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Erika! This Was a Disaster!

“Erika!” the guests on the show Piramida (Pyramid) used to call the host Erika Žnidaršič when they wanted to respond to someone or wanted to speak. This time, on the show Tarča (Target), the same tv show host rudely interrupted the guests Uroš Urbanija and Minister Vasko Simoniti, while she was lenient with the other two guests, the gentlemen from the left (Bojan Veselinovič and Marko Milosavljević). This time, the topic was “war with the media,” and they wanted to once again accuse the government of trying to subjugate the media, to “Orbanise” our country, and even attribute a connection with the left-wing tycoons, such as Stojan Petrič and Martin Odlazek to it. Judging by the journalistic standards, the show was at the same level as the one where they executed a character assassination of the Minister of the Economy, Zdravko Počivalšek, due to the procurement of protective equipment.

This time, the creators of the show Tarča once again made sure that RTV and Tarča would be heavily discussed in the upcoming days and weeks, as we witnessed another unprofessional slip-up and propaganda war against the current government, even though they were trying to convince the viewers that it is actually the current government that is waging war against the media.

The dispute over the financing of the Slovenia Press Agency (Slovenska tiskovna agencija – hereinafter referred to as the STA), where it has long been clear that the director Bojan Veselinovič has not met the requirements for signing a new contract, was accompanied by clips of the “attacks” by the Prime Minister, as well as editor of the Demokracija magazine, which were actually nothing more than criticism of their biased and non-quality work. Moreover, they even pointed out the demands of the director Uroš Urbanija, who wanted to find out why the RTV allocates that much time to the anti-government agitator Zlatan Čodrić – Zlatko, which is basically advertising at the expense of the taxpayers, while the other Slovenian musicians do not have the same opportunities. In its response, RTV referred to editorial independence, despite the fact that this is nothing more than pure left-wing activism.

The upside-down world at RTV
Then, as always when it comes to the media, they presented the Hungarian model of the news agency and tried to scare the public by claiming that creating something similar in Slovenia is the goal of the current government. They tried to present the Supervisory Board’s award that was given to director Veselinovič and his vile move when he fired the sick editor of the STA, Borut Meško, on his death bed, only as an attack on Veselinovič’s personality. As if everything that he was being accused of actually never happened. The police investigations of the first supervisor and the labour inspection that came due to suspicion of irregularities were once again portrayed as the usurpation of the police and the inspection with the intention of attacking the media. And then they continue to be amazed why the STA has still not received the payment. An upside-down world.

The show was also conducted completely wrong in the studio part with the guests. The director of the Government Communication Office, Uroš Urbanija, Minister of Culture, Vasko Simoniti, director of the Slovenian Press Agency Bojan Veselinovič, and the petty politician Marko Milosavljević, were all there. The latter surely does not deserve to be called a media expert, as we heard practically no substantial statements from him – just like in the European Parliament when the debate on media freedom in Slovenia took place. Another “independent” journalist, Anže Voh Boštic, participated in the debate as an outside critic and “expert” and thus made sure that there was an obvious imbalance in the show.

The night of the long knives
The host of the show Erika Žnidaršič was extremely biased against Urbanija and Simoniti. She interrupted them constantly and did not let them finish their thoughts and remarks, while leaving the other two guests to speak freely. You can watch the discussion part of the show here.
We would also like to point out the additional manipulations that happened on the show Tarča. Following some strange logic, the newspaper Delo, which is controlled by the tycoon of the left-wing Forum 21, Stojan Petrič, was assigned to the pro-government side, and Milosavljević indulged in another big lie, claiming that tycoon Martin Odlazek created his media empire of 60 media outlets during the time of the first Janša government.

And the unique peak of the show Tarča was the announcement of Bojan Veselinovič’s lawsuit against Urbanija and Prime Minister Janez Janša. When Veselinovič announced the “news,” which had previously already been announced by all of the left-wing media outlets in a coordinated manner, the show Tarča displayed the tweets that are the subject of the lawsuit. With this, it was clear to everyone that this was a coordinated action of the creators of the show and Veselinovič, which was created with the intention of having a maximum effect on the viewers. With this, the RTV proved once again that it is not worthy of the title media outlet, as it is nothing more than propaganda, as Voh Boštic would say.

Sara Rančigaj

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