Bill throws Fake News Factory into panic mode
9 February, 2018
A day after our publisher, lawmaker Delyan Peevski announced in a statement that he and his fellow members of the MRF party Yordan Tsonev, Hamid Hamid and Velislava Krasteva have introduced to parliament a bill designed to make the media environment in the country completely transparent and stop speculations made by the Bulgarian oligarchs' publications producing fake news, the machine for manipulations went into a panic mode. It was expected, given the fact that, if the bill is approved, its ties to the oligarchy and the behind-the-scenes clique will be exposed.
Just hours after the proposed amendments were reported, the media outlets owned by the indicted oligarchs Ivo Prokopiev, Ognyan Donev and Tsvetan Vassilev, and their crony Sasho Donchev, launched their latest attack on Peevski. In the process, they revealed their true hypocritical nature, showing exactly who is afraid of complete transparency in the media sector.
The tone was set by Ognyan Stefanov, former agent Academician of the State Security agency. Even as the owner of the Frognews website, which is funded by the disgraced banker Tsvetan Vassilev, he had the nerve to appear in an interview for BiT (a television channel also funded by Vassilev) and try to cast a shadow of doubt over the newspapers in our media group by asking how the daily newspapers Telegraph and Monitor are financed. He also dragged Channel 3 into it, regurgitating the Fake News Factory's old talking point about an alleged (but non-existent) connection between the TV channel and our publisher. We would remind agent Academician that, unlike the Fake News Factory's media outlets, the daily newspapers of our media group are self-funded. Telegraph, which is the newspaper with the largest circulation in the country, is selling well, as is Monitor. It is all thanks to our readers' trust in the quality of our journalistic work. As for the alleged connection to Channel 3, let us remind that access to the country's Commercial Register is open to everyone, and the information there shows that such connection exists solely in the talking points disseminated by the Fake News Factory.
In their panic over the proposed amendments, the behind-the-scenes clique and its mouthpieces went to absurd extremes. Lawyer Aleksander Kashamov, who is well-known to be funded by grants, even went as far as trying to present the amendments, which would expose all financial dependencies of the Bulgarian media, as a form of censorship. In an interview for the Bulgarian National Radio, Kashamov described as “strange” the requirement for media outlets to disclose received donations, intentionally overlooking the fact that all other forms of funding, like advertisements and loans, already have to be reported to the National Revenue Agency and the Commercial Register.
Not long after that, the same argument was offered by one of the Fake News Factory's mouthpieces, Ivan Bedrov, who is among the authors of the indicted Ognyan Donev's website Club Z and of the Bulgarian section of Deutsche Welle. In a Club Z article, he calls the proposal “impudent” when in all actuality it is only his behaviour and that of his colleagues from the Fake News Factory that deserves that label. There is no other possible qualification for people who pay lip service to the need for transparency, and then start firing desperate verbal salvos the moment they are threatened by the possibility of being exposed as the only ones with ties to the behind-the-scenes clique.