Geert Wilders in Berlin
NOTE: A TT video was used in the body of this article.
It is common wisdom that the German mass media journalists bend reality for their own purposes and present their readers with only that which fits in their ideology. Wolf Schneider showed us that in a very convincing way many years ago in his classic “Unsere tägliche Desinformation – Wie die Massenmedien uns in die Irre führen” (Our Daily Misinformation – How the media deceives us).
(How German newspapers and magazines lie to their readers in their reports about Geert Wilders’ speech in Berlin – by Wolfgang Halder / Translation: Anders Denken)
However, just as there is a great difference between whether someone knows by concept that dead bodies stink, or whether the foul smelling odor of a dead body in the neighboring apartment wafts over so much that one becomes ill of it, so it was very disturbing to me to see just how much the reporting of Geert Wilders’ speech on October 2nd in Berlin strayed off reality. I heard the speech at the “Hotel Berlin” – that which I experienced and heard has hardly anything to do with how the newspapers reported it.
In his book “While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within“, American publicist Bruce Bawer, who lived many years in Europe, gets to the heart of the problem behind the corrupted “career ethics” of European journalists: “European political journalists see themselves as part of the same intellectual elite as the mainstream politicians, and see the maintaining of social-democratic values as their collective duty.” They don’t intend to explain or inform, rather to educate, and therefore they carry out a kind of missionary journalism. They have perceived themselves, in Bawer’s opinion, not as servants of the people, but as their teachers and educators.
This attitude by European journalists encounters a similarly fatalist mentality in the their readers: “Most Americans are inclined to view journalists – as well as professors and politicians – with skepticism and even contempt. Americans have a low tolerance level for presumption and arrogant posturing. We have little patience with those who wish to be recognized by others as an authority simply because they go around spouting some kind of jargon. … Europeans, on the other hand, have been used to listening to authorities for centuries and feel more quickly at ease with conformity than we do. The European media are instruments of the governments to an extraordinary degree, they serve their purposes and reflect their ideology.”
In the deception of their readers, the German journalists make use of a broad repertoire that reaches from the simple lie to distortions, innuendos all the way to manipulating the selection of pictures. The general foundation for all articles is the refusal to respond to Wilders’ arguments. No examination of the issues takes place. The journalistic obligation to exercise diligence and the demands of the German Press Codex are often trampled on – for example, in these two points:
– “The attention to truth, the preservation of human rights and the truthful informing of the public are the greatest imperatives of the Press.”
– “News and information are to be examined for their content of truth. Their meaning is to be neither distorted or falsified in processing, headlines or captioning.
All of the citations and references that I quote here deal with the online editions of the newspapers and magazines mentioned because, out of principle, I don’t pay any money for their printed versions. For the sake of simplicity I will mention only the name of the newspaper or magazine – “Bild” therefore refers to “Bild online”; “Spiegel” is “Spiegel online,” etc.
Inaccurate Statement of Facts
The misstatements already start at the lowest level of the simple facts. Rainer Haubrich writes in “Die Welt“:
35 Euros is what each one of the more than 500 listeners paid to listen to a presentation by the Dutch Islam critic Geert Wilders.
Wrong, Mr. Haubrich, it was 15 Euros. A woman of the Berlin-Brandenburg radio station who interviewed an older gentleman sitting in the row behind me in the conference room also spoke of a “35 Euro admission” for the speech. Upon asking her interview partner about how she came to the 35 Euro figure, she couldn’t give a source, she simply heard that somewhere. – Such a thing, honored journalists, can be gathered by doing research, for example, by telephoning the organizer or by calling up the registration form, and research belongs to the most basic of the basics in the journalistic trade.
That one who is a “critical” journalist doesn’t stay with the dirty facts is demonstrated once again by Rainer Haubrich of “die Welt” with his style of writing in the first paragraph, writing “René Stadtkiewicz” for René Stadkewitz, and in asserting that the event had to do with the “convening of the new party,” FREEDOM. Is there a chief editor, final editor or a proofreader?
Jörn Hasselman and Ulrich Zawatka-Gerlach representing “Tagesspiegel” also have a hard time dealing with the facts. All the same, their article reads as follows:
Apparently, Wilders also brought followers of his own country. Directly in front of the hotel entrance there stood a large travel bus from the Netherlands.
The worldly sophistication that exudes this remark is exquisite – because the bus came from Hungary – which could be recognized by the “H” oval on it, which stands for Hungary and plainly not for Holland (which is “NL”).
