We are sincerely glad that you, individuals, came forward and signed a petition against political pressure on RTV Slovenia. Some of you we know, others less, for the third we hear for the first time. We are especially pleased with the signatures of two people we know well – Boris Bergant and Lado Ambrožič, who are among the important staff of the RTV House, who have significantly contributed to the ideological and political and personnel situation in which it is. But more on that later. We believe that only open debate (sometimes sharp dialogue and confrontation of different points of view) helps to extract the best. Disagreement itself is the element that makes freedom of speech the most important human freedom. All other freedoms are based on this freedom, our civilization as we know it grew on it. Our ancestors knew that this is the buoyancy that brings progress. Unfortunately, we note that freedom of speech is under threat today and that there are many of you who believe that freedom of speech is a right with restrictions.
We started our letter with freedom of speech because the majority opinion of the employees of RTV Slovenia is that only what they think is acceptable for publication. This is far from what you are writing, namely that a public institution must ensure a plural public interest. Editors and journalists restrict freedom of speech to others, especially those with whom they disagree. The main task of the editor of public RTV is to ensure the presentation of all opinions and positions, it must cover all movements and ideologies that operate in Slovenia. Since this is a public service paid for by electricity consumers (that is, everyone), the editors of RTV Slovenia must also ensure the right to express those opinions with which they do not agree, even though they may be controversial, eccentric, provocative, heretical and bizarre, partly even socially undesirable. If this is not enabled, then RTV Slovenia does not fulfill its basic mission, then it is not a public service, then it has no right to forcibly take money from people for the RTV contribution, then this is a clear sign that the public institution from Kolodvorska in Ljubljana does not support freedom speech. Already George Orwell wrote: »If freedom really means anything at all, it means that you have the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear.« This is a basic lesson that RTV Slovenia obviously has to learn.
We don’t mean to repeat what you wrote, but let it be clear to you. RTV Slovenia is already fairly financially independent, although this independence, with which it obtains most of the funds for its activities, is completely perverted and has nothing to do with freedom or democracy. By definition, a public institution is not just an ordinary pickpocket or robber, but an armed robber, an insidious bandit who steals from people in broad daylight and in front of everyone. Forced payment of the RTV fee, as it is affectionately called, cannot be called otherwise. The contribution is picked up by coercion and a gun in the shadows. Whoever does not pay it is followed by execution. If there are no funds in the account or there is no property that could be confiscated, non-payers can be punished differently by the state; also with imprisonment.
Why are we writing this? Because that is the essence of everything. An individual is not free to decide whether or not to pay a subscription to RTV Slovenia. And as long as this is not the case, the editors and journalists of RTV Slovenia have no right to independently decide to whom they will give the media space. If they are public service broadcasters, this means that they must treat everyone equally. Just as a civil servant at an administrative unit has to press the stamp on any permission to everyone, irrespective of whether it is an extreme leftist or extreme rightist, liberal or conservative, so people from Kolodvorska must equally treat all political parties, social movements and civil initiatives. They are all payers to their greedy cash-register. But they do not do this, they carry out cheap propaganda of a single political and social ideology. That is left-wing ideology. Although neither positive nor negative selection or discrimination should be carried out. They should enable everyone an even and balanced representation.
However, the concrete things that are happening in the public institution RTV Slovenia, are worse than all expectations, when one closely monitors and analyzes their operation. Let us therefore try to answer the fundamental question in some concrete cases: in whose hands is RTV Slovenia, who is plundering it and for which policy is it openly agitating!
Even after 1990, RTV Slovenia was constantly controlled by the old party set. Even at a time when people of a different orientation were at at the head of the institution and this was more or less noticeable in a more plural program, the financial part of the institution’s depletion was dominated by cliques of former party circles, today SD circles. We need to know that in the last 30 years, RTV Slovenia has obtained around 3 billion euros in funds from the RTV contribution, calculated in proportion to our time, which it has used more and, above all, less usefully for its operations. A lot of money was channeled into the private pockets of leading people close to SD, who bought expensive cars and built luxurious holiday cottages. Of course, all this can be checked directly at their home.
