Weekly Overview 08/06 – 14/06

In anticipation of the decision on the opening of Montenegrin borders for the citizens of Serbia, this past week we continued reading about the political contentions between Serbian and Montenegrin officials, actively aided by tabloids.

Given that elections will be held in Serbia in a few days, blaming any eventual failures of its health system on the neighbouring country comes in handy. And in Montenegro, where elections are about to be called, an attack that comes from Serbia always brings an extra vote or two.

After hearing that Montenegro did not have the necessary knowledge, tests, or even a laboratory, the culprit for the appearance of the coronavirus among students housed in the Belgrade student dormitory Karaburma was found – a student from Montenegro.

After the dormitory cluster, a much larger infection cluster appeared among the representatives of the Serbian entertainment industry.

Many Montenegrin parents have been anxiously clicking on news portals in order to determine whether their student son actually went to take his exams or took a special plane to Belgrade to congratulate the turbo-folk singer Ceca on the birth of her grandson, thus gifting her with the infectious disease.

The tabloids finally changed their minds and found a new culprit in a student from Niš, while the Student Polyclinic epidemiologist Mila Paunić told Raskrikavanje.rs that all infected students were from Serbia.

Last week, Raskrinkavanje.me also analysed the distress of some news portals by the congratulations message of Minister Marija Vučinović in occasion of the Independence Day, written in her mother tongue, Croatian.

They interpreted her usage of the Croatian word for independence, neovisnost, as a case of ‘Ustasha-philia’, lamented over “frightened Serbs”, and were reminded of the “founding of the Independent State of Croatia” (by the way, the letter N in the original language acronym NDH stands for the Serbian variant nezavisna, and not for the Croatian one).

Anyhow, there should have been no reason for surprise: the Montenegrin Constitution guarantees citizens the right to use their own language, and in addition to the official Montenegrin, the Serbian, Bosnian, Albanian and Croatian languages are also in official use.

Earlier this month, Bill Gates commented on the coronavirus conspiracy theories that targeted him, stating that it was almost hard to deny this stuff because it was so stupid and strange that even to repeat it gave it credibility.

However, no nonsense is big enough for our media landscape, so last week we also analysed the disinformation that Gates held the patent for the coronavirus, and that he had predicted the new pandemic and a bioterrorist attack.

The decision of the Government of Montenegro to establish a public company for the administrative execution of the decisions on the demolition, removal and return to the original condition of land and buildings, was interpreted by some as the establishment of a “company for the demolition of sacred buildings”.

Even though this company is still in the making, the state authorities have started removing illegal buildings, even some that belong to the Serbian Orthodox Church. On the other hand, the Serbian Orthodox Church announced the continuation of its religious rallies. We will tackle the media manipulations related to the relations between the Government of Montenegro and the Serbian Orthodox Church in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, read carefully, and read Raskrinkavanje!