Support Russia Insider - Go Ad-Free!

SCANDAL: German Media 'Instructed' to 'Report Positively - Not Oppose Gov't'

'The German press is controlled, their hack writers are getting paid to act stupid and report whatever the elite wants.'

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Originally Appreared at COMPACT-Magazine. Translated from the German by Susan Neumann

The German people have known it for decades. COMPACT has written on it since its inception five years ago, and the evidence can be found every day in the newspapers and TV channels:  The German press is controlled, their hack writers are getting paid to act stupid and report whatever the elite wants.

An employee of West German Broadcasting in Cologne (WDR) has just offered a confession ....

After the events surrounding Cologne on New Year's Eve, one could observe the almost tectonic shifts in the German media landscape. Now it was becoming crystal clear even to Mother Merkel: the German people have it up to here with all the lies — even their police had had enough.

The police gave the media access to their incident report protocols, and knowledge of certain procedures was leaked partly anonymously, which proved how they were coerced and silenced by the politics of their superiors.  In light of all that was happening, many tabloids and political representatives saw it necessary let some truth be revealed, even if only for a short moment.

This truth is what every attentive German (and every COMPACT-Reader) has known for a long time: since the beginning of the Asylum and refugee crises, German citizens have been played for fools. Risks and consequences were simply ignored and all critics were blatantly defamed as evil racists. The negative and rather unpleasant aspects of the delusional “welcome culture” ordered from above were neither reported nor discussed. 

What was once suspect has now been proven. The existence of an ordered news blackout has been confirmed firsthand.

The confession comes from a lady employed by WDR and, being under the thumbscrews of the GEZ-Press [Germany’s state-run fee-collecting press], she's not normally regarded as entirely trustworthy.  Claudia Zimmermann is (or was?) a freelance journalist for the Westdeutsche Rundfunk. In an interview with the Dutch radio station L1, on the program called "De Stemming" (“The Atmosphere”), she spoke about the refugee policy in Germany, and especially about the media's handling of the issue of asylum.

She blabbed during a live broadcast (in Dutch) and destroyed once and for all the illusion of freedom of the press in Germany: "We are a public broadcasting service and therefore we’re obligated to approach the problem in a more positive way. This extends from Merkel’s “welcome culture” up to the moment that the mood changed, and there have been more critical voices on the radio and also by politicians. "

This statement doesn’t have to be decoded. What she’s saying is clear. Contrary to the program order of GEZ-media and their ostentatious promise of high quality and balanced reporting, journalists are forced to praise the Merkel policy till the cows come home. They’re forced to play down or conceal all criticism. Freedom of the press is not just in danger; it’s stone cold dead.

After this bomb was dropped, the host of the program asked the unbelievable question of whether journalists report directly what they are told to report. Of course it doesn’t get reported that directly, explains Zimmermann. Nevertheless, one is instructed to "report positively on the government" and not to spread an "oppositional attitude." At that point everybody knows what’s expected of them.

Zimmerman doesn’t quite go as far to call it a "cartel of silence," because she’s right, no one is ordered to be silent. That wouldn’t make sense in radio. Rather, it’s good-humored, clearly audible, and well-articulated lies that are on the program. Zimmerman says that some critical comments should have also found their place, especially in the context of the events in Cologne.

During the course of the conversation, Ms Zimmermann expressed her very committed and critical opinion about the role of women in Islamic countries, and talked about bans on women to move about freely, to be alone on the street, to drive a car, and much more. Zimmerman voiced criticism of the arm’s length-tip from Cologne’s mayor Henriette Reker, and noted that women should not have to adapt to the values ​​and the behavior of foreign guests; quite the reverse in fact, every migrant should be kindly obliged to respect German values.

Whoever has a good command of Dutch and would like to hear the program:

Statements made by the WDR associate were put into an article in association with Dutch station L1, and were subsequently picked up  by other Dutch media. This is now spreading like wildfire throughout the country. "Journalists van de Duitse omroep WDR hebben opdracht gekregen om positief te report over het vluchtelingenvraagstuk." The headline of the broadcaster [In English:] "Journalists of the German broadcaster WDR have been instructed to report positively on the refugee crisis."

