Skip to Content

Tom Buhrow. Wikipedia
Cologne

‘Environmental pig’: WDR apologizes for insulting senior citizens

After massive protests, WDR director Tom Buhrow apologized for a video of the WDR children's choir in which old people are disparaged.

Published: December 31, 2019, 5:36 am

    Read more

    WDR is the abbreviation for German Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln (West German Broadcasting Cologne), a German public-broadcasting institution based in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia with its main office in Cologne. WDR is a constituent member of the consortium of German public-broadcasting institutions, ARD. As well as contributing to the output of the national television channel Das Erste, WDR produces the regional television service WDR Fernsehen and six regional radio networks.

    The song to the melody of “My grandma rides a motorcycle in the chicken coop” says, among other things:

    “My grandmother fries a chop, a chop, a chop every day. Because discounted meat costs next to nothing, my grandma is an old environmental pig.” There were protests outside the broadcaster’s building. Thousands of listeners protested at the station – and later in front of the WDR building in Cologne. Some demonstrators had apparently belonged to the “rightwing scene” a police spokesman said on Sunday.

    Most listeners criticized the “lack of respect” for the elderly, others scolded, the “underground”, “lowest level”, “the cheek” of WDR. The “satire” triggered very different reactions – mostly negative. Initially, the WDR had tried to sell the idea of satire, but in vain.

    Steffi Neu, one of the most popular moderators was then supposed to save what could no longer be saved. Program director Jochen Rausch sat down in the studio and admitted to the mistake.

    Buhrow eventually was forced to apologise in a special programme of the WDR radio on the subject: “The video with the accident-prone Grandma song was a mistake.” He apologized “without ifs and buts for it”.

    His 92-year-old father, whom he is currently visiting in the hospital, is not an environmental pig. “He worked hard all his life.” The WDR does not want to split people, but rather “make a contribution to a better climate in our country”. He called into the studio live from the hospital in his hometown Siegburg, where his 92-year-old father has been lying since Christmas Eve.

    Before that, program director Jochen Rausch had admitted: “We made a mistake.” The “linguistic nuance” was not considered long enough. Although the broadcaster received some positive reactions to the video, which the WDR called “satire”, there should to be “no wrong or right” he said. However, he personally thinks it was a mistake.

    The public broadcaster has since deleted the video and explained this in more detail with a statement on Facebook. The accusation that the WDR has used children for political purposes has “affected” the station, it says. This was “absolutely not the case”, but “even the assumption that WDR 2 would have instrumentalized the children of the choir” was “unbearable” for the editorial staff.

    The Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet (CDU), also waded into the debate. The WDR had crossed the boundaries of style and respect for the elderly with the song, Laschet wrote on Twitter. Instrumentalizing young against old is not acceptable he said.

    On Saturday, the tweet by a freelancer at WDR, Danny Hollek, caused another outrage. He wrote on Twitter: “Your grandma was not an environmental pig. Right. But a Nazi sow.” The WDR has now distanced itself from the statements.

    A private person had registered the protest campaign under the motto “Our grandma is not an environmental pig”. In addition, there was a spontaneous counter-demonstration from the left scene, the police spokesman said.

    To date, there have been verbal conflicts between the two camps, but no crimes have occurred. The police initially did not provide any information on the exact number of participants. Verbal provocations took place at Cologne’