Media - Where Tudjmanism
Continues to Live
AIM Zagreb, August 19,
in Croatia there are no opposition media, at least, not on the national level.
Among the weeklies there is Hrvatsko slovo and Fokus, and among local television
stations we have OTV and Rijeka Television", said Miroslav Tudjman at a
debate in Hvar last week forgetting to mention ATV in Split, the television
station of Split-Dalmatia district, which operates as a support of Condic's
committee for the defence of the homeland war. But, let us disregard for the
moment ATV and RiTv and Hrvatsko slovo and Fokus, and let us concentrate on
Zagreb OTV and two key personalities of that TV station which was turned into
the main media seat of Ivic Pasalic and Miroslav Tudjman. Two key personalities
of that television station are called Romano Bolkovic and Vinko Grubisic.
rightist circus started moving from the capital to the Adriatic coast, Bolkovic
shut his office in Zagreb OTV and - as a journalistic specialist skilled in
toadyism - set out to follow in the footsteps of his latest idol whose name is
Ivic Pasalic. Witnesses say that during Alkar festivities in Sinj he never left
Doctor Pasalic's side casting at him glances of romantic adoration, and when he
stopped it was just to host, for instance, president of the Alkar knights'
society Mate Jukic and football player with a criminal provenance Igor Stimac in
the studio of Split ATV.
of course, a logical continuation of Bolkovic's several-month long activities
that took place in studio OTV: in front of the cameras of this television
station the following personalities were guests: Slobodan Praljak, Ante Jelavic,
generals stripped of rank Mirko Condic, Ivan Skaric, Miroslav Tudjman (twice)...
It should be noted that Romano Bolkovic does not operate as a journalist who
puts questions to his guests but as a lawyer of the defence of the persons he is
the host of in the show. This comes down to rude insulting of spectators who
dare ask his guests anything or to putting questions that might cause nausea.
Bolkovic, son of an officer of former Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) from Pula,
and Vinko Grubisic, from Herzegovina whose parents moved from Posuski Gradac to
Zagreb Dubrava, became the best of friends in the end of the eighties when
socialist youth founded their own television station - OTV - in the capital.
Soon after multi-party elections followed, Tudjman's Croat Democratic Community
(HDZ) rose to power, and Vinko Grubisic, laying stress on his Herzegovinian
roots, became close to Gojko Susak and turned OTV into a regime media. Grubisic
was awarded for it with the role of the authorised regime capitalist and
Bolkovic - who was equally devoted to Tudjman's ideals at the time - was given
the role of a small share-holder and leading star of that obscure TV station
which mostly broadcast advertisements which were then paid for by satisfying the
needs of Grubisic's residence in Pantovscak.
Bolkovic hosted his talk-show called "Two at Nine" and was enchanted
by the illusion of fame which weekly appearance in front of cameras seems to
imply, Grubisic rose in regime hierarchy: he became deputy minister of
information and especially distinguished himself as the creator of HDZ's
document on the establishment of military subordination of media. In the end of
1993 and in the beginning of 1994 this Herzegovinian decided to increase his
property as well. He decided to become the owner of OTV, but for this operation
he needed money. He therefore appealed to Miroslav Kutle and then everything was
quite simple: Kutle's previously robbed money reached Grubisic via Dukat savings
bank and Globus Holding, and then this money was divided in cash to fake
share-holders and in the final phase of the operation they paid it to the
Privatisation Fund. That is how Grubisic, for the benefit of his best man Kutle,
became the owner of the then only private television station in Zagreb. That OTV
has in fact become Kutle's property the public learnt only when details on Grupo
media group were published.
friends split in 1994 when Bolkovic sided with Stipe Mesic and Josip Manolic who
left HDZ and founded the party called Croatian Independent Democrats. Soon after,
Grubisic forbade Bolkovic access to OTV having previously taken his show off the
program without warning. Although the show was later put back on the program
again, Bolkovic was obsessed by hatred towards his boss during the following
five years. This hatred was manifested in a strange way, though: Bolkovic
publicly praised Grubisic, and secretly called journalists and supplied them
with juicy details from Vinko's private and business life.
"split personality" (simultaneous hatred and adoration of Vinko
Grubisic) became especially prominent when the Grupo scandal broke out and when
it was revealed that Grubisic, Pavic, Kutle and probably Pasalic decided to
become masters of most of the media space. When documents on secret partnership
were published and when Grubisic and Pavic were sent to Remetinac for a two-day
stay, Bolkovic paid an announcement on a whole page in both Slobodna Dalmacija
and Vecernji list and then set out to write on Grubasic's sinlessness, his
talents and great human value. Such behavior would have been peculiar even if
one had not known that Bolkovic himself participated in the distribution of
documents on secret partnership of the powerful four: a year before Grupo
scandal broke out he was the person authorised by Miroslav Kutle to represent
his financial and business interests, so he had access to all his business
course of that year that passed between Kutle’s authorisation and publication
of the Grupo scandal Bolkovic naively believed that he could once and for all
and with the help of Kutle, get even with Vinko Grubisic, deprive him of
ownership of OTV and, if possible, put him away behind bars. He also relied on
the assistance of the newly elected President Stipe Mesic, who was his friend at
the time they were dissidents, and he bragged around Zagreb that he would be
appointed to the key post in creation of the media scene, the post that was
intended for Ivic Pasalic in Tudjman’s Croatia. It did not work out that way
at all: Bolkovic underestimated the power of Kutle’s relationship with
Grubisic, and overestimated his own influence on the President of the Republic.
with Mesic and the new authorities which did not recognise and duly appreciate
his alleged merits in overthrowing HDZ, Romano suppressed hatred towards
Grubisic and crawled to pay his respect. For Grubisic who for Pasalic’s sake
in the meantime arranged removal of Zinka Bardic from the post of the
editor-in-chief of CNN News, paying respect in the form of a paid announcement
was not sufficient, so Romano Bolkovic set out to prove his patriotism by
putting himself fully at the disposal of Ivic Pasalic and Miroslav Tudjman. That
is how Romano Bolkovic became the loudspeaker in the hands of national
plunderers and protectors of the indicted war criminals. It somehow seems that
this role suits him best.
source: AIM Zagreb, August 19, 2001
P.O. Box, CH-8031