Prabowo rages against ‘unsupportive’ and ‘evil’ media

Source – July 9, 2014
Prabowo Subianto speaking to reporters in Jakarta - July 8, 2014 (Merdeka)
Prabowo Subianto speaking to reporters in Jakarta - July 8, 2014 (Merdeka)

Angga Yudha Pratomo – Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto seemed furious on Wednesday July 9 after he invited media crews to his residence in the Bojong Koneng village area in Hambalang, Bogor, West Java. He didn’t shy from making insinuations against media that don’t support the Number 1 ticket.

Initially, Prabowo invited the media to interview him one by one. Moreover the former army Special Forces (Kopassus) commander also gave opportunities to the media, the majority of which were TV media, to find a spot around his house to conduct the interviews.

When ANTV [owned by Golkar Party chairperson and business tycoon Aburizal Bakrie] interviewed him, Prabowo appeared relaxed and answered each and every question. However when Berita Satu got its chance, he immediately began making insinuations.

According to Prabowo, the media outlet owned by the Lippo Group has been sadistic in its reporting on him. Not just it’s television station but also its English language newspaper the Jakarta Globe, which is owned by Berita Satu Media Holdings, a unit of the Lippo Group.

Berita Satu isn’t fair. It’s sadistic. The same goes for the Jakarta Globe. It’s evil the Jakarta Globe”, said Prabowo.

Next it was Kompas TV’s turn to be abused by the Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra Party) board of patrons chairperson, although in the end they were still able to interview him.

Metro TV however bore the full brunt of Prabowo’s anger. The television station is indeed known as a supporter of the Joko Widodo-Jusuf Kalla presidential ticket and often makes insinuations against Prabowo in its reporting.

Prabowo took his leave without a word to the television station own by the National Democrat Party (NasDem) chairperson Surya Paloh, a supporter of the Jokowi-Kalla ticket. He instead chose to be interviewed by CNN, even though the Metro TV crew was already preparing for the interview.

Then all of a sudden Prabowo started spouting ‘caustic’ remarks at the Metro TV crew and female reporter. According to Prabowo, the television news station is evil and he raised questions about Surya Paloh as the owner.

“Metro TV’s evil. What sin have I committed against Surya Paloh such that you are so mean to me. Your reporting isn’t balanced. If you don’t want to be hurt, don’t hurt other people. That’s a teaching of all religions”, said Prabowo.

Prabowo insisted to the Metro TV crew and female reporter that he has not done any wrong against the owner of the media group. “What have I done to Surya Paloh? [in English -- JB] I don’t think I’ve ever done anything to him. Are you prepared to ask that question of Surya Paloh”, he said.

Prabowo’s anger appeared to intensify. The reason being that he felt increasingly upset over the attacks often launched against him by the mass media.

“I have lots of supporters. How would it be if I told my supporters not to watch Metro TV, it would be all over for you. Kompas included, Berita Satu too. Likewise for Tempo. What have I ever done to Goenawan Muhammad [the founding editor of Tempo Magazine]. To [Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle chairperson] Megawati [Sukarnoputri]”.

Prabowo even bragged that he would pay a visit on the owners of the media groups. Following the outburst, he excused himself, and the media crews that had already interviewed him were thrown out.

“Later I’ll approach those people one by one. Mark my words. Because I’ve never hurt them. Now, those that have interviewed me can leave. This is my home. Come on, we’ll do an interview with CNN. Go Ahead”, he said emphatically. [ian]

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service.]