Media affiliated to the AKEL party were left with egg on their faces after misconstruing – perhaps deliberately – a phrase uttered by DISY spokesman Prodromos Prodromou on a live televised show last week.
On Monday, AKEL mouthpieces Haravghi and Gnomi both ran stories claiming that Prodromou, speaking on a CyBC show last Friday, had said of former president Demetris Christofias, “unfortunately he is not dead.”
Gnomi published an indignant item, posting a looped video clip of the incident, and conveying their disgust at an insensitive and grinning Prodromou.
The ‘shocker’ was picked up on social media, with people expressing horror that Prodromou said he hoped Christofias were dead.
Except, Prodromou had said nothing of the sort. His precise words were “Fortunately he [Christofias] is not dead.”
What had happened was that Prodromou was talking over AKEL deputy Giorgos Georgiou, so the beginning of his phrase was not perfectly audible.
Because the first syllable came out slightly muffled, it initially appeared as if Prodromou may have said “unfortunately” rather than “fortunately” in Greek.
But a closer hearing of the clip leaves no doubt as to what Prodromou actually said.
The reflexes of the AKEL media had backfired spectacularly.
Hitting back, Prodromou released a statement calling out AKEL’s cheap shot and lamenting their attempt at character-assassination.
He accused the AKEL media of sitting on the incident throughout the entire weekend and of manufacturing a story out of nothing.
It was like shooting fish in a barrel, but the DISY MP did not miss the opportunity to take the moral high ground.
“In addition to an apology from AKEL – which logically one would expect – and because the election campaign still has 40 days to go, I would like as a human being to say this to them: political wrangling yes, but let us try to remain human, otherwise what is politics all about?”
And in another dig, Prodromou alluded to the tactics employed by Paul Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Germany’s propaganda minister.
Following Prodromou’s statement setting the record straight, Gnomi ran a follow-up in which they did not exactly retract.
The title of their item: “Did Prodromou wish Christofias dead or not? Read what the concerned Prodromou has to say.”