The current director of RTV, Igor Kadunc, the chosen one of the deep state, completely failed as the manager of the institution.
Business loss during the time of Igor Kadunc:
2017 – 720.000 €
2018 – 1.100.000 €
2019 – 3.200.000 €
2020 – 7.000.000 € (data suggest that this will be the lowest estimated loss in 2020)
Marko Filli, also from SD – LMŠ, works together with him. Among other things, it is worth mentioning that Filli and Kadunc operate almost exclusively through the company AVC Group d.o.o. from Tržaška 128 in Ljubljana, for the purchase of various equipment for the actual or imaginary needs of RTV. This has been going on for years. They buy everything from computer equipment to cars. According to Erar, this company, which has only a few employees, has so far operated with RTV in the amount of 17,000,000 euros, if we take into account the period since Marko Filli has been in responsible positions. Why such “emotions” towards this company is, of course, a purely rhetorical question. The whole of RTV knows what is happening, but when it comes to “ours”, nothing happens. And this is now being defended by the parties of the hard left.
Despite the loss in which the RTV is sinking by Kadunc, and the institution’s unaccepted budget, the narrow clique around him is still forcing the construction of an information center for the needs of journalists. They do not care that neither journalists nor TVS management show interest in this construction. Kadunc and Filli – both solid core of SD and LMŠ – they are still forcing everyone to start building a NEWS center, even though no one wants or needs it. Rumors are spreading around the house that they have apparently already received a commission.
The supervisory board commissioned Kadunc to draw up a recovery plan, which he flatly ignores. Such management of RTV is supported by LMŠ – SD – Levica. Igor Kadunc “walked” to the position of director general of RTV Slovenia from his retirement status. Captain, his private company, he left to his son, but tried to provide for him or for his circle of friends, so he got into serious disputes in the Cultural and Artistic Program of TV Slovenia, where he was directly involved in tenders for major projects, films and series. Because they are “ours” or the right ones, the affair did not get the necessary dimension and conclusion, but everything took place in a closed circle.
The reason why such a non-transparent and loss-making business by Kadunc and the RTV Slovenia management is tolerated lies in the fact that Igor Kadunc, through levers on TV Slovenia (director Natalija Gorščak, for who even in the house is said to be the biggest personnel scandal in the house so far) and on Radio Slovenia (the director is former ultra-leftist editor of Val 202 Mirko Štular) since the election of the SDS – SMC – Nsi – DeSUS government has been waging a fierce campaign against all these parties, especially Prime Minister Janez Janša. The abuse of Radio and Television Slovenia for political purposes has reached epic proportions in the constant campaign of radio and at almost the same pace of television. At the beginning, the number of listeners and viewers increased, but now the audience is leaving the programs of the abused public RTV en masse and is increasingly demanding the abolition of the payment of the RTV fee.
The media abuse of national television and also radio is unbelievable!
In this short review, we leave radio programs aside and will talk about them some other time. It doesn’t even make sense for the radio to make a selection of violations, because these appear in all news broadcasts, in the Studio at 5 pm and in the entire Val 202 program, practically without exception. However, it is also true that the national radio program has been marginalized to such an extent that it no longer causes such damage as the still more influential TV Slovenia. In the latter, the influence and positions were gained by individuals who had already proven themselves in the past in their media activities against the then opposition, most notably the SDS, regardless of whether the media messages were fabricated or completely false.
