idea that the political strategists failed to reach all the set purposes.
Last summer, some of the Georgian and pro-Georgian Russian experts, such as Andrey Illariononv's Institute of Economic Analysis, forecasted another war with Russia in July. The media even discussed the details of the Russian special operation on eliminating President of South Ossetia Eduard Kokoity, charging leader Mikhail Saakashvili with murder and starting a military intrusion of the Russian troops on the night of July 13. August passed, as well as the anniversary of the August events and all the forecasts seemed to sink into oblivion. But no: they were drawn into the light again in a new form, that is, in the form of a news "ghost story" broadcasted by Imedi. Besides, more details were revealed, such as, for instance, the people's government that has
taken the power in its hands, being led by Nino Burjanadze who agreed to cooperate with the occupational troops.
GeоrgiaTimes asked the Georgian and the Russian political analysts to give their appraisal of the "TV masterpiece" and the professional skill of its authors.
Gia Nodia, Director of the Caucasian Peace & Democracy Institute: I believe they made a great mistake by giving no titles indicating the staging. It was said at the beginning; however, the piece went on for over 20 minutes and many people believed that things were really happening. That is a true mistake that caused a strongly negative reaction. As to the idea itself, modeling a negative scenario and its visual broadcasting on TV - well, I believe it may by both a risky and a disputable thing to do but it is quite admissible. The broadcasted scenario was not taken from nowhere; it was not invented by a couple of journalists or state agitators. Such scenarios are thoroughly worked out by political experts and analysts. Unfortunately, the entire attention was drawn to the format and to the panic in certain segments of the society because of the lack of professional skill.
- There were green trees shown in the piece. It was another season. Why were the people misled?
-That is just what the Imedi journalists are saying: "we did not expect that the people would not understand: it was summer there, and so on". They hoped they would. Most people did not take it seriously but they are not accustomed to such kind of experiments. The whole program was made in the form of a newsreel, and the news anchor was the same as usual, so the people did not pay attention to the details and got frightened when they saw the armor and heard the alarming voice of the anchor.
Dmitriy Orlov, Director General of Political and Economic Communications Agency: I believe this broadcast to be a provocative act aimed at destabilizing the public opinion in Georgia and at aggravating the Russian-Georgian relationship. One may joke about anything but making and airing a provocative piece within a common informational program is something beyond the verge of breaking the rules and the culprits should be punished.
Ramaz Sakvaralidze, political analyst: In this case, the professional level might be measured by negative categories. As to the very idea, its actual aspect should also be evaluated negatively, I believe. There is no way to justify this data.
Alexey Zudin, Head of Political Programs Department of Center of Political Technologies: There is no sense in talking about the journalists: it was not the journalistic skill but political technologies that were used there. It was clear from the very beginning that this is not a journalistic action but an action that was planned by the people of the president and that it was planned in partnership with the consultants from other countries, considering its scale and a touch of Hollywood.
-What was the purpose of the Imedi leaders or those who had designed the piece, in your opinion?
Gia Nodia: They wanted to say that there could be such a possibility and that it is to be discussed, at least.
- Does it mean that they wanted to intimidate the people?
-I would not call it "intimidation"; that was an appeal to treat the danger more seriously. I know that the president takes it seriously and many independent political experts take it seriously as well, so the people should also take it that way. Still, the way it was done turned out to be counter-productive.
Dmitriy Orlov: I guess they were aiming at the polarization of the public opinion and the aggravation of the Russian-Georgian relationship.