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Silence of the Mainstream Media About Mayor Janković and the Pharmacist Case Says a Lot About Our Media Space

“Silence of the mainstream media regarding the Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković and the pharmacist case says a lot about the situation in the Slovenian media space. This is not journalism, but rather doing political favours for corrupt politicians,” The Association of Journalists and Publicists (Združenje novinarjev in publicistov – ZNP) recently wrote. Namely, last week, the media outlet Siol published an official note that was written by police detectives as part of the investigation of Janković’s affair involving a pharmacist – however, the mainstream media are not overly interested in this topic, although the mayor of Ljubljana has been seen in the front row of a convention of the Freedom Movement (Gibanje Svoboda) – the party of Robert Golob, the new face of the left, which, according to the latest public opinion polls, is expected to come second in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Such scandals would be front-page news everywhere else, especially in Western democracies, as it is in the interest of the public to know about this matter – which is also what we wrote seven years ago already, when the mainstream media also kept silent about the pharmacist affair, just as they are staying silent now. It is interesting that years ago, even the Austrian media outlets Kronen Zeitung, Kurier and ORF reported on the dishonest practices of the mayor of Ljubljana – they stated that the mayor Zoran Janković took advantage of a woman in distress, who was afraid of losing her home and thus also losing custody of her children. It should be pointed out that at the time, wiretaps were also made public, for which the judge and former wife of former Minister of Justice, Aleš Zalar, then ordered the destruction – and in 2018, the Supreme Court judges decided not to initiate a judicial investigation against Janković.

Regarding media silence, in addition to the Association of Journalists and Publicist, journalist Jože Biščak also spoke up, who is the President of the Slovenian Association of Patriotic Journalists (Slovensko združenje domoljubnih novinarjev –SZDN). Namely, he said: “Hypocrisy is a kind of left-wing cult anyway: the rules are for you, but not for us,” he pointed out, adding that if a right-wing politician were involved in the Pharmacist case, the entire mainstream media would literally set up camp in front of the house or office of the politician involved in such a scandal. They would report live from there, and all possible organisations would also get involved, which would go on and on about how this politician should withdraw from public life. However, since this is about “our” Zoran Janković, Biščak, who is also the editor of the Demokracija magazine (Democracy), is not surprised by the silence of the mainstream media.

The women running on Golob’s Freedom Movement List did not protest
If we take a look at the statement of the Institute of the 8th of March (Inštitut 8. marec) and its President Nika Kovač, we can quickly see all of the leftists’ perversion: they are not bothered by the fact that Janković was a guest of Robert Golob’s electoral convention at all. “And not only that. Now, this is actually the fault of those media that published the official note from the case,” Biščak pointed out and further emphasised that this was said by a person who considers herself to be the leader of the Slovenian #metoo movement. The whole point of this movement is precisely that these matters should be talked about publicly. However, Biščak is also surprised that the women running on Golob’s Freedom Movement list did not protest, but only politely smiled when the moderator of the convention, Müller, said that as a woman, she is happy when she meets Janković. “A sane person probably feels sick when hearing this,” the President of the Slovene Association of Patriotic Journalists said indignantly.

And while some may have expected that the well-known women’s advocates, including one of the leaders of Fridays’ political protests, Tea Jarc, the President of the Social Democrats, Tanja Fajon, and the President of the SAB party, Alenka Bratušek, would condemn Janković’s exploitation of the pharmacist’s distress, none of them have publicly responded to what has been published yet. Kovač finally announced in a Facebook post on Saturday that the Institute had publicly proclaimed their position regarding the case in question several times before and that they have also condemned it. She did not comment on Janković’s participation in Golob’s pre-election convention but said the Institute had decided to not answer the journalistic questions from Siol or Nova24TV, saying that these two media outlets are merely “propaganda pamphlets of the current authorities, which mislead and lie.” Namely, Kovač accused Siol of revealing the identity of Janković’s victim on its web portal, which is not true at all – the name was revealed to the public at the very beginning of the affair, in other articles. So Kovač was only trying to shift the focus, perhaps to not be asked about her job in the Pionirski dom Centre for Youth Culture, which is owned by the Municipality of Ljubljana.

In recent days, Mayor Janković has been actively involved in the start of the election campaign. In addition to publicly supporting the Freedom Movement, he also posed for photos with Fajon, the left-wing activist Blaž Zgaga, who is running on the list of the SD party, and with the SD MP Marko Koprivec. Apparently, the Social Democrats (as well as the List of Marjan Šarec, which also works with the Institute of the 8th of March) find such abuses of positions in politics acceptable.

Sara Kovač

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