In January 2016, journalist Jelena Aščić published the news on the Utrip show that opposition leader Janez Janša was designing his own army, but at the same time did not allow the accused politician to respond to her ominous claim. The same claim was repeated in the Left Party. The news turned out to be false, however, the RTV management defended the journalist against criticism, saying that it was pressure on journalists, a threat to RTV’s editorial autonomy and independence. The Ombudsman for the Rights of Viewers and Listeners of RTV Slovenia, Ilinka Todorovski (she can also be found on Udba.net) and the Slovenian Journalists’ Association also defended the journalist. Later, during the “Thompson affair”, she became the editor of the show Tednik, where she personally got involved in accusing the editor Igor Pirkovič.
When journalist Valentin Areh published a documentary on TV Slovenia in October 2016 about the role of the Yugoslav People’s Army (JLA) in the former Yugoslavia, the militarization of society at the time and poverty based on numerous data, he received insults from the Left Party, attacks by MP Jani Möderndorfer from the SMC and even pressure from former president Milan Kučan and the RTV leadership. Nevertheless, no one has proven that any of the published data would be inaccurate. This was Areh’s last documentary, and the RTV management assigned him to a new workplace. At the time, no one from the center-left parties and from civil society mentioned pressure on journalists, threats to editorial autonomy and the independence of RTV.
In May 2017, journalist Polona Balantič commented on the former Yugoslav political leader Tito on TV Slovenia and, despite the unified statement of historians about Tito’s controversial role in the post-war massacres, persecution of political opponents and the introduction of dictatorship, claimed: »Once again, we remember Tito, mainly because of his self-confidence, which made Yugoslavia a prominent actor in international politics, of course not only because of that. We would all need a courageous attitude, as Tito demonstrated.« After criticism of such a one-sided assessment of the former dictator, the RTV leadership remained silent. Similar slips occur every year regarding the media exposure of dictator Tito.
In all broadcasts in May 2017, RTV extensively reported on the ban on the concert of the controversial Croatian singer Thompson in Maribor. The journalists of TV Slovenia claimed that the singer at his concerts sang an Ustasha song entitled Jasenovac i Gradiška Stara, with the lyrics: »Jasenovac and Gradiška Stara, it is the house of Max’s butchers, there was a slaughterhouse in Čapljina, a lot of Serbs were carried by the Neretva, a bright star above Metković, greet us Ante Pavelić.« (»Jasenovac i Gradiška Stara, to je kuća Maksovih mesara, u Čapljini klaonica bila, puno Srba Neretva nosila, sjajna zvijezdo iznad Metkovića, pozdravi nam Antu Pavelića«.) The journalists published an audio recording published by the Croatian portal Index.hr. This song was also quoted by politicians of the Left and the government, proving that such a person has no right to appear on public television. At the same time, the journalists of TV Slovenia deliberately didn’t tell that Thompson had publicly denied several times that he would sing such a song and that his voice was on the recording. But TV Slovenia did not say a word about it.
In May 2017, TV Slovenia published a television report about the concert of the controversial Serbian singer Svetlana Ražnatović – Ceca, who is accused by the victims of the war in BiH of public support for her husband Željko Ražnatović Arkan, who carried out ethnic cleansing in BiH and was responsible for rape, robbery and murder of civilians. The singer has never publicly distanced herself from her husband’s actions. TV Slovenia did not problematize the singer’s concert, announcing her as a popular singer who filled the concert hall.
When TV Slovenia editor and journalist Igor Pirkovič published an interview with Thompson in June 2017, in which the journalist did not comment on the Croatian singer’s statements, but the latter denied sympathizing with fascism, the editor of Tednik was forced to resign because of the pressure from individual politicians from Cerar’s government and RTV management.
