Maybe it was meant as an April Fool’s joke with a month’s delay. On 1 May a Russian blogging site, Tolkovatel, revealed that several EU countries are talking about how to “radically solve the problem of the Roma in Europe” – and one option is to relocate them to Russia. France, Italy, Spain, and several east European EU members support this option, while Germany is opposed. Each “Gypsy” family would receive money from the EU for relocation. The EU and Russia will discuss the idea this year or in 2012.

As for the sources of this fascinating information, all that we are told is it “became known” to the blogger.

No problem. Blogs everywhere are full of the most outrageous crap. But this item was then revived on the regional news site Novy Region 2 under the headline “European Gypsies Deported En Masse to Russia?” Granted, the report was careful to attribute the information in the lead paragraph to “blogs and ‘yellow’ media,” but then ran six paragraphs taken almost verbatim from the Tolkovatel posting, without any comment as to its plausibility, or indeed, the utter and complete absurdity of the whole story.

Then on Tuesday the story showed up on another news portal, KM.ru. Tolkovatel was cited as the originator of the story, but again, the same invented “facts” were listed without comment. Without casting the slightest doubt on Tolkovatel’s story, the reporter writes, “Thus, relying on our complaisance and hospitality, ‘tolerant’ Europe wishes to solve its own intolerance problem on our account.”

Must we also tolerate such an abysmal lack of journalistic ethics, not to mention brains?

Ky Krauthamer

Ky Krauthamer is a senior editor at Transitions Online. Email: ky.krauthamer@tol.org

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