Weekly Overview 04/05-10/05

As the epidemic subsides in Montenegro and the society gradually opens up once again, other topics have returned to the public discourse…

Right-wing portals and sites and their readers have been returning to their favorite discipline, blood cell counting – a metaphor frequently used in post-Yugoslav region to refer to the obsession with ethnic origin or belonging.

The first on the kill list was the epidemiologist Senad Begić, whose name has been a thorn in the side from the start. Since this cannot really be openly acknowledged, a suitable reason was found in the fact that eight years ago Dr. Begić had shared a great caricature by Predrag Koraksić Corax.

The ideological heirs of those who shot Corax’s Partisan father today do not spare bullets against criticisms of clerical nationalism.

A “subtle” call for lynching has been coordinated from the usual addresses on social networks, while the readership promptly responded with national hatred, insults, and messages that dr Begić should return to his country of birth.

The prosecution might have a cure for such incidents, but they seem to prescribe therapy only in the cases when those in power need protection.

Last week we also marked the Victory Over Fascism Day. Radio and Television of Montenegro committed an unforgivable oversight by broadcasting in their morning programme on this particular day a song by the controversial Thompson.

Criticisms, statements and apologies ensued, to be followed, we hope, by an action to establish liability as well. The prompt reaction of the public was a pleasant surprise, given that it often tends to overlook media appearances of the promoters of defeated ideologies. I hope this is not just a one-off case.

Economic topics have been slowly taking precedence in media coverage. Different politicians and experts offer different predictions and suggest different models for overcoming the crisis.

To an economically untrained eye like mine, all these proposals seem complex. Consequently, the proposal by economist Branko Dragaš that Montenegro leave NATO and replace the euro with a national currency – the perper, could have appeared sensible to some.

However, a real treasure awaits the reader who is patient enough to get past the ocean of numbers and economic catchphrases in this interview!

“The pandemic was invented by the schizophrenic rulers of the world, reptiles or non-humans, with the deliberate release of an artificial virus as a biological weapon against humanity, in order to distract citizens and instill fear, in order to keep this diseased capitalism alive on narcotic dollars for some time longer, and in order to lobotomize the citizens of the world by introducing mandatory vaccination and by microchipping the enslaved humanity with ID 2020.”

Congratulations to Mr. Dragaš for having concisely connected a series of conspiracy theories in one short reflection! I have reasons to believe that his economic advice is of similar value.

Old conspiracy theories about American biological laboratories in the post-Soviet space, and the spreading of fear about them as a source of infection have been revived during this pandemic.

This time, the disinformation wave has triggered a request by the Ukrainian opposition MPs to the President of Ukraine to inform them about the laboratories in that country.

What is interesting is that in their request, the Ukrainian deputies also refer to an old article from the Serbian weekly Pečat, owned by Miodrag Vučelić.

On social networks, we noticed an interesting local twist on the conspiracy theory that Bill Gates was behind the pandemic – this time in cooperation with the Montenegrin sections of the Rotary Club, all with the aim of reckoning with Orthodoxy and the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Sputnik ran the scoop that the Americans have been secretly testing a Serbian medicine, only to be revealed that it was famotidine, a widely used drug first produced in Japan, and now made throughout the world.

From the author of the statement about “the funniest virus” – Serbian doctor Branimir Nestorović, we “learned” that nicotine protects against coronavirus.

It is actually a hypothesis derived from one study, whose clinical testing is still in the pipeline and which contradicts all previous scientific knowledge as well as the position of the WHO.

However, Dr. Nestorović has never cared much about the facts, which was already written about by our colleagues from Raskrikavanje.rs.

Another Serbian doctor, who is also a university professor and member of the Serbian Parliament, “outdid” herself last week by explaining the causes and consequences of the pandemic.

In a somnambulistic outburst in front of the cameras which went viral in the WB region, Dr. Kostić managed to reveal all the “truths” about Soros, Gates, 5G, Satanists and cannibals, as well as children being raped and raised for food in American restaurants.

This week, a digital roundtable was held on disinformation and misinformation trends surrounding the pandemic, organized by the SEE Check fact-checking network constituted by organizations from ex-Yu countries, including CDT / Raskrinkavanje.me.

We tackled many interesting topics, so in case you were not able to follow us, take a look at the recording of the discussion in English.