22. nov 2015.

Dragan J. Vučićević on TV Pink: This is no longer funny

Vucicevic_PinkWe asked Tamara Skrozza to write an article about the anthological guest appearance of Informer editor Dragan J. Vučićević on TV Pink as soon as possible, because tomorrow, as D. J. V. announced, there will be a coup and a question will arise as to whether we will be able to publish the article after that. This guest appearance was almost surreal in terms of content, dramatically bizarre, choreographed slapstick humour and journalistically belittling

My colleagues from the Cenzolovka newsroom asked me to write this article as soon as possible, because on Monday it will be too late. Specifically, as announced on Saturday during TV Pink’s morning programme by Dragan J. Vučićević, editor-in-chief of daily newspaper Informer, a coup has been scheduled for that day (directed, of course, primarily against Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić). Who knows what will happen to us all after Monday?

If it wasn’t horrific, this performance of the editor-in-chief of Informer would have been comical, to say the least – If Serbia was a different place, a normal viewer would only be able to laugh and recount it all later as a joke at a formal lunch

Vučićević’s guest appearance in the “Press Review” segment on TV Pink was in many ways anthological. In terms of content it was almost surreal, dramatically bizarre, choreographed slapstick and journalistically belittling, it even entered the history books in term of its duration.

Although this is a programme segment that usually doesn’t last very long, on 20th November it was extended to an incredible 34 minutes, with no interruptions even for commercial breaks, or even for a single coherent question posed by the presenter.

The biggest mystery concerns the content. Even after three physically and mentally exhausting viewings of this appearance, it is still not clear to the author of this article what Dragan J. Vučićević actually said.

Apart from appealing repeatedly for Aleksandar Vučić to abandon his planned trip to China, because a coup is being prepared to overthrow him, the rest of his monologue was confusing at the very least.

Kidnapping viewers

The main protagonists in Vučićević’s story appeared in the following order: TV N1 chief editor Jugoslav Ćosić, Kurir owner Aleksandar Rodić, Deputy Prime Minister Zorana Mihajlović, businessman Miroslav Mišković, Police Colonel Milan Milović, Minister of State Administration Kori Udovički, SPS Vice President Branko Ružić, SNS officials Saša Mirković, Tihomir Trišić and Dejan Jocić.

All of them, it is to be understood, are at this point working to dethrone the Serbian PM.

Colleague Ćosić does this by making his lead news item the strike of the Independent Police Union (Vučićević later apologised for getting his police unions mixed up; he meant the Police Union of Serbia), Aleksandar Rodić does it by existing, Zorana Mihajlović does it by dreaming of becoming caliph instead of calipha (“At least the president”, as he said), and Miroslav Mišković does it by faking illness and bombarding journalists with millions of euros.

Even after three physically and mentally exhausting viewings of this appearance, it is still not clear to the author of this article what Dragan J. Vučićević actually said

Colonel Milović – judging only by what was said – is to blame because he provides security for Aleksandar Rodić and is engaged as the personal trainer of Zorana Mihajlović.

Minister Udovički is guilty because she hates the prime minister; Branko Ružić because he allowed someone to call Vučić a gay boy, Saša Mirković because he dared to say that the success of SNS is not Vučić’s alone.

The reasons for the guilt of Tihomir Trišić and Dejan Jocić are not quite the clearest in this story.

However, as other screenwriting instants are also unclear, let’s move on.

In addition to the culprits listed by name, the main organisers of the upcoming coup are:

1. “The Mafioso Octopus”, which comprises the “political, classical, police and media mafias” (in which he states how “representatives of the media mafia deeply damaged Vučić’s rule of law”);

2. The Independent Police Union (i.e. the Police Union of Serbia), who are revolting because their wages were only increased by two per cent;

3. “A dangerous team of criminals” who are currently residing in Belgrade and are “ready for anything”, and who were also here just prior to the murder of Zoran Đinđić.

Having decided, as he said, to “kidnap this broadcast”, Dragan J. Vučićević – looking the whole time at the desk – explained to the citizenry that “in this relationship of power, Vučić will not survive politically or, I fear, physically”.

He wanted to warn him (“because that’s my duty“), but he failed to get in touch with him (“The man works a lot, I understand. Here, I can see that today he is opening some road. And so he should.”).

