Is there a Nobel Prize for media falsification, lies and betrayal of readers? Judging by the way German mainstream media are covering PEGIDA there has to be one, argues Udo Ulfkotte in his latest piece for KOPP online, his publisher's news website.
The tactics honed against Russia are now being put in place to defame PEGIDA – those Dresden conservatives who dare peacefully to protest uncontrolled immigration and Islamization, as well as the creation of parallel sharia tribunal in Germany, among other things.
PEGIDA also has a soft spot for Putin's Russia, judging from some of the placards seen during their demos.
MDR is Germany's first channel in the Eastern states of Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. On Jan 06 it asked its viewers „Do you think PEGIDA damages the city of Dresden?“.
Some 10,958 viewers took part in the snapshot survey.
Surprise surprise. Only 7% agreed with the preset answer: „Yes, because it casts the city in a false light“, while 92% of respondents chose: „No, why? At last somebody dares to speak the truth“.
Be it Iraq, Crimea or PEGIDA, ordinary Germans just will not think the way the media tell them to. Journalism (asking people what they think) and propaganda (telling them what to think) are increasingly hard to reconcile in the age of social media, as journalists found out during the Ukraine crisis.
What to do with these embarrassing survey result? What to do?
It could not be blamed on Russian propaganda. Nor on Kremlin trolls. So there seemed to be no way out... Germany's first channel had apparently shot itself in the foot again.
Wait: what about a little censoring? After all, it is for a good cause, the MDR editors must have thought. So the snapshot survey quietly disappeared from their website, hoping nobody would notice. Except that lots of people did. And they resorted to protesting on Facebook.
The survey and its censoring having gone wrong, German media have now started to make unfounded claims against PEGIDA. Apparently it has been „infiltrated“ by Nazis.
As if Germans had not seen enough real Nazis, supported by the USA and the EU, doing real Nazi things, from burning people alive in Odessa to cluster bombing civilians in Donbass.
As if, ignored by Western media, a real Nazi parade had not been staged as recently as Jan 1 in Kiev!
But this time we don't have to worry: PEGIDA alleged infiltration is being carefully monitored by never heard before „constitution protection groups“. After all, Nazism is illegal in Germany - unless it operates near Russian borders that is.
According to Ulfkotte, the message is clear: „dear citizen, don't get involved with PEGIDA if you don't want to be monitored by the constitution protectors“.
Sounds vaguely Orwellian, doesn't it?
Finally, Ulfkotte proves the bias of German media with a recent example.
A God-hater whom the media called Moroccan badly damaged a Church in South Tirol, Italy's only German-speaking province:
„Imagine if a Christian or an Atheist had damaged a mosque in a German-speaking region,” says Ulfkotte, “there would be candle-lit demonstrations all over the country, and you could not turn a television on without hearing about it.”
“But it was a Muslim who did it, and in the name of the Koran. What has happened then? You can see for yourself. Nothing”
“Next time a journalist assures you that Islamization is not taking place, please remember them that the Moroccan in question, who had damaged churches before, never spent a single day in jail for it. He was placed under house arrest instead”.
One needs not agree with Ulfkotte about the link between lenient treatment by the Italian judiciary and alleged Islamization. But the more general points he makes about German media are correct and have been vindicated time and time again.
MDR is part of ARD, a public network of public broadcasters known in Germany as “Das Erste” or the first channel.
When, in June 2014, ARD's own advisory board released a report, defining ARD coverage of the Ukraine crisis as “inadequate, one-sided and biased”, news of the report took three months to begin circulating in the... wait for it... alternative media.
And it never did in the mainstream media.