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Two Journalistic Associations Harshly Criticised the Show Tarča Due to Its Obvious Manipulations

President of the Association of Journalists and Publicists (Združenje novinarjev in publicistov – ZNP), Dr Matevž Tomšič, noticed that in the recent episode of the show Tarča, quite a few manipulations were said at the expense of the government. For example, the government was accused of organising the rally in support of Ukraine to gain political points, when in reality, the rally was organised by Ukrainians living in Slovenia. According to Tomšič, some are clearly afraid that this will benefit the government before the elections. “In short, they are afraid that the government will be the one that will benefit,” he explained. And in the Association of Patriotic Journalists they are critical of the rhetoric of the tv show host, who does not hide her hostility towards the government representatives. They also believe that the creators of the show used the war in Ukraine to further the cultural fight in Slovenia for an attack on the current government and thus caused discord among the people, for which they should be held accountable. “After all, Mr Tonin pointed out the same thing during the show,” they added.

President of the Association of Journalists and Publicists, Dr Matevž Tomšič, says that, given the trailer for the show Tarča, he expected it to be even more one-sided than it eventually was. “The trailer that was played before the show actually sounded like we were about to get another serving of ‘Russophilia’ or ‘Putinophilia.’ In fact, in this trailer, they clearly questioned Slovenia’s help for the Ukrainians in defending their homeland and sending them weapons. There was a clear undertone in this trailer,” he explained.

As he said, the trailer showed that Slovenia’s assistance to Ukraine supposedly endangers Slovenia’s security. However, when Tomšič watched the show, it turned out to be better than he expected. “However, there were also a number of manipulations, such as the case of the rally in support of Ukraine, as the government and the Slovenian Democratic Party, in particular, were accused of organising it specifically for their own needs, which is not true at all. We know that this rally – the one that took place on Wednesday – was organised by the Association of Ukrainians Living in Slovenia. The Prime Minister Janez Janša and the other politicians were invited to attend,” Tomšič explained.

The Wednesday rally was also organised earlier than the non-governmental rally, which then happened earlier – on Tuesday. “It was organised by the left-wing non-governmental organisations. Now, this Tuesday’s rally was actually intended for domestic political needs,” he said. He also noticed quite a few anti-government comments in the show Tarča, as there were allegations that the government was taking advantage of the situation in Ukraine at the moment. “The organisers of the Wednesday rally thanked the government, and the ambassador of Ukraine also thanked the government for its cooperation. This means that obviously, Ukraine, or at least Ukrainians who live in Slovenia, consider the current government to be their ally,” Tomšič explained.

The opposition is worried that the situation might benefit the government ahead of the elections
According to Tomšič, some people are clearly afraid that this would benefit the government before the upcoming elections. He pointed out the narrative of former Prime Minister Marjan Šarec on the episode of the show Tarča in question, who said something in the sense that the wrong people will make a profit from this war. “In short, they are afraid that the government will be the one that will benefit from this,” he summed it up. For Tarča, it is estimated that this episode of the show was set up extremely sensationalistically. “They did it with some bombastic words and the manner of hosting and by cutting people off, especially those who are not to the liking of the tv show host. However, it was also quite clear that the show was directed against the right-wing pole of the Slovenian politics,” he noted.

However, he believes that this manner of hosting a show is not suitable for dealing with such topics in such serious times that we are living in. He estimated that in Slovenia, there are still many people who, not too long ago, supported the “Kremlin autocrat” Vladimir Putin. “But now, they have quieted down a bit and changed their approach. What I mean is they have stopped praising Putin so often, but instead, they have started to attack those who are helping Ukraine,” he concluded.

The tv show host’s rhetoric is not appropriate
The Association of Patriotic Journalists believes that the recent episode of the show Tarča was just another in a series of similar shows on the national RTV Slovenia, in which the host communicates with incomprehensible anger with guests who are from the right-wing political pole. For example, during the show, she did not allow Minister of Defence, Matej Tonin, to finish his sentence. “She kept interrupting him quite awkwardly and also interrupted him when he was saying important things and tried to justify why he had to say them. Meanwhile, she allowed Mr Šarec to continue to speak, who used his minutes to a great extent to slander this government. We, the viewers, were expecting actual information,” they were critical.

When asked if they think that the Tarča show used the war in Ukraine for the cultural fight in Slovenia, and if such shows bring even more division among the people since this was an attack on the government because it is helping Ukraine, and whether they think that the show’s creators should take responsibility for the division among the people, their answer was affirmative. “After all, Mr Tonin pointed out the same thing during the show,” they said. The latter pointed out that it would be good if, in Slovenia, we knew how to at least stick together in some cases, but it seems like it is absolutely necessary to politicise even such important topics as Ukraine.

The Association of Patriotic Journalists explained that they were also bothered by the host’s biting remark, as she said that the Prime Minister did not attend the show, despite being invited. “The host should have clearly stated why he did not attend, as she certainly knew the reason – namely, it is one thing to refuse to be on the show, and another if he has other obligations and cannot come,” they said at the end.

Sara Rančigaj

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