You'd think that the proverbial cat would be completely out of the bag at this point. How do you sail back when there's no land in sight? If anyone needed a good argument for refusing to pay their "broadcast contribution," well here it is, on a silver platter. One can truly imagine how WDR responded to the statements made by its colleague. One day after the dam broke, Ms Zimmermann again made a statement.

After a conversation with the sender, Claudia Zimmermann said on Monday afternoon, "I was talking nonsense. I was under pressure from the live situation on the talk show and I spewed total nonsense. For me, this is totally embarrassing. As a freelance journalist, I've never been asked to biase my reports, or to report things in a certain way." So her openly honest statements she made to her Dutch colleagues during a remarkably relaxed discussion were now complete fiction? Hmmm ...Did the WDR director Tom Buhrow just rake somebody over the coals?

To make matters worse, WDR had to up the ante and even made a statement in indignant tones in order to "rectify" the behavior of their employee. (see here:

An excerpt: "We at WDR stand for balanced and independent journalism. Our broad-based program shows, especially during these times, how extensive, independent, critical, and differentiated we are when it comes to reporting on the refugee problem.”  This statement — with no word in response to the justified criticism of their reports being slanted in favor of Merkel’s welcome culture — sounds just too desperate. 

In Germany, the Tagesspiegel Online responded to the statements of the WDR journalist and tried desperately to present her as blowhard, who had first talked nonsense and then backed off. The article states, inter alia: "The West German Radio in Cologne is appalled by the statements made by the long-standing independent staff member. The statements and attitudes offered do not in any way represent those of the company," said deputy spokeswoman Ingrid Schmitz.

Ms Zimmermann is of course not the first to blow the whistle on Germany’s rigged media system. We at COMPACT have quoted again and again people and/or authors involved who have broken out of the publicly institutionalized lies in order to practice some real journalism. Eva Hermann, Akif Pirinçci, Ken Jebsen, Gerhard Wisnewski, and Christoph Hörstel can all say a thing or two about that. In the COMPACT issue 2/2016, in addition to a whole list of exciting articles, there’s a double-paged spread with the best quotes surrounding the current debate about the refugees and Merkel's asylum policy, which makes abundantly clear the fact that Germans are being dragged by a nose ring through the arena of Political Correctness. It’s worth a look.

There you'll find, among other things, a statement made by Germany's ickiest know-it-all, Claus Kleber. In his show “Heute-Journal” from December 14,2015, he made a particularly amusing announcement: "Not everybody is shouting out ‘lying press’ but it’s really shocking how many rational people actually believe that we let everything be dictated to us by Berlin and that it forms the basis for our reporting. We have no idea where this idea could have come from (…) but I think that if somebody’s reporting were to be dictated here at Heute-Journal, then they would have to first go through me, for example.  That has never happened — never. Okay, we don’t always foresee things correctly. We also make mistakes, but we investigate, examine, evaluate, and report how we as editors think it should be reported. "

There’s exactly where the problem lies. Just like in the case of the lady from WDR, nobody from above has to hold a gun to anybody’s head when it comes to politically opportunistic reporting.  Just as a matter of course, the chief editors, directors, presenters, and small editors know what’s expected of them. They know the position of the government, they know how to defend it, and they know the critics who are to be ridiculed for going against that position. Thus the cogs of the lying press are all aligned and are running daily like clockwork.

What Kleber and his colleagues have not yet understood is that they are not to report what they think is “right” — especially since they’re being paid with taxpayer money. No journalist who claims to be neutral can say they have the power to evaluate what is right. What they should do is the exact opposite: they should report fairly on things they think are wrong and allow those who hold a contrary opinion also have a say. The public broadcasters shouldn’t allow a pre-selection and prior evaluation of their content at all; they should inform instead of manipulate. If they ever succeed in doing this, even more people would certainly be willing to pay for their reporting ...

Support Russia Insider - Go Ad-Free!

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Anyone is free to republish, copy, and redistribute the text in this content (but not the images or videos) in any medium or format, with the right to remix, transform, and build upon it, even commercially, as long as they provide a backlink and credit to Russia Insider. It is not necessary to notify Russia Insider. Licensed Creative Commons

Our commenting rules: You can say pretty much anything except the F word. If you are abusive, obscene, or a paid troll, we will ban you. Full statement from the Editor, Charles Bausman.