At the time, no one from the center-left parties and from civil society mentioned pressure on journalists, threats to editorial autonomy and the independence of RTV. The Slovenian Journalists’ Association did not protect the journalist. The ombudsman for the rights of viewers and listeners of RTV Slovenia, Ilinka Todorovski (later it turned out that she was entered in the Udba register as its source), did not defend the journalist and claimed that the article »did not comply with professional criteria and principles of journalistic ethics«. After the resignation of the editor, the general director Igor Kadunc stated in a column on MMC that the resignation of the editor of Tednik was not enough, and like individual politicians of the government coalition he called for the resignation of the editor-in-chief of the news program Jadranka Rebernik. In January 2018, the management of RTV dismissed the editor-in-chief and appointed a new editor in her place – Manica Janežič Ambrožič, who is very unprofessionally loyal to the left-wing program »ideology« of TVS. At that time, no one from the center-left parties and from civil society mentioned the threat to the editorial autonomy and independence of RTV. The Slovenian Journalists’ Association did not protect the dismissed editor.
In November 2017, TV Slovenia published a report about the concert of Serbian singer Bora Đorđević in Slovenia. Television published the news that he was a popular Serbian singer who impressed the elderly in a retirement home with his performance. At the same time, the television deliberately didn’t report about all the criticism about the singer and concerns about the concert, and portrayed Đorđević exclusively in a positive light. It kept silent about the fact that during the war in Yugoslavia he was one of those who called for war for a Greater Serbia, that he sympathized with the fascist Chetnik movement of Draža Mihajlović and supported Radovan Karadžić and Radko Mladić, who were convicted by the Hague war crimes tribunal for genocide and ethnic cleansing in BiH. The singer never regretted these actions and in his interviews publicly expressed support for Serbian nationalism, the Serbian war in Croatia, Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Karadzić and Mladić, and the Chetnik movement officially awarded him the title of Chetnik duke. At concerts, he sang a song entitled »There is no milk today« (»Danas nema mleka«), in which he sings contemptuously about Albanians: »Shiptars are reproducing themselves, fuck these lives.« (»Šiptari se kote, jebem te živote.«) He also sang a song entitled »Well, my friend from Zagreb« (»E, moj druže zagrebački«), in which he sang: »Well, my friend from Zagreb, here we are, robbing you, we will rob you and you will all cry.« (»E, moj druže zagrebački, eto nas, kod vas u pljački, mi ćemo vas opljačkati a vi ćete svi plakati.«) Despite criticism from viewers that TV Slovenia was promoting the controversial singer and keeping silent about his insulting songs, the RTV management rejected all allegations. The Ombudsman for the Rights of Viewers and Listeners of RTV Slovenia, Ilinka Todorovski, defended the journalist who prepared the article and stated that the article was »in accordance with professional criteria and principles of journalistic ethics«. At the meetings of the journalists of the news program, individuals suggested that, as in the case of Thompson, they also problematize the mentioned Serbian singer, but the editor of the domestic political newsroom Dejan Ladika prevented the publication of such a report on the grounds that there was no need to mix music and politics.
In June 2017, an affair broke out in connection with the NLB, through which a billion dollars were allegedly laundered in 2009 and 2010. Documents on the disputed transactions were first obtained by TV Slovenija journalist Teja Šavor, but she was not allowed to publish the story, as she was prevented from doing so by the editor of the internal policy department of TV Slovenia, Dejan Ladika. He explained the decision by saying that the matter needed to be reconsidered. The journalist obtained additional sources and documents, but was not allowed to publish the story. Fourteen days later, the same documents and a resounding story were first published in the show Svet on Kanal A and on the same day on 24ur. The next day, the affair was reported by all the media. Only then did TV Slovenia publish the story very sparingly in a single article.
