Friday, January 19, 2007

Showbusiness Ethnopolitics: Epicentar

Two years ago, Nova TV caused the television scandal of the month when their journalist Petar Vlahov went to Belgrade to interview Ceca Ražnatović for his Drugo lice talk show. Now another Nova TV show, Mirjana Hrga's Epicentar, is proving that the channel is no believer in the law of once bitten, twice shy.

Hrga's show on Sunday evening is scheduled to discuss the Serbian elections, and particularly the popularity of the Radical party. Epicentar's favoured expert to provide the Radical point of view? Serbian rock singer Bora Đorđević from the band Riblja čorba.

Perhaps predictably, Hrga has since received threats from the Society of Zagreb Defenders of Vukovar, a war veterans' group whose president Damir Jašarević told Jutarnji list, using much the same rationale as the protests against Drugo lice in 2005:

'We would accept the programme only if Đorđević would talk about what he knows about the Knin prison, the missing and fallen soldiers [braniteljima]. Everything else is rubbing salt into the wound when one knows that 1,200 Croats are still listed as missing. Therefore we will use all our means to prevent the programme going out. We're not afraid of prison.'

The Ceca Ražnatović Drugo lice never made it on to the air, but Hrga seems to have stronger support from the channel, which has even been rumoured to have hired security guards to ensure that Sunday's show can go ahead.

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