Kuku Raadio pulls 'Muuli ja Aavik' talk show over Mihkelson comments

Kalle Muuli.
Kalle Muuli. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Editor-in-chief of Postimees Grupp's commercial Kuku Raadio station Madis Kimmel said that he has taken Isamaa politician and former journalist Kalle Muuli's political talk show "Muuli and Aavik" off the air over remarks the latter made concerning the Marko Mihkelson scandal.

Kalle Muuli, who works as adviser to Isamaa's Minister of Entrepreneurship and IT Kristjan Järvan, recited details of the court action involving the children of the wife of Riigikogu Foreign Affairs Committee chair Marko Mihkelson (Reform) on the October 28 show.

Journalistic ethics suggests details pertaining to minors should not be discussed in public in such a manner. Chancellor of Justice and Estonia's Children's Ombudsman Ülle Madise has also suggested that media coverage of the topic has done irreparable harm to the children.

Madis Kimmel, editor-in-chief of Kuku Raadio, told ERR that the station, after consulting with its lawyers, decided to remove the October 28 episode to stop Kuku from disseminating the information and pull the entire talk show from its program.

"Our position in this matter is that, as a balanced journalistic publication, we keep facts and opinions separate, and that this principle was violated in this case to an extent to warrant the show's removal," Kimmel said.

Kimmel could not say when a decision could be expected in terms of whether the show will continue at a later date.

The October 28 episode saw Muuli partnered with Postimees journalist Andrus Karnau in place of regular co-host Marti Aavik.

Kuku raadio is owned by Postimees Grupp that also operates the Postimees news portal that first broke the Mihkelson story.

Postimees wrote on October 27 that a parent discovered images of their child in inappropriate poses in the child's smartphone a few years ago on which the minor was naked or only wearing scant clothing.

The daily emphasized that criminal proceedings were not brought against the politician. Even though one of the child's parents found the photos disturbing, the other did not. Despite the details leaking, the story was not published at the time to protect the interests of the children.

While the authorities described Mihkelson's conduct in taking the photographs as insensible, it was not found to qualify as a criminal offense.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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