Franz fails the fun test
Friday 03 May 1996
Hubertus Czernin, editor in chief of the top Austrian news magazine, Profil, encouraged this little fantasy among his readers recently when he used a picture of the Chancellor's head superimposed on a naked male body, on the front cover of the March issue. He was portrayed as chubby, hairy, and modest - he was covering "his" genitals with "his " hands. Now, according to Profil staff, Mr Czernin has been sacked and the Chancellor's office is taking legal action.
The caption next to the photo-montage read: "How [Vice-Chancellor] Wolfgang Schussel stripped shirt and trousers off Franz Vranitzky." This was a reference to the Social Democratic Chancellor's alleged concessions in coalition talks with Mr Schussel's conservative People's Party. The sacking triggered an outcry. "The editorial staff of Profil is most vehemently opposed to the firing of Hubertus Czernin," the journalists said in a statement.
Mr Czernin has apologised to Mr Vranitzky, but declined to make any public statement on the reports of his sacking.
Somewhat surprisingly, the far-right Freedom Party leader Jorg Haider said he backed Mr Czernin in the controversy. While he did not agree with the editor's political views, Mr Haider said he would do his utmost to ensure that freedom of expression was guaranteed.
They are also struggling with issues of censorship and press freedom in Poland. Nearly half of the staff of a leading newspaper, Zycie Warszawy, said they were resigning this week in protest over a change in policy forced by a new owner. The businessman Zbigniew Jakubas has announced plans to replace the editor-in-chief and to change the paper's profile to make it "objective, neutral and apolitical". According to the journalists, this is code for submissively pro-government.
Mr Jakubas is apparently upset by a perceived right-wing tendency in the paper. The journalists fear that Zycie will no longer deal with subjects that make the new rulers feel uncomfortable. The newspaper was attacked by former communists last year after publishing articles about the ruling coalition of the ex-communist Democratic Left Alliance and the Polish Peasants' Party.
"The change of profile of Zycie is part of the offensive of the ruling coalition against the Polish media," the journalists warned, adding that the appointment in mid-April of pro-Peasant's Party politician Ryszard Miazek as head of public television was part of a government attempt to gain wider control of the media. Mr Miazek has already announced that public television should serve the government.
Burt Reynolds' financial problems appear to be getting worse. In 1994 his lawyers asked a judge to relieve the actor of an $11,000 (pounds 7,300) a month alimony payment to the actress Loni Anderson, saying he was $11.8m in debt. Now foreclosure proceedings have been launched against Reynolds, who has allegedly failed to make monthly payments of $8,500 on his $2.25m Florida ranch since August last year. Reynolds has been asked to pay $1.49m, including interest since July, on a $1.5m loan he took out in May 1994.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 1 World Cup 2014: 20 things we learned in Brazil
- 2 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 3 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Ian Thorpe gay: Olympic swimmer comes out in Parkinson interview
Pamplona bull run: Man who contributed to a survival guide for the festival falls foul of the raging beasts
Israel-Gaza conflict: William Hague calls for ceasefire but says Israel 'has the right to defend itself'
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...
£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...