What does Jan Bielicki do with Geert Wilders statement in the “Süddeutsche Zeitung“:
“A Germany full of mosques and veiled women is no longer Goethe’s, Schiller’s and Heine’s, Bach’s and Mendelssohn’s Germany”
He slyly leaves out both of the Jewish artisans named by Wilders and instead writes Handel and changes the proper genitive Wilders uses (“Schiller’s”) into the barbaric journalistic genitive (“of Schiller”) – and so, the quote by Bielicki:
“A Germany with mosques and veiled women is not the Germany of Schiller and Goethe, of Handel and Bach.”
In his second article on Wilders’ speech, Bielicki repeats this citation again, this time mastering the genitive, and he also mentions Heine and Mendelssohn and leaves out his Handel invention – but this time Goethe is also missing:
“A Germany full of mosques and full of veiled women is no longer Schilller’s and Heine’s, Bach’s and Mendelssohn’s Germany.”
“Der Spiegel” writer Severin Weiland doesn’t even undertake to mention Heine and Mendelssohn in this passage, but turns Mendelssohn into “Mendelsohn.” I guess Weiland, who according to the masthead is the interim leader of the Berlin Bureau for “Spiegel online” and socializes journalistically at the “Tageszeitung,” wrote the name Mendelssohn for the first time in his life. I doubt he even knows about Mendelssohn’s “Midsummernight’s Dream” or “Elijah,” the “Song Without Words,” or the F-Minor Quartet. He apparently knows absolutely nothing about which culture Geert Wilders and we are defending against Islam, simply because he doesn’t know it.
But that, as I have said, is only my guess. The fact is that neither Weiland nor his editorial staff know how to write Mendelssohn. And if “Spiegel” readers would whine at this place and say, oh well, a name wrongly written, that’s not so horrible, those are only virtues of secondary importance, then I would think of Karl Kraus, of whom the complete barbarity of National Socialism was made apparent back then, when his followers didn’t put a comma between “Heil” and “Hitler” in their greeting “Heil Hitler.”
The Haider Comparison
“Holland’s Haider” is how the teaser line reads above the “Bild” headline about Wilders’ speech. One can’t trust his eyes. Here, there is a mixture of the German journalist’s tendency to alliterate coupled with ignorance of the subject. Jörg Haider, Kadaffy’s friend who said of himself that he was “in very good with Saddam Hussein,” and who positioned himself against the freedom of expression in the caricature controversy (“Freedom of expression and freedom of foolishness are two different things”), and who said of Israel, “it calls itself a democracy,” in which he meant, “we must respect the Arabic world,” and who also put George Bush on a level with Saddam Hussein…
The Blond Beast
Geert Wilders is blond. Whether it’s natural or chemical, this, to a civilized person, should be as uninteresting as Angela Merkel’s cup size because the color of hair is as unimportant for a politican’s effect as the size of his shoe. The mention of it is cheap propaganda and the most primitive form of all ad hominem arguments, that is, the mention of the bodily feature of a person whose opinion is unfavorable.
And simply by reason of this primitive attitude, hardly a German journalist that has written anything about Wilders’ speech in Berlin doesn’t mention his hair color: “The man with the blond mane” (Spiegel); “the tall man with the white-blond hair combed behind” (Focus) “when Wilders’ blonde-dyed bouffant-styled hair appears on the stage in there” (Frankfurter Rundschau); the “tall and strikingly blond Dutchman” (WAZ); “the man with the head full of blond hair” (Süddeutsche Zeitung). And journalist Eva Male of “die Presse” in Austria goes even further in letting her bleaching competence play out:
What constitutes the attractiveness of the tall, baby-faced man with the tender features and the bleached blond crop of hair that is in major need of being recolored?
The allusion plays along in the subliminal to the “blond beast roaming lasciviously about in search of booty and victory” in Nietzsche’s “Genealogy of Morality,” because the authors who mention Wilder’s hair color intend to use it to conjure up the following subconscious chain of associations in the readers: Wilders – blond – blond beast – Nietzsche – Nazis = Nazi. This process is not to be exceeded in its evil absurdity: After the manner of the National Socialists, a bodily characteristic is employed for the disgracing of a person so that this person appears to be a National Socialist.
How well the stigmatizations are tangled up among the representatives of the mainstream media can be seen in the example of a journalist who was asked in front of the “Hotel Berlin” why he was there (see the following video). Because of the “speech of a racist politician,” was his answer. Upon being questioned where his judgment of “racist,” was based, he then relativized his statement and then became suspicious. For him, anybody of the press wanting an argumentative foundation for such an assertion was evidently something he needed to get used to.
(Source: Tundra Tabloids)
The Rudi Carrell Factor
Harmless, but also completely senseless, is the remark in the SZ (Süddeutsche Zeitung) and FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) that Wilders sounds like Rudi Carrell: Wilders spoke “In fluent Rudi Carrell German,” Andreas Ross in the FAZbubbles out, and Jan Bielicki in the SZ asserts:
He reads his speech in German, in that Rudi Carrell cadence that causes hard sayings to come across softly.
