The unruly media of the authorities, namely editors Morawiecki and Dworczyk in the Karnowskis’ portal
Mateusz Morawiecki’s close associates have prepared a ready interview attacking the judges who ruled unfavourably for the prime minister during the local elections. It was published by the pro-government portal wPolityce.pl run by the brothers Jacek and Michał Karnowski.
by Roman Imielski
The article was published in Gazeta Wyborcza
The publication of the e-mails, which leaked from the current head of the Prime Minister’s Chancellery, Michał Dworczyk’s inbox, has meant that we could once again see what the intertwining of the ‘unruly’ media with the Law and Justice (PiS) party looks like [in Polish: media niepokorne, which stands for media favorable to the PiS ruling camp; the term was coined before PiS came to power in 2015 – eds.].
Information on the commissioning of the preparation of materials to people from TVP was posted earlier. This time, this is about the wPolityce.pl portal, which – just like the ‘Sieci’ weekly run by the Karnowski brothers – has tens of millions of zlotys pumped into it each year from advertisements of state-owned companies and state institutions.
The Karnowski brothers receive ready materials
The Karnowski brothers have been regarded as informal spokesmen for the PiS party for a long time. They like to spread slogans about independence and living with the truth. They claim they are the ‘unruly’ media.
All this is obviously a smokescreen. The PoufnaRozmowa.com website, which posts Michał Dworczyk [Chief of the Chancellery of the PM]’s emails, has just confirmed this.
Morawiecki wrote to Dworczyk and Jarosław Gajewski, a former journalist, now an expert at the Polish Development Fund, on 30 October 2018, just before the second round of the local elections.
The prime minister pasted in part of an article from wPolityce.pl: ‘Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is to apologise to the mayor of Kraków for his words about the lack of action by the city authorities in the battle against smog. Attention was immediately drawn in Kraków to the fact that the adjudicating panel of the Court of Appeal in Kraków included judges who have made no secret of their dislike of the judicial reform. The Court of Appeal in Małopolska’s capital itself is also a bastion of rebellious judges who are ruthlessly attacking the current authorities. Two of the three judges ruling today in the actin filed by Majchrowski are judges actively supporting the ‘caste’.
And he recommends: ‘Do not “apologise”, but “correct”,’ although the rest of the narrative is interesting… ‘I spoke to Michał earlier and he is waiting for information nicely served on a platter from Jarek G. Ania, see to all of this’.
To this, Gajewski replies: ‘I have already written a ready interview for him [for Dworczyk]. He needs to quickly send it to wPolityce.pl. It’s rather strong :)))’. To which Dworczyk replied: ‘I have corrected some minor details and have sent it to Jacek Karnowski. It should be posted in the portal soon’.
And indeed, the ‘ready materials’ quickly appear on the portal of the Karnowski brothers with the title of: ‘Michał Dworczyk on the verdict in the prime minister’s case: I’m not surprised, because these are politicians in togas rather than judges’.
It is worth quoting the ‘ready material’, because its form – especially the questions – is very characteristic.
Wywiad-gotowiec dla portalu Sióstr Karnowskich wysłany, zaraz się pojawi na portalu. pic.twitter.com/8RzYpJvuzA
|Below is a translation of the leaked email:
wPolityce.pl: However, after the judgment of the court of the first instance that was favourable for the Prime Minister, the Court of Appeal in Kraków ordered the head of the government to post a corrigendum after he stated at a convention in Kraków that the city authorities were ‘doing almost nothing’ to combat smog. How do you assess this decision of the court?
Michał Dworczyk, head of the Prime Minister’s Chancellery: I get the impression that in election-mode cases involving PiS politicians, we have a situation in which courts of the first instance assess the case on its merits and dismiss actions, while the higher-instance courts, namely, in this case, the court of appeal, assess the case in a highly political, extremely biased manner.
What do you mean?
It’s difficult not to get the impression that the Court of Appeal in Kraków is the most politicised court in Poland. Unfortunately. It can even be said that this court is in a kind of anti-government and anti-presidential amok.
That’s how I see it, that’s how I assess it. Just imagine that, as recently as a fortnight ago, the judges of the Court of Appeal in Kraków passed nine resolutions, eight of which were critical of the government’s and the president’s actions! They applied to the method of appointing judges to the Supreme Court, the functioning of the National Council of the Judiciary and other aspects of the reform of the Polish judiciary; one of the resolutions applied to the fact that most of these resolutions are to be translated into English and sent around Europe. This is curious! Although the most scandalous one is the one in which the judges of the Court of Appeal in Kraków assess that the conduct of the Polish President qualifies for putting Andrzej Duda up before the Tribunal of State. So, if you are asking me whether I am surprised by today’s ruling of that court in the prime minister’s case, then no – I am absolutely not surprised, because these are politicians in robes rather than judges in robes. It’s a shame that none of the resolutions of the judges apply, for example, to speeding up court hearings and treating witnesses with dignity.
Of course, both Dworczyk, Morawiecki and the Karnowskis are not even mentioning the publication of the ‘ready materials’. Instead, the old narrative is that the stolen emails are the work of the Russians and are manipulated. However, nobody has specified any manipulation in any of the disclosed correspondence to date. On the contrary, the authenticity of many emails has been publicly confirmed. Meanwhile, the Polish secret services have not yet presented a report on precisely who is behind the publication of the correspondence of the head of the Prime Minister’s Chancellery.
Instead, on 23 May, the Zaufana Trzecia Strona (Trusted Third Party) portal reported that the Internal Security Agency ordered the Polish telecommunications operators to block the PoufnaRozmowa.com website. Although, this is very easy to circumvent – all that is needed is, for example, a VPN.
Przyłębska, a star with Sakiewicz
In the shadow of ‘Dworczyk’s ready materials’, you might not have noticed that we have just witnessed another example of the intertwining of the authorities with the ‘unruly’ media. This time it is about the convention of the ‘Gazeta Polska’ Clubs in Sulejów and the performance by Julia Przyłębska, president of the Constitutional Tribunal appointed by PiS, and party leader Jarosław Kaczyński’s “social discovery”.
There is no need to remind you that tens of millions of zlotys are also flowing to Tomasz Sakiewicz’s media from companies and institutions controlled by the government. And it was precisely he who was the host of Saturday’s panel, at which the star was Przyłębska.
‘Sovereignty should be our roadmap,’ she assured. ‘I am not treating this as a political meeting for one party or another, I am treating it as a meeting for Poland, in support of Poland,’ she added.
She argued that ‘the defects of democracy should be acknowledged. And therefore, democratic elections, in which the majority wins, should be respected. The institutions specified in the constitution should be respected and should work in peace. And even if we don’t agree with everything, we should assert our rights through the law and not through anarchy.’
She emphasised that the constitution is most important: ‘This is our constitution; it is the supreme law and we should respect it, not only by wearing it on t-shirts, but also by not misinforming the public about what it is saying.’
She finally stated: ‘What has been brought about today in many areas, including by preventing the Constitutional Tribunal from operating peacefully, is precisely the result of the anarchisation of public life.
Przyłębska almost certainly was not and is not aware of how comical she herself is in this role. She is managing a legal shell that is still referred to as the ‘Constitutional Tribunal’ – with stand-ins and former PiS MPs within its membership. The authorities are treating the constitution like dirt and did not hesitate to interrupt the constitutional term of the National Council of the Judiciary in 2018. Przyłębska herself plays hostess to Kaczyński and Morawiecki at Sunday lunches, while Sakiewicz’s and Karnowski’s media are the armed media arm of the ruling party.
This is what ‘unruliness’ – not only in the pro-government media – looks like today.