If this isn’t slander, what is?

Iivi Anna Masso

PHOTO: Stanislav Moshkov / Õhtuleht

Presidential adviser Iivi Anna Masso accuses journalist Risto Vuorinen in not only sharing the «Todellinen Tallinna» blog but also defending its stands bursting with lies and slander smelling like Kremlin propaganda.

«The text is in Kremlin style, to leave a dirty, disgusting and unserious impression about people,» said Ms Masso to explain what she was disturbed by in the post. The blog is anonymous, but Mr Masso says the Finnish language text points towards Johan Bäckman (whom Russia, for instance, invited as observer to Crimea elections and who said these were according to international rules) or other such writers hostile towards Estonia.

«In it, they have slandered me personally, and our ambassador Margus Laidre, the President, and casually also the adviser Toomas Sildam,» said Ms Masso. «There are not many direct lies claimed therein. This  is very much the style of Mr Bäckman or others like him. The claims are presented with a slight twist so it would not be easy to sue at a court or to arrest. I was very much offended by them twice claiming as if I were President Ilves’ girlfriend. And that for this reason I was brought to Estonia. I am being made into an adviser level whore. If this is not slander, then I don’t know what is.»

But what does all that have to do with a freelance Finnish journalist living in Estonia? He not only shared the blog on his Facebook site, but defended what was said therein.

«This is spreading propaganda. If he presents, on Facebook, a thing like this – so obviously propagandist, defaming and low-style – as serious journalism, he is not to be taken seriously himself,» substantiated Ms Masso.

The adviser assures us he has nothing against Mr Vuorinen personally. Even so, in Twitter he called the Finn Risto «Estonian-kids-eat-tree-leaves»  Vuorinen. By that, she is referring to a Finnish TV programme where Mr Vuorinen shows what kind of poverty is experienced in Estonia. A best-known section of the programme is interview with Salvation Army Tartu Corps Captain saying that «rhubarb is finished and apples not ripe yet» wherefore kids have to eat tree leaves. «To a degree, this points to tendentious journalism,» thinks Ms Masso.

In reality, the tree-leaves story was first published by Estonian weekly Maaleht.