Ross and Bielicki appear never to have heard any Dutch person other than Rudi Carell speak. This is simply how it sounds when a Dutch person speaks German. So? What’s so significant about that? What valuable information can the reader glean of both of these flagships of the German “Journalism of Quality” about this?
Islam Over and Over Again
In the “Spiegel,” it sounds accusatory: “Islam, over and over again, Islam – that pervades throughout his speech.” Should Geert Wilders have talked about the history of dike building in Holland instead? It’s part of the nature of the subject, that within his speech which has Islam as its theme, Islam should constantly come up. The “Hotel Berlin,” on the weekend that Geert Wilders spoke there, was also the place where participants in the “Diabetes in Science and Practice” conference stayed overnight. Imagine if a conference reporter had taken the speakers to task for speaking “about diabetes, over and over again, diabetes” – not a person would ever take this journalist seriously anymore. Such incompetence is not only allowed in political reporting, it’s actually the rule.
“Wherever Geert Wilders goes, there are his bodyguards,” Bild writes, and in the “Süddeutsche,” it reads, he is “surrounded by brawny personal security by the Dutch police.” Here, the subtle insidiousness of the SZ can again be admired. The “brawny personal security” – that sounds rather threatening and negative, casts a bad light on Wilders, this “shady figure from the Netherlands” (Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger). However, what else should bodyguards be other than brawny? It’s their duty anyway to employ their bodies for the protection of other people. If they had the stature of Gregor Gysi, such a thing would be impossible for them.
However, the SZ left out the most important thing in connection with personal protection: Geert Wilders has had it hard under personal protection, but he has needed it for years – just like Ayaan Hirsi Ali – because devout Muslims threaten to kill both of them. Everyone knows since the Theo van Gogh’s 2004 murder in Amsterdam that these are not idle threats. However, the fact that itself unleashes a compassionate sympathy in any normal person is used against Wilders in the SZ. This is misanthropic propaganda of the sickest kind.
Pictures and Captions
Every reader notices the pictures first. Even if he doesn’t read the article, he at least reads the title and the caption. Therefore he can be manipulated especially well. This is what “Die Welt” also does in their spread of pictures: “Whistles and applause for Geert Wilders” is shown with all eight pictures. First of all, there was no whistling during the speech, secondly, the sequence – first the whistling, then the applause – is intended to turn the mood against Wilders. The alleged hundred demonstrators in front of the hotel (I counted just under fifty) were acknowledged in three pictures by “Die Welt”; the 540 participants inside the hotel, on the other hand, had one single picture.
“Der Spiegel” digs really deep into the propaganda grab bag for their choice of pictures. Wilders is seen turning around in his armchair to look at the canvas behind him and watch the video message by Oskar Freysinger. With eyes looking upward, it has the effect of a zombie, as can be recognized only among blondes. In addition, the whole thing was shot from below. Ever since the days of the expressionist silent movies, this has been a favorite and effective means for demonizing and presenting somebody in a negative light.
All Cultures Are the Same
Much stir has existed over Wilders’ statement, “that our culture is superior to certain other cultures.” Wilders’ arguments against the equality of every culture, this doctrine of multi-culturalism, for example, are not refuted by Severein Weiland in “Spiegel,” rather are hinted at with a murmuring allusion. Wilders’ position leads to Auschwitz:
In this place, the applause was rather reserved. Perhaps some in the room remember those times when Germans soared to the rank of Master Race.
In this, Wilders, with his reference to Schiller, Goethe and Heine, to the First Amendment of the American Constitution, and to the fact that “free individuals are free moral agents,” makes it very clear which culture he means when he speaks of one that is superior to Islam. He means the “Western civilization,” which is the “freest and most flourishing one on earth” (Wilders quotations) – in other words, the capitalist West in which the freedom of the individual and their “pursuit of happiness” are the highest values. In this, Wilders means exactly that culture, which the socialisms of all colors – brown and red, national and international – and Islam just as well intend to destroy.
I would like to have heard an argument by Severin Weiland all the others who critize Wilders’ statements as to why a culture in which the life of a woman is worth less than the left testicle of a man, in which a man feels unclean if a woman gives him the hand, and in which a woman who is raped pollutes the honor of her family while a son who is raped doesn’t, and why such a culture is on an even par with Western civilization and its values, such as individual freedom, equality under the law and free speech.
However, it is vain to look for arguments among Wilders antagonists, for against such people as Wilders there is no need of arguments. He’s blond, he’s critical of Islam, he’s a populist. That’s enough. In all of this, he is seen as invalidated and morally inferior – and this in Schiller’s, Goethe’s and Heine’s land.