by Josip JOVIC
On the other hand, with public whimpering, devoid of any pride, Feral’s staff is trying to beg for handouts from its sponsors who had forgotten them in the meantime, because they have completed their job and are not needed any more. They find it especially difficult to stomach the fact that they were, oh woe, punished in the post-Tudman era after, supposedly, a totalitarian system has been overthrown and a new one, democratic, established in its place, for which they should also be credited, but, oh woe!, Racan’s administration does not appreciate that.
Numerous newspaper columnists and various non-governmental organizations, such as the Open Society, New Generation, PEN, Association of Journalists, have already distinguished themselves in defense of Feral and with their unprecedented attacks on judges. The International Federation of Journalists even mentioned “malicious legal formulations”, and the president of the state, Stjepan Mesic, a favorite of Feral’s editors, has also joined the campaign. Mesic has questioned the validity of the verdict and thereby, in accordance with his advocacy of the rule of law, exerted direct pressure on the independence of the judiciary. The utter lack of objectivity, bias of all the institutions and individuals who frequently portray themselves as moral arbiters and unquestionable authorities is an especially worrying aspect of the affair. Newspapers and journalists have been fined, censored and silenced before, but we never heard any protests, or there were very few of them. On the contrary, certain non-governmental organizations, professional associations and newspapers that now, in the case of Feral, (falsely) portray themselves as protectors of the absolute journalistic license, supported in the past the removal of unsuitable journalists and editors who disagreed with them, for example from Slobodna Dalmacija and the Croatian TV. Because those other newspapers and journalists do not share their ideology and are not, unlike Feral, “ours” but “theirs”.
No other organization has demonstrated as much bias during its brief existence as the Croatian Helsinki Committee Media Council. The Croatian Journalists’ Association is already an old and spent story. Its Honor Council, for example, has recently sharply criticized Jasen Boko, a theater critic for Slobodna Dalmacija for allegedly trying to politically discredit a play full of politics. The Honor Council set strict limits for the theater critic. They’ve never warned Feral about anything. Feral has never tried to discredit anyone.
Cooperating with the spying underworld in Croatia and abroad, pulling out of the shady underworld alleged witnesses of crimes who incriminate themselves, Feral has used propaganda to portray the Homeland War as a criminal and aggressive war, with assistance of those who are prepared to sign a blank check to finance such endeavors. Of course, they did all of that not only because they were paid to do so, but also because they believe in their mission.
Feral is a good example of the lasting effect of ideologies in this region, their fierce struggle for survival even after their real base for existence has been removed. In other words, Feral’s ideology is a direct heir of Orjuna [pro-Yugoslav Croat organization, active before WWII]. The more their ideology was becoming obsolete, the more aggressive their Croat-phobia is became. Psychologists would say that the complex-like syndrome of Oedipal complexes has its place in their prominent aggressiveness and arrogance.
Their victims are always selected individuals, selected based on a strict ideological key, almost always individuals who are not inimical or indifferent with respect to national[ist] issues. Not only does Feral promote Orjuna ideology but it also employs Orjuna methodology in the columns of the chief creators of the magazine and in their purportedly satirical articles. Just like their ideological forefathers used to beat up members of the Croat Peasant Party, Feral beats up with words, sentences, and pictures. They forge articles the way they use photo-montage for their front page. That super-market tabloid resembles a Communist wall-paper. Woe be those who appear in them. Hell followed a caricature.
Year after year Feral gives to carefully selected individuals “awards” that include the word shit in their name: shit of the week, shit of the month, shit of the year. They may not find that offensive, because, one guesses, that’s the way they were brought up. But everything has become highly absurd. The shit they throw at others has struck them in the face. Consequently, the worst possible insult could be, for example, the award that would be named Feral year.