“I was just telling the truth,” Plenković said when asked by reporters whether he had gone too far when commenting on the elections and criticisng several commercial broadcasters.
All those I talked about, including your broadcaster (RTL), used the wrong name of HDZ’s candidate for Zagreb mayor in their shows, he said, adding that it had happened several times, even on another TV station and in some print media.
He said “these weren’t slips of the tongue” and added that these things had clearly happened “on purpose”. “This isn’t criticism, I was telling the truth, it isn’t an attack on the media. The media aren’t sacrosanct so that we cannot talk about it,” Plenković said.
Commenting on the statement that the Croatian Journalists’ Association (HND) called on him not do it and that it was not his first time, Plenković said that that was “a rude and inappropriate statement by the HND president, who is much more slower and evasive when it comes to criticising (President Zoran) Milanović”.
Milanović, he stressed, calls out on the media in a much harsher way. He calls the HRT Yutel, HRT reporters mercenaries of a political party, he calls daily newspapers usurers, he calls on your leadership to remove commentator (Žarko) Puhovski and after that I no longer see him in your (RTL) programme, Plenković said.
He said that HND president Hrvoje Zovko was “much more considerate” when it came to reacting to Milanović. Here he dares to talk about me as Lukashenko, Plenković noted, adding that this was going beyond all bounds, which could be classified as being biased.
It is one thing when those running in the election face off in a political match, and another when someone who presents himself as an independent analyst to the viewers, and they don’t know whether you are paying him for it, describes a candidate before the elections in the worst possible way, Plenković said, referring to Dražen Lalić’s comments for the RTL.
He recalled that it was not unusual for the media in the world to follow one political option.
There are no newspapers in the world for which one doesn’t know whether they’re left-wing or conservative, he said.
We cannot, he said, live in the belief that everyone is neutral, impartial, objective and in reality they support some option. “One shouldn’t be ashamed of that, but it must be clearly stated,” Plenković added.
There are double standards
Plenković also thinks that the media had been generating aggression toward the HDZ and the two key candidates in two big cities.
He said that the public had to realise there were double standards.
Asked to comment on Ivica Puljak’s victory in Split, he countered with a question — how can he have an anti-Semite for deputy mayor.
“The man practically wrote a justification for the Holocaust, and if you don’t realise that, then you have a dangerous problem,” Plenković said, adding that if it was happening elsewhere, “all associations would attack Puljak”.
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