By: Sara Bertoncelj / Nova24tv
That our left wing activist opposition does not get tired of producing export-import articles is not actually surprising, they obviously do not have a smarter job anyway. Andrew Higgins, who writes for the New York Times, is now a KUL writer on duty, but apparently he also does not check the facts before an article is published. The last article talked about how drastically the support for Prime Minister Janez Janša is falling, while the 24ur portal published the latest Vox populi poll, according to which the largest SDS coalition party would still win the election, with an even higher percentage than at the last measurement. “The Prime Minister’s hard-right ruling party is falling catastrophically in the polls,” the New York Times wrote, while on the same day a poll was published on 24ur, saying: “According to the latest data, if Sunday’s election were held, most respondents voted for the SDS party (19.1 percent), which is one percent more than in the last poll.”
Slovenia has never had so many mentions, so many articles in foreign media as in the last year. Prime Minister Janez Janša is certainly a very recognisable brand and we could really say that the left opposition is excellent branding by exporting “news” – if their branding did not have at least one drawback, namely that the identity of the Slovenian export brand does not match with its image. In laymen terms, our left wing “marketing experts” portray the Slovenian Prime Minister in a light that is light years away from reality – which in most cases does not work in the long run. Why would that be problematic? Mainly because in this case it is a personal brand that (in the eyes of the recipients) transfers its characteristics to the company, product or country. Which means that all the bad qualities that anti-government activists are trying to attribute to the Prime Minister will eventually be borne by Slovenia. The creators of this campaign will also come off second best, as they will lose the bit of credibility they may have gained so far due to the discrepancy. Will this harm Janša as well? Opinion polls show the opposite – the SDS party would win the election again. We have known the current Prime Minister in Slovenia for a long time, so voters do not fall for marketing fairy tales, no matter how often they repeat them. Our anti-government activists, the left wing opposition, which has practically gone for the jugular in its struggle for power, are doing themselves a disservice by throwing a bad light across our borders on our country, which is supposed to be on the sunny side of the Alps. Unless their goal of this kind of “marketing” is to move us to the shady side in the eyes of a certain part of the foreign public.
Our left wing experts in the field of marketing have reached across the Puddle again, according to 24ur, which this time (in addition to Delo, Dnevnik, Večer, Mladina, etc.) also deals with imports, the New York Times supposedly wrote about Slovenia again. There, they obviously know more about Slovenia than we know ourselves, namely they published the claim that “In Slovenia, the hard-right ruling party of the Prime Minister, who loves Trump, is falling catastrophically in the polls.” This was supposedly written by two Pulitzer Prize winner Andrew Higgins, which is quite worrying – given that he uncritically summarises the information submitted or that he allows the use and misuse of his name at all, we should ask ourselves if he still meets the criteria needed to obtain this prestigious award in the journalistic and literary world. Unless, of course, an award is received in the field of fiction. The article says that the populist leaders of Eastern Europe, especially Slovenia, Hungary and Poland, are becoming less and less popular at home. According to him (?), the right-wing wave, which was raised in Eastern Europe by Donald Trump’s surprising victory in the USA in 2016, has not yet hit the ground, but it has collided with a serious obstacle – leaders are not the most popular. “They won because of their actions against unpopular elites, but it turned out that they do not like them too much either,” the author wrote, attributing this to measures against the pandemic – which is downright ridiculous. Of course, no head of state used anti-corona measures to increase his popularity, but to protect people’s health and lives, and to get rid of the virus as soon as possible. It is also interesting to see who shares the article in question on social media. 24hrsnewsworld.com, which we see below, has exactly 50 followers.
The SDS party would win the election; the impotence of the left is appalling
Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša is perhaps the most endangered among the unpopular populists in the region, Higgins said, citing a drop in support for the government in polls and protests with tens of thousands of participants – which of course coincides with our left wing opposition. He also cites former Janša Minister Žiga Turk that Janša is so weakened that he “no longer has the power for anything but cursing enemies on Twitter”. Of course, the desire to subjugate the media is also mentioned, and the situation in Slovenia is also evidenced by the “disappointed” former supporter of Janša, historian Luka Lisjak Gabrijelčič, who said that the Prime Minister has a loyal 25 percent electorate, but is much more successful in mobilising their many opponents. “His base supports him, but many just hate him,” he said.
Former head of the Slovenian intelligence agency Damir Črnčec and a former supporter said he is confused. “We are all looking for logic: how can you win in politics when you are constantly confronting everyone?” Even more credible is the comment of our star philosopher Slavoj Žižek, who is positioned more to the left, but still has enough intellect to tell the bitter truth on “his” people: “The impotence of the left is horrible,” Žižek is convinced. While 24ur published the latest Vox populi poll, which recorded low support for the government, the largest coalition party, the SDS, would still win the elections to the National Assembly on Sunday, with a higher percentage than in the last poll. “Based on the voters who took side, the SDS could count on around 30% support or around 29 seats, which would be better than in 2018,” they wrote.
In addition to the alleged words of Žiga Turk, they also quoted a public relations representative at the Ministry of Culture, Mitja Iršič, who said about Janša: “He is a passionate man who says things on Twitter,” adding that there is a difference between saying something stupid on the internet and making it happen in real life. “It is nice that you mention this article, where neither I nor Žiga said what the journalist attributes to us,” Iršič has already responded to the article in the 24ur portal. At the same time, he was also interested in why they omitted the part where it says that they are the ones who send articles to Prague to check that they do not accidentally insult Janša.
Who is Andrew Higgins who uncritically sums up the export items of our anti-government activists?
Andrew Higgins was born in the UK and raised in Chicago, graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in Oriental Studies, and studied Russian and Arabic at Middlebury College. At the New York Times, he is now the head of the Eastern and Central Europe department based in Warsaw. Before taking office in February 2021, he worked as a correspondent from Moscow. He was on the team that received the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 2017 and led the team that won the same award in 1999 (Boris Yeltsin’s report on Russia’s turmoil) while he was head of the Moscow office for The Wall Street Journal. Prior to working for The Times, Mr. Higgins was head of the Chinese office at The Washington Post from 2010 to 2012, but was based in Hong Kong, due to the Chinese government’s refusal to grant him a visa. Higgins began his career at Reuters, where he worked as a correspondent for East Africa, Central Africa and France. He is also the co-author of “Tianamen: The Beijing Rape”.
Otherwise, after a brief review of the web, it turns out that Higgins is clearly the on-duty writer of the opponents of our current government. On June 16th, he also wrote about Slovenia and quoted the editor of Mladina, Grego Repovž, quite extensively, and wrote about the saga with the Slovenian Press Agency (STA). The article also talked about the immeasurable injustice that happened to certain media when they were not successful in this year’s tender and, unlike in previous years, did not receive funds this year. Marko Milosavljevič, a professor of journalism at the Faculty of Social Sciences and an outspoken critic of Mr. Janša, said that threats to the media went beyond Twitter’s insults. In short, there is no need to summarise, the export-import repertoire of our activist left is practically known by heart.