In August 2017, on the occasion of the Memorial Day of All Totalitarianisms, TV Slovenia published a »school« report on a memorial mass for reconciliation and ceremonies marking the 75th anniversary of the establishment of village guards in Rovte na Logaškem. The director general Igor Kadunc responded to the report of the journalist Barbara Renčof, and informed the editor-in-chief and the editor of the show that such a contribution should not be published. He explained to the editors and journalists what kind of reports should be published and which guests should be invited to the studio. He also objected to the fact that the journalist published a statement by the main speaker France Cukjati, who pointed out that thousands of home guards were killed after the end of the war. Ombudsman Ilinka Todorovski found in her report that the journalist’s content lacked »focus and context« that would provide credible information from the nation’s recent history. When asked by the journalist what the tv-report should be if it was not appropriate due to the mention of the massacres of home guards and communism, the ombudswoman could not answer. Despite the direct intervention of general director Kadunc, who gave editors and journalists instructions about how to form stories and broadcasts, thus violating the principle of journalistic and editorial autonomy, the TV Slovenia journalists’ union and the Slovenian Journalists’ Association did not respond. They also did not label the intervention as a threat to the editorial autonomy and independence of RTV.
In February 2018, the tv-presenter of TV Slovenia, Špela Kožar, hosted guests Bernard Nežmah and Svetlana Slapšak in the show Panoptikum. Slapšak was allowed by the leader to express her opinion, condemning the opposition, while Nežmah, who offered a critical view of the government, was constantly interrupted by Kožar, who also tried to challenge his opinion with sub-questions. In the show, Slapšak accused the leader of the opposition with the words: »Even the leader of the right himself said something about these degenerate artists having to get out or end up with them or something like that, as the final solution is often heard on this television, the term final solution.« She also attributed the characteristics of Stalinism and Nazism to the opposition. There have been accusations and criticisms that RTV is giving the opportunity to a commentator with such radical views, who accuses the opposition of intent to kill the artists, of Nazism and Stalinism, but at the same time in the last five years RTV has never hosted a commentator with the same insults for government coalition. The management of RTV replied that this was the personal position of the guest and that RTV was concerned with the plurality of opinions. The Ombudsman for the Rights of Viewers and Listeners of RTV Slovenia defended her words, explaining: »… also in the case you are writing about, about what was said by dr. Svetlana Slapšak, it was the personal opinion of the performer and not the opinion or even the position of the public RTVSLO.«
At the height of the election campaign, ahead of the May 2018 parliamentary elections, the Studio City show published a comment by its colleague Igor Vidmar urging voters not to vote for center-right parties. It never happened that it would also publish any comment in which they would advise not to vote for center-left parties. The commentator acknowledged that the center-left government coalition is not without flaws, but concluded: »Well, given the governmental achievements of these three, it is at most a hint of who not to vote for – at least if we want a different Slovenia.« Editor-in-Chief Manica Janežič Ambrožič did not respond publicly to the criticism, nor did the Ombudsman for the Rights of Viewers and Listeners of RTV Slovenia, who did not find a violation of journalistic ethics, condemn the comment. The weekly show Studio City, which has hosted hundreds of guests on the prime team over the past five years, has hosted 85 percent of center-left guests. Nevertheless, according to the editor-in-chief Ambrožič and the management of RTV, this political news broadcast is balanced and credible.
In June 2018, just before the parliamentary elections, Radio Slovenia journalist Matej Šurc described the representatives of the opposition parties SDS and NSi as descendants of the losers of the national liberation war and greedy clericalists. He also advised voters not to allow Slovenia to be pushed »into the dark and stuffy society of the Visegrad Group«. The management of RTV responded to the criticism by answering that such a comment on RTV Slovenia is allowed, as it is in accordance with professional criteria and principles of journalistic ethics. The ombudsman for the rights of viewers and listeners of RTV Slovenia agreed with this assessment, saying that the journalist published his opinion in a show intended for comments and allows journalists to give their subjective opinion. Of course, in the same show in the last five years, it has not happened even once that a similar comment was made by any RTV journalist to the parties of the center-left or the Left.
