Helsingin Sanomat columnist Martta Nieminen has some interesting comments about PM Vanhanen’s legal action against his former girlfriend and her publisher…
Could the worries of Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen (Centre) about the limits to his own privacy be the road to self-censorship of the media?
Will it lead to us journalists becoming wary of spreading information that might be objectionable to Vanhanen? Will we for instance henceforth refrain from any references to his romantic adventures before the rings have been exchanged or before Vanhanen has himself promised to publish news of his dating?
[...]If Vanhanen succeeds in erecting a wall around his private life, we are making a return to the days of President Urho Kekkonen, when the nation’s leaders went out womanising and gallivanting about without the slightest of press eyebrow-raising. It has only been the memoirs that came later that have shed some light on the interesting goings-on behind the curtain in the corridors of power.
If one follows the international media, it is plain to see that the private lives of leading political figures are most definitely not hidden behind walls of silence. Thus far, the Finnish media really quite have been kid-gloved.
In Britain, for instance, the Prime Minister would get laughed at if he were to demand a clarification of the limits of his privacy. Not in Finland, apparently.