By: Sara Bertoncelj (Nova24tv)
“I have no problem if double standards are the standard of private media. It is up to the owner whether such a policy is supported or not. A serious problem arises if double standards of reporting are present in state-owned media, such as RTV Slovenia or STA,” Jože Biščak, President of the Slovenian Association of Patriotic Journalists, commented on the double standards that were shown again when Die Presse recently wrote about Tanja Fajon. How she is laying a wreath in front of the memorial to the communist Boris Kidrič, who was guilty of serious crimes after 1945 – the majority media are diligently silent about this. Another confirmation that Slovenian journalists or the majority media operate as a “media cartel in the service of the former regime”?
The journalist of the Austrian Die Presse dedicated part of his article to the leader of the Slovenian Social Democrats, Tanja Fajon. He wrote that the photos Fajon posted on Twitter on May 5th, 2020, were completely authentic. And that we can clearly see in the photos how she lays a wreath in front of the memorial to the communist Boris Kidrič, who was guilty of more serious crimes after 1945, especially during the expulsion of the Germans. “European Commissioner Timmermans was so outraged that Ljubljana dared to show him these photos of his comrade that he boycotted a group photo shoot with the conservative Slovenian Prime Minister Janša. What a pity,” added Karl Peter Schwarz with a touch of cynicism, who otherwise wrote about how far-reaching political consequences can have misinterpreted photographs.
Of course, there was no mention about this in our majority media – unlike, for example, in March, when practically everyone wrote about the fact that Die Presse wrote about a Slovenian patient, as their journalist called Prime Minister Janez Janša in the article. “The Slovenian Prime Minister is the subject of critical writing by several European media,” read the headlines from the mainstream media, while they are diligently silent about much more realistic criticism of Fajon.
The president of the Slovenian Association of Patriotic Journalists, Jože Biščak, recalled the Nobel laureate named Friedrich von Hayek, who is one of the most quoted economists of all time. From his insightful record that socialists would not be socialists if they were to get acquainted with economics, many more or less imaginative versions have emerged. One, very popular at the moment, goes like this: “If leftists did not have double standards, they would not have them at all.” And to Biščak, this version seems damn real, and this applies not only to politicians, but also to the media mainstream. Maybe even more. The editor-in-chief of Demokracija emphasised that he had no problems if double standards were the standard of private media. It is up to the owner whether such a policy is supported or not. However, a serious problem arises if double standards in reporting are present in state-owned media, such as RTV Slovenia or STA.
According to Biščak, a typical example, of course, is reporting on the work of the center-right government and Prime Minister Janez Janša, where journalists and editors, who are by force paid by net taxpayers, are fully aware and deliberately opt for a negative selection of news or events. Namely, they choose only those where either domestic or foreign media write negatively about the government and the Prime Minister or about the conservative (right) worldview.
Biščak also reminded that it is similar in the selection of news or events from abroad. For example, when Fidezsa MEP József Szájer was involved in a “sex scandal”, the Slovenian media did not stop reporting that he was a close collaborator of Viktor Orban. Today, they have a much bigger scandal in Hungary – MEP of Allied Liberals and Democrats Katalin Cseh is involved in a major international corruption scandal, where millions of euros of taxpayers’ money have disappeared – but the Slovenian majority media have not reported on that. “There are countless examples of double standards: from the fact that leftist protests are ‘peaceful’ (even if a photographer or cameraman gets it by the way), and rightist protests are marked as neo-Nazi and violent (although they only show a banner with Stop Anarchy), and how they justify their violence, saying that these are acts of justice,” Biščak warned