By: Edvard Kadič
One of the harbingers of starting the engines after the summer vacation time for me is, of course, the start of school, and then also all the shows that deal with current political topics and the activity of politics, which usually also fills such shows with its activity.
One of the first such shows was the first autumn Tarča show. The editors of Tarča, a show about current social events on TV Slovenija, chose the presidential election as the first show of the new season. The Smodej affair, which is actually the affair of the year, may still be too hot for them.
To my great surprise, only two candidates found themselves in the studio, i.e., Nataša Pirc Musar and Anže Logar. Why were there not others? All those who declared that they are interested in the presidency and that they will collect signatures are said to be on the same page in the eyes of the public institution.
If we are being consistent, no one has formally submitted their candidacy up to this point. Not Logar, not Pirc Musar and not anyone else. Why was Prebilič, the mayor of Kočevje, who is also going to run for office, not in the studio? Why was Ivo Vajgl not there? Sabina Senčar? Nina Krajnik? And so on.
When something like this happens, one quickly thinks that someone was done a favour. It would be hard to say it was for Logar, because for most of the show, he stood in the studio like a schoolboy in front of the class teacher, who was reading Leviticus to him about something that does not really concern him at all.
You probably remember the resounding statement of the current director of TV Slovenija, Uroš Urbanija, who said some time ago that the period when some people owned RTV Slovenija as a private media is over. The above-mentioned remark of the director was directed mainly at the arbitrariness of some employees regarding “protesting” with statements during regular television reporting time and at the low-level statements of other journalists of TV Slovenija, who publicly slander their colleagues.
This state of mind of the journalist community at RTV Slovenija is, of course, worrying. These people report, comment, and help the public see and understand current events in society. They disgrace and slander publicly just because they can. No one will be disciplined for it, no one will feel it in their pocket. This has nothing to do with freedom of speech, but with the almost unbelievable arrogance of these journalists who have been serving us their views for years and years.
For a while, the Tarča show was indeed a show that introduced critical reflection into Slovenian society. Then, at the beginning of 2020, after Šarec’s famous throwing in the towel, it became the strike force of the waived option. The central themes became political attacks on the one hand and worship on the other. Do you remember the show with Počivalšek and Gale? In Tarča, Ivan Gale was literally launched onto the Slovenian scene as a whistle-blower and a political figure.
As a former interior minister, Aleš Hojs even became a kind of star in verbal duels with Erika Žnidaršič. This fact in itself is highly controversial. Why a guest, even a minister, should verbally compete or even overpower the host is really not clear to me.
Thursday evenings or the hour of the Tarča show has become one of the most popular hours divided into left and right in Slovenia. Social networks, especially Twitter, then become a real battlefield. Everything is criticised – from guests, statements to Erika’s shoes or skirt. The predictability with which the show glorifies the left option and at the same time blackmails the right has already become proverbial.
The real problem is that the show is on public television. On TV that we all pay for, left, right, and centre. The least one would expect is that some are not vilified, and others are not glorified.
In just over two years, the Tarča show became a kind of trigger for increasing viewership, but it remains without real content, it actually becomes an end in itself, as it loses its true depth. It has become a predictable left-wing option’s instrument, and I wonder why anyone still goes there, since the proceeds of the show are known in advance, right? All that TV Slovenija has from this is viewership. All fine and dandy if we were talking about a private house.
Will TV Slovenija get less money if viewership is halved, or more if it doubles? No. However, as citizens, we can of course legitimately ask ourselves how long this will continue to be.