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Prima TV broadcasts controversial show unchanged

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Prague, Oct 27 (CTK) – The Czech Prima television station broadcast the Jan Kraus talk show with Holocaust survivor Jiri Brady without any changes on Thursday, updating the former plan to present a modified version of the show whose protagonists criticised President Milos Zeman.

The guests to moderator Jan Kraus mainly criticised Zeman for not bestowing a state award on Brady. Prima originally withdrew the controversial episode of the show from broadcasting on Wednesday.

In reaction to criticism and censorship accusations, Prima announced earlier on Thursday that it will broadcast a modified version of the episode tonight, but its representative Vladimir Porizek told CTK in the late afternoon that it will be presented without any changes.

At the beginning of the show, Prima announced in writing that it had to withdraw the episode because the producers failed to supply it in time. But both the producer Simona Mataskova and Kraus dismissed this.

Kraus also said any interference in the episode would mean a violation of the contract signed with the producer. He presented the full version of the episode on the Internet.

Prima also said that it did not broadcast the episode because the Radio and Television Broadcasting Council (RRTV) might have punished it for failing to secure “balanced” broadcasts. The RRTV has sharply protested against this argument and said Prima was seeking an alibi.

The RRTV said Prima knows from the RRTV’s reaction in the past that no sanctions threaten for unbalanced broadcasts in the case of entertainment programmes.

Finally, Prima told CTK that it will not modify the episode and will broadcast its full version.

Brady, 88, says Zeman had included him in the list of personalities to be given a state award on the October 28 national holiday but that he deleted his name after Brady’s relative, Culture Minister Daniel Herman, met the Tibetan Dalai Lama in Prague on October 18.

The Presidential Office has dismissed the accusation and said Brady has never been on the list.

In the closely watched new episode of Jan Kraus Show, the guests, including politicians, pop singers, actors and athletes, supported Herman and Brady in their dispute with the Presidential Office.

In the show, former interior minister Jan Ruml called on the lawmakers to take a vote on President Zeman’s incapability to perform his post. Sociologist Jirina Siklova said Zeman was an old man and had the right to keep trying to attract attention. Pop singer Dan Barta said Zeman seems to be fulfilling his promise that he would be uniting society since it may happen that society would unite against Zeman.

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