I have not lived my life with my head in the sand. I have been around a bit and seen a few things, but very little has prepared me for the bloodbath that is national TV news in Slovakia.
If the subject is a mafia murder, a car crash or any story that involves a death, you are guaranteed a full, lingering shot of a bloody corpse [especially on the private TV Markíza station, the main offender here - ed. note].
In my time in Slovakia, I have seen headless torsos, decapitated heads, the results of mass shootings, mangled car crash victims, and even frozen bodies being removed from lakes. All on TV.
I generally eat my main meal in the evening at around 7 p.m. After a few dinners in front of the TV, I realized why Slovaks enjoy a big lunch at one o'clock in the afternoon.
In truth, these gruesome topics (I mean deaths, not Slovak lunches) get reported in other countries, but the cameraman usually films from a discrete distance. If the newscaster tells me that the body in the background has no head, that's enough for me, I'll believe him.
Do news programme chiefs not realize that at 7 o'clock in the evening there are bound to be impressionable young children watching all this gore? These kids will either grow up thinking that this is the norm, or they will be emotionally scarred for the rest of their lives. What about the families of the victims, who have to endure those hideous 'news' reports and their ghoulish footage?
Watching these nightly reports always tests my constitution, challenging me to keep my klobasa down long enough to merit eating it.
30. Aug 1999 at 0:00