Friday, November 02, 2007

What Female Political Officials Can Get Into

A mess. A messy mess.

Swedish prime minister's aide resigns after night out with journalist

What started with a kiss in a Stockholm bar turned into an embarrassment for the Swedish government Thursday as the prime minister's senior aide stepped down, apologizing for a wine-soaked evening out with a TV journalist.

Ulrica Schenstrom, the top civil servant in the office of conservative Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, said in a statement she deeply regretted having "engaged in conversation with a journalist and drinking wine in that context."

Pictures published last week in Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet appeared to show Schenstrom drinking wine and joined in a kiss with a political reporter for the TV4 network on Oct. 23.

Critics initially questioned whether it was appropriate for government officials and journalists to meet under such circumstances. But attention soon turned to Schenstrom's alcohol intake given her central role in the government's response to a national or international emergency.

Reinfeldt, who initially defended his aide, said Thursday she had misled him about how much wine she had consumed on the night in question. "I haven't counted glasses with her, but it was more than what had been described to me," he told reporters.

The reporter, Anders Pihlblad, revealed he and Schenstrom had "a few glasses of wine," but did not specify exactly how much they had been drinking. He said the two were not in a relationship and described their actions as "silliness."

Shall I tag this as "media ehtics"? "Silliness"?

Here in Israel, we don't need alcohol for reporters and politicians to get chummy.

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