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Sunday, December 10, 2023

The Public Media Outlet RTV Continues to Deepen the Covid Crisis

By: Sara Kovač / Nova24tv

The national media outlet RTV Slovenia obviously does not intend to contribute to objective informing of people – and thus to unity – this year either. Instead, it will apparently continue to promote activism that contributes to division, which hurts all of us in the end. The latter is particularly sad in light of the fact that we have been battling an epidemic of the novel coronavirus for two years now. Since we all want the covid situation to finally be over, the appropriate thing to do would be to give the floor to the professionals, and not the anti-vaxxers and those whose actions encourage non-compliance with measures adopted in order to contain the virus.

Publicists, writers and translators Alenka Puhar and Branko Gradišnik were invited to this week’s episode of the show Politično (Political) with the host Tanja Gobec. The host and her guests talked about the 30 years of our country, division, and about the issues which will have to be addressed by those who want to win the election. And when it comes to division, they could not ignore the obvious division between those who have already gotten vaccinated and those who have not. Gradišnik even went as far as to dare to label those who have decided to get vaccinated as carrying the gene of peasants.

“Fortunately, in Slovenia, we do not have this historical meme that binds Austrians, Germans, the French, English, and Belgians, meaning the former colonialists, who treated the peoples of the lands that the colonial powers appropriated most ruthlessly. Or the forces of the Germany, Italy and Austria axis, which on the other hand wanted to have colonies but went to World War II because it could not acquire them. In all of these years, they got used to walking all over their own people. They are also doing it in the current situation, and that is why they have the regulations that they have. We were peasants, and as peasants, we learned humility, obedience, and other similar characteristics. Those who carry this gene, this meme, are the people who got vaccinated. However, there is another tradition present – namely, Prešeren’s tradition, of the year 1948 – the national awakening, the Liberation Front of the Slovenian Nation, the student’s movement, liberalism, and finally – independence. This part of the people is more focused on the importance of personal freedom. And, of course, personal freedom is important. Women, you will see, when they tell you that due to the same healthcare reasons, you can no longer have abortions, because there are too few Slovenians, or that you have to have abortions because there are too many people living on Earth already,” Gradišnik said, among other things, during the show. Apparently, he believes that all restrictions adopted to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus should be lifted. Moreover, he also believes that a politician who would support such an approach would definitely receive between 40 and 50 percent of the electorate’s votes.

The medical profession is appalled
It is, of course, understandable that everyone has their own view of the world, but one would not expect that the people who insult Slovenians who have decided to behave responsibly would be invited to the studio of the national television station. The medical profession is particularly disappointed with the selection of guests and the promotion of anti-vaccination ideas. “What is happening on Sundays on RTV Slovenia? Following Makovec and Mastnak, today, the latest guest was Branko Gradišnik, who said: ‘ We were peasants, and as peasants, we learned humility, obedience, and other similar characteristics. Those who carry this gene, this meme, are the people who got vaccinated,’” commented the university professor and author of numerous books in Slovenian and English in the field of Science, Dr Sašo Dolenc.

When a person falls ill or is injured, for example, it is only logical to seek help from a medical professional, and not from a butcher, florist, car mechanic, or anyone else. However, ever since the epidemic started, certain people have been trying to create the impression that by reading articles and records online, they have transformed themselves into immunology experts. All this practically overnight, or in a few months, at most. This is, of course, bizarre because it is mostly these same people who then seek the help of the profession that they are actively insulting when it comes to the covid-19 epidemic, when problems arise. It is true that in a democracy, everyone has the right to think for themselves, which is exactly how it should be, but it is still unfortunate that the public television, which all Slovenian households are forced to finance, invites people to its shows, who insult other citizens who actually behave responsibly.

A journalist from Nova24TV, Luka Svetina, commented on what happened on Twitter, writing: “You have one week to find two credible guests and an interesting topic and then tape 11 minutes of conversation. Instead, you bring an antivaxxer into the studio, who blames the vaccine for the spread of the virus. And all of this, after your television finally adds the “Let’s Get Vaccinated” campaign’s call to its logo. I really will not miss this show at all.”

On Tuesday, the share of positive test results reached almost 42 percent, and a patient as young as 21 was being treated in the intensive care unit. However, apparently, the public television station RTV Slovenia is not too worried about promoting irresponsible behaviours. The fact that you made a combined tv show with the largest commercial television station about how you want to help bring this epidemic to an end is not enough to consider doing all you could in order to promote responsible behaviour during these times. And besides, the combined tv show of the RTVS and POP TV television stations proved to be, after all, just another political agitation show. Meanwhile, the people who promote irresponsible behaviour still get their shot at television for their five minutes of fame. Which just seems sad and embarrassing.


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