Kaladze Calls Journalist ‘the Filthiest,’ Faces Criticism

Incumbent Mayor Kakha Kaladze, running for reelection, faces criticism after he told Mtavari Arkhi TV reporter Dea Mamiseishvili “you are the biggest radicals, there are no filthier people than you in this country.”

The Mayor also held the journalist responsible for “hatred, evil, and anything bad that a person could think of.” Mayor Kaladze then denied he had scolded the journalist, arguing he had referred to Mtavari Arkhi TV reports instead.

The reporter was grilling Kaladze over an alleged Georgian Dream election campaign strategy document, published by Mtavari Arkhi TV, that supposedly detailed proposed plans to discredit critical media personalities and former Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, among others.

The Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics, a non-state self-regulatory body, stated today that Mayor Kaladze’s statement is a “threat to democracy,” while the official’s attitude towards the media “is characteristic of authoritarianism.

This was an incitement to hatred towards the media, which is especially dangerous during the election period, the group pointed out. The self-regulatory body also called on the authorities not to “encourage attacks on members of the media by their aggressive attitudes.”

“The Charter of Journalistic Ethics has repeatedly stated that the aggressive rhetoric of politicians in Georgia creates a polarized media environment and negatively affects the safety and professionalism of journalists,” the statement highlighted.

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