In the years from 2019 to 2020, many journalists of RTV Slovenia (Boris Vasev, Helena Milinković, Jelena Aščić) published on their Twitter or Facebook account many very offensive posts about center-right politicians and experts from various fields who did not agree with the government. At the same time, none of the RTV journalists wrote a single insulting comment at the expense of center-left politicians. About the economist prof. dr. Žiga Turk, who is also invited as an analyst to TV Slovenia, was published by a RTV journalist that Turk had internalized racism in such a way that he was no longer aware that he was speaking from the position of a racist who does not even acknowledge the victims of racism. About economists and university professors dr. Žiga Turk and dr. Matej Lahovnik, a RTV journalist published a statement that they are prominent representatives of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and racism. About the government coalition of SDS, NSi, SMC and DeSUS, the RTV journalist published a post that the country is run by the most despicable racists. About the United States, a RTV journalist publicly posted a record that the U.S. is a white settlement colony, not a community of its citizens. An RTV journalist published a comment about the Prime Minister of the center-right: »Can anyone who follows Janša’s radicalization be surprised that he used the oposing to his way of conducting politics to retroactively delegitimize his opposition to fascism?« An RTV journalist published a statement about the strongest government party: »Whoever votes for the SDS, intentionally or unintentionally, promotes racism.« The RTV editor-in-chief of Tednik has published a statement about the government coalition, in which she claims that she is pursuing a policy of »no one can do anything to us« and warns that the government wants to hijack public RTV. As journalists and the management of RTV Slovenia were the target of criticism because of these posts, the editor of Tednik Jelena Aščić published a statement in which she claimed that »the public broadcaster is one of the foundations of a free society, so attacks on RTV Slovenia also mean attack on democracy«. The president of the TV Slovenia journalists’ union replied: »We are by no means opposed to criticism, but criticism should be constructive, not offensive. It’s been more offensive lately.« Insults were attributed to the politicians, but the insults written by RTV journalists were not mentioned. The RTV journalist published a note in which he described the hanging of Slovenian flags in front of schools and RTV as nationalist and called for the removal of these flags. RTV Slovenia did not take disciplinary action against any of these journalists. However, the management of RTV dismissed and transferred one of its secretaries, Irena Cigler, because she posted inappropriate posts on Twitter, contrary to the left-wing orientation of RTV, although she published her posts on an anonymous profile, which, unlike the mentioned journalists, did not create a connection with the public media. At RTV Slovenia, various journalists and presenters work for payment for individual government institutions, ministries and courts. Then it happens that they report on these institutions »independently« in RTV programs. There are known cases in the news program and at the MMC where program workers directly transferred the lobbying agenda to public media programs. The management covered up all these matters and did not sanction those responsible.
In July 2018, journalist Matej Korošec reported for Dnevnik from Maribor, where city councilors discussed the settlement of migrants in Maribor. The journalist described the councilors who opposed the accommodation as »vomiters of xenophobia and intolerance«. He accused the SDS party of spreading a policy of hatred without giving the party a chance to respond to his accusations. The editor-in-chief of the news program and the ombudsman for the rights of viewers and listeners of RTV Slovenia did not find any violations of journalistic ethics. Editor-in-Chief Manica Janežič Ambrožič has repeatedly told her colleagues that she is called by program councilors and politicians, so she must be careful and therefore, together with Nataša Rijavec Bartha, she gets involved and control the planned program content of news broadcasts.
In December 2018, Odmevi reported on the issue of the burial of Roma killed during the war by the partisan movement. The host of the show, Rosvita Pesek, was called to the defense the next day. Nataša Rijavec Bartha and Manica Janežič Ambrožič instructed her that such reports should no longer be made because these were »sensitive« topics.