In the meantime, he addressed PM Vučić’s brother and his own friend, Andrej Vučić, and from the screen of TV Pink he publicly called on the prime minister, “if he is watching this broadcast”, to remain in the country, “arrest the criminals and clean up the party”.

Let me tell you, dear Svetlana

Apart from the audience, which could only have been hypnotised by this performance, it also proved very confusing for host Svetlana Aleksić (incidentally, she is also a member of the newly formed commission that will decide on the millions from the Belgrade City Budget to be allocated to media companies).

This fellow journalist, who is generally not known for asking questions or possessing any deeper understanding of the topic, was only able to interrupt a very excited Vučićević a couple of times, mainly just so she could hear herself. In this sense, the only stand out reference was her slightly longer observation that “whenever the Prime Minister goes on an important trip, some scandal emerges.”

The questions she did manage to utter were: “Is it possible for a police strike to be a coup?” and “How do you know all this?”, which she repeated once.

On the other hand, in order to convince her that everything he was saying was not merely ranting, Vučićević was more than proactive:

“Don’t give me that look, dear Svetlana. And do not think I’m insane”;

“Wait, wait, hold that front page! We’ll get back to that”;

“You didn’t listen to me carefully, dear Svetlana”;

“Let me tell you, dear Svetlana”.

Finally, after 33 minutes of speaking, he said to her:

“Just this one more. I can see my time is running out.”

Story from another dimension

If it wasn’t horrific, this performance of the editor-in-chief of Informer would have been comical, to say the least – If Serbia was a different place, a normal viewer would only be able to laugh and recount it all later as a joke at a formal lunch.

Having decided, as he said, to “kidnap this broadcast”, Dragan J. Vučićević – looking the whole time at the desk – explained to the citizenry that “in this relationship of power, Vučić will not survive politically or, I fear, physically”

As it is, knowing that what comes on the screen via TV Pink and from the mouth of Dragan J. Vučićević has never been a randomly or haphazardly staged show, one should put a finger to the forehead and consider what could have happened – not just to the people mentioned explicitly as the organisers of the coup, but to all those who think differently to Vučićević and his brethren.

A man who even before this was without measure and limitation (in various professional and ex-professional “disciplines”) outdid himself, and only two weeks after embarking on a war with Kurir, when it seemed that we had finally reached the bottom of the barrel and that nothing more repulsive could happen on the media sense. This time he issued an arrest warrant and stuck a target on the heads a whole series of people who are only connected in that – in his opinion – they do not like the prime minister.

On the other hand, it is also horrific that TV Pink once again abused its national frequency and, contrary to the law, placed itself at the service of the governing regime and the atmosphere that it wishes to create.

This is nothing new for the owner of this television company, Željko Mitrović – he has fought via the screen with many, from Croatia to daily Blic, from Dragana Đilas and Čedomir Čupić to Aca Rodić.

However, if in the course of just two weeks you arrange two performances based on the idea of raising tension in society and creating the impression that Aleksandar Vučić is not only fighting to stay in power, but also for his very life, things gain a whole new dimension, and it becomes clear that something is certainly brewing here (though most likely not that being spoken about by Vučićević, rather something that this same Vučićević wants to hide by stating what he states).

Who is actually the idiot?

The events that brought Saturday to an end only confirm that we should expect the unexpected.

The Prime Minister first said that he would not postpone his trip to China, but that after that, and after the important events he has in early December, he will answer some questions of “others who have played”.

The female presenter, who is generally not known for asking questions or possessing any deeper understanding of the topic, was only able to interrupt a very excited Vučićević a couple of times, mainly just so she could hear herself

Vučićević appeared before the cameras again that same evening, this time on Studio B, where he urged viewers to follow what happens from Wednesday. “The chaos will culminate on Friday,” he announced.

Finally, the weekly edition of Kurir hit the streets with a front page showing Vučićević in a straitjacket, with the headline “Madman” and the sub-headline “This idiot is destroying Vučić”.

Vučićević’s announcement, if nothing else, constitutes a flagrant violation of the ban against causing unjustified public distress and alarm, which is not only regulated by law, but also by the Code of Conduct of Journalists of Serbia.

As for Kurir, it would be over the top to list the reasons why such a cover page would be unthinkable in the media in any remotely cultivated environment.

The morning programme with Vučićević in the lead role was comical in its own way. All of this, however, is no longer funny in the slightest.

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