Wednesday, October 20

A retreating diva

Salvador Sostres on

24 may, 2021

Pilar Rahola was La Vanguardia’s third salary and her audience had plummeted. More than 100,000 euros per year for four articles a week, and it had an increasingly reduced and marginal core of readers, to the point that when the company informed it that it was going to do without its services, it leaked the news to its digital counterpart. , the organic El Nacional, by Pepe Antich, with the idea that there would be a revolt and absolutely nothing happened. Very disappointed, and contrary to what she had thought, which was not to give explanations until June, she wrote three tweets to give herself importance, becoming the political reprisal and insulting the communication group that had paid her so generously for the last twelve years. Nothing happened either. No consignable reaction beyond the fuss of the few exalted that the procés still has. The total indifference with which even the bulk of the independence movement reacted to the dismissal, gave the reason to the director of La Vanguardia, Jordi Juan, in his quantitative argument. Furthermore, it is also true that Rahola’s columns had lost any quality – if they ever had any – and had become mere pamphlets of the lost cause of Carles Puigdemont. In fact, among the pro-independence politicians of a certain relevance -if speaking in terms of the relevance of the pro-independence leaders does not begin to be an excess- only the fled former president, the president of the Parliament, Laura Borràs, and the former president Quim Torra they expressed their otherwise timid support for the activist. It closes the idea that the decision was business and journalistic, and not political, that yesterday morning Rahola participated as every Monday in Jordi Basté’s morning gathering, on Rac1, the Godó Group radio. Of course, Rahola wanted to bring up the subject and the program rightly made him see that it was not reasonable to open a debate on the company’s decisions.

Rahola has been discovering for three days how unimportant it is, and actually how unimportant columnists are. Any temptation to believe that we are idols or heroes vanishes the day we are kicked out and life remains the same. We write, sometimes they read us, and when they turn us off, or we turn off, maybe someone talks about us with nostalgia, but the next day no one cares about us anymore. As it has to be. The ideological victimhood with which the agitator now tries to hide her poor decadence is not only false but also ridiculous. Neither the director of La Vanguardia, nor its editor, Javier Godó, realized on Saturday that Rahola was pro-independence. It always has been, and that is how he dedicated himself to politics, first from the Republican Esquerra, and then founding his own party (the PI, Partit per la Independència) and thus he has been able to write what he has wanted for 12 years. Attributing the termination of Rahola to his independence movement is not understanding that Rac1 is a radio with a markedly independentist tone and that it coexists perfectly in the dynamics of the group. Javier Godó is not a sectarian editor, but to his son Carlos, throwing money out the window does not seem like the best idea in the world. And this is exactly what La Vanguardia had been doing for some time with what was once its most widely read columnist.

What is certain is that Doña Pilar has used her political relationship, first with Artur Mas and then with Carles Puigdemont, to force her hiring and permanence in the media. It is true that when in the course of these years his position has staggered, as we all stagger from time to time, the different directors that La Vanguardia has had, especially Màrius Carol and Jordi Juan, have received all kinds of pressure -to the limit. of the threat – so that what the convergents considered their spearhead would retain its spine. But it is also true that if both directors decided to keep it at the time, it was not out of fear but because they considered that their signature contributed readers to the newspaper. The contribution declined, the firm has declined. It is significant of a certain change of scenery in the new stage of Junts, led by Jordi Sánchez, that no one from the party has come out publicly to defend what was Mas’s biographer and Puigdemont’s head of propaganda.

He arrived at La Vanguardia in 2009 to replace Baltasar Porcel as the first columnist. The process had not yet started but the then director of the newspaper, José Antich, had long been preparing for Artur Mas’s landing in the Generalitat. And while with one hand he was able to entangle José Zaragoza, PSC’s organization secretary at that time, and make him believe that he was his best friend, inviting him to his house on the Seo de Urgel on weekends; With the other, he hired Rahola for more than 100,000 euros and planned the Catalan edition of La Vanguardia with the idea of ​​making it appear coinciding with the arrival of Artur Mas to the presidency of the Generalitat, in order to count on his financial support. Rahola, who in 2010 published a biography not only authorized but commissioned by Artur Mas, was one more piece of this gear with which Antich put La Vanguardia at the service of CiU to achieve its long-awaited power and influence among the Catalan political class.

That Rahola lent herself to the political game to, like Antich, fulfill her fantasy of being someone in politics, does not mean that everyone acts the same as her or that she is retaliated for thinking as she thinks. That he has tried to get and keep jobs because of his mixture of friendship and servitude with the leaders of the independence movement does not mean that the media in which he has worked take so little into account the talent, quality and the indispensable business of each thing. That Rahola, as we were able to hear in several telephone conversations, demands for political reasons what for professional reasons is not granted, does not mean that the directors of the private and public media are all as mean as she. Rahola will no longer write in La Vanguardia because he had a star salary and what he wrote no longer interested anyone. Rahola, who had her success, and her market, is today a diva in retreat.

La Vanguardia is a private company and has made a business decision. Instead, someone would have to wonder who pays for Rahola’s videoblog, what digital pamphlet reproduces it every day, and how much money does this pamphlet charge from the Generalitat and the Barcelona Provincial Council. Lest we imagine political reprisals that do not exist so much, we do not see the evidence of who is the most tacky, bought and sold political commissioner in Catalonia.

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Salvador Sostres on

24 may, 2021

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