In July 2018, the management of RTV joined the attacks on journalist Jože Možina, who had an interview with historian dr. Jože Dežman. General director Igor Kadunc – who met with the then president of the ZZB NOB Tit Turnšek – and the ombudsman for spectators’ rights Ilinka Todorovski stated that there were mistakes in the interview. TV Slovenija then participated as a reporter in the ZZB NOB rally against the journalist Možina and his broadcasts Pričevalci (witnesses) and Intervju (interview) in Koper. Reporting from the event was arranged by the television news program in such a way as to burden Možina and his guest Dežman as much as possible, and completely silenced incitement and attacks on its journalist. On the other hand, TV Slovenia did not report on a series of protests against journalist Jože Možina, which were organized more than ten times by a group of left-wing extremists in front of the entrance to RTV. The protests were organized because of his publications of interviews with people who recounted what they personally experienced during World War II and communist Yugoslavia, and admitted that they were targets of violence. In addition, the journalist came under pressure from some politicians in the government coalition and the RTV leadership. RTV even published a report in its news program in which there were insulting accusations against a TV Slovenia journalist, while it deliberately did not publish the journalist’s statement, thus preventing him from defending himself against the accusations. At the time, no one from the center-left parties and from civil society mentioned pressure on journalists, threats to editorial autonomy and the independence of RTV.
In February 2020, at the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic, TV Slovenia journalists extensively and dramatically reported on the number of infections and deaths due to the virus in Italy. They also highlighted complaints from medical staff that they did not have enough protective equipment. At the same time, they did not once publish critical experts who appeared in other Slovenian media, such as POP TV or Planet TV, where they pointed out the critical lack of equipment in Slovenia, for which the government of Marjan Šarec was responsible. At editorial meetings, some journalists pointed out the warnings of the profession, but editors Manica Janežič Ambrožič and Nataša Rijavec Bartha deliberately prevented any criticism of Šarec’s government and instructed editors not to publish such criticism, explaining that public television must be state-building and must not spread panic. They claimed it was just a rumor. Only a day later, the government declared an epidemic and closed the borders, and the Medical Chamber of Slovenia warned the government in a dramatic appeal that the medical staff was almost without any equipment. As soon as the government changed and the government of Janez Janša was elected in the National Assembly, the editor-in-chief called on the editors and journalists to critically point out the lack of protective equipment.
In April 2020, TV Slovenia critically reported on the then director of the Slovenj Gradec Hospital, Janez Lavre, in all broadcasts. TV Slovenia journalists, for example Vesna Deržek Sovinek, sharply criticized him because he published records on his Twitter account in which he informed the critics of the measures against covid-19 that when they became ill, they would not receive care. After the announcement of the messages, Lavre apologized and then resigned from the position of director after several daily criticisms by TV Slovenia and other media. Only a few weeks later, some media reported that doctor Rihard Knafelj (who advised the government party LMŠ in preparing the health program) also expressed similar insults. Some media published Knafelj’s Facebook post in which he posted a photo of a doctor examining an intensive care patient, apparently infected with covid-19. He also transcribed the text: »Great news! Your family has just informed us that they are asking Jesus for you. So we will give your respirator to someone who doesn’t care about Jesus.« Despite the outrage of the part of the public, TV Slovenia did not intentionally publish this news, nor did problematize such an attitude. The management of the news program (Manica Janežič Ambrožič, Nataša Rijavec Bartha) strongly prevented reporting on this. Also, unlike the case of Lavre, the audience was not shown Knafelj’s controversial publications, including sex toys in the form of Christian symbols, which particularly upset many viewers.
