Rustavi 2 TV has called on MP Levan Gachechiladze, a former presidential candidate of the nine-party opposition coalition, to apologize for “verbally insulting” one of its journalists.
Speaking on Rustavi 2 TV's live political talk-show, Primetime, on February 14, Gachechiladze referreds to an unnamed Rustavi 2 TV journalist as “riffraff.”
He went on: “They [Rustavi 2 TV] journalists are not real journalists; they are in fact members of [President] Mikheil Saakashvili's and [Parliamentary Speaker] Nino Burjanadze’s headquarters of machinary of lies.”
Rustavi 2 TV’s news program, Kurieri (Courier), said in a statement issued on February 15 that “justified criticism is acceptable.” “But we believe that it [Gachechiladze’s remark] was a personal insult and on behalf of Kurieri we are suspending professional cooperation with Levan Gachechiladze, unless he publicly apologises.”
Gachechiladze was, however, less than apologetic on a Georgian Public Broadcaster talk show later that day. He again criticized Rustavi 2 TV, saying it was waging “a dirty PR campaign” against him and the opposition.