In April 2020, journalist Anka Pirš published a story in the Tednik show critical of the government’s measures to limit covid-19 disease. They published a statement by a Slovenian actor who claimed: »Because of some virus a state of war is creating. Crisis staffs are being set up, military rhetoric is being carried out, which is unbelievable because we are not in any war.« This statement was made public by the editor of Tednik, Jelena Aščić, on her Twitter account, highlighting it as a fundamental finding of the situation in Slovenia at the time, even though the hospitals were full of critically ill people and more than a hundred died. The explanation of the profession and the government, which denies the statement that it was just »some virus«, was not presented. The editor of Tednik wrote: »Democracy, human rights and freedom in times of situation?« She shared an article with the public that warns that authoritarian capitalist regimes violate and restrict human rights under the pretext of fighting covid-19, and added: »Death of people or death of freedom?«
In April 2020, the authors of the Tarča show – editor Boštjan Kogovšek, host Erika Žnidaršič, editor-in-chief Manica Janežič Ambrožič – accused the government and Minister Zdravko Počivalšek of irrational waste of taxpayers’ money in purchasing protective equipment and of corruption on TV Slovenia. They supported their claims with cut-out recordings with which someone eavesdropped on Minister Počivalšek. They also backed up their claims with doctor Rihard Knafelj, who was presented in the show as an independent expert. At the same time, they deliberately didn’t inform the viewers that this doctor, who accused the government of wasting money, was not independent, but was an adviser to Marjan Šarec and the LMŠ party for health, and was mentioned as one of LMŠ’s potential candidates for health minister.
In June 2020, RTV reported on protests and violence in the United States completely unilaterally. It correctly portrayed the crowds of people protesting against racism and violence against blacks in the United States, and published criticism of U.S. President Trump in almost all of her reports. It did not publish the statements of those who defended Trump’s policy and which TV Slovenia received through world agencies, and completely silenced the opinion of the other side. TV Slovenia correspondent Andrej Stopar spoke daily about the peaceful protests, while silencing the four-day savagery, looting and burning shown by televisions such as the BBC and CNN. Also, RTV never published a statement in which Trump strongly described the death of a black resident by an American police officer as a »brutal murder«. TV Slovenija received this statement from the agencies, and the American president also made it public on his Twitter account, but TV Slovenija and its correspondent did not mention it in any of the broadcasts. When journalists discussed this statement at the meeting, the prevailing opinion was that Trump was a racist and that these statements should not be published.
June 2020. On 100 days of government, two commentators, both critics of the government, were invited to the studio Odmevi. Such a practice, exposing only critics of the government, was established immediately after the election of the center-right government.
Protests 2020. RTV Slovenia is the promoter and in an important part the initiator of anti-government protests. Televizija Slovenija systematically hides all recordings and statements of protesters that would in any way worsen their popular public image. Thus, even before the election of Janša’s government, the recordings of the protesters who shouted »Kill Janša« were hidden, even though they were filmed. Some time ago, as the only major media outlet they did not broadcast the failed provocation of protest leader Jaša Jenull, when he was arrested and taken away by the police. However, in the news show, the same Jenull was promoted as a random passing protester, although it is clear that he is one of the organizers.
There is a blacklist of some prominent figures from the center-right who are not allowed to appear in the main news programs of public RTV. Among others, these are explicitly Peter Jančič, Bojan Požar, Sebastjan Jeretič, dr. Ernest Petrič, dr. Žiga Turk, Boštjan M. Zupančič, Zvjezdan Radonjić.
Only fragments are described here, which sufficiently prove the phenomenon of programmatic and financial abduction of RTV Slovenia by the extreme left and its satellites in high positions, which are more interested in money than ideology. In fact, the situation, if we go into details, is at least ten times worse day by day. With the last show Tarča before the holidays, they turned public television not only into a censor, manipulator and seeker of lies, but into a real burlesque. They made a show about previous shows, in which, among other things, a sound technician appeared, who equipped Ivan Gale with a microphone. This is an employee of RTV, who already during the first Tarča about the purchase of protective material on Facebook helped to prepare the support page for Ivan Gale, which of course speaks of the planned actions of TVS in support of their »facts«. It was this last Tarča of the season that was such a shameful manipulation and nonsense that it would in fact require the sanitary closure of a brothel and ecological cleaning.
Temporary epilogue: A few days ago, Igor Kadunc and the main management of RTV SLO visited the Minister of Culture Vasko Simoniti in order to increase the RTV fee to 16 euros …
Joze Biscak, editor-in-chief of Democracija magazine, and Vinko Vasle, longtime journalist and editor and former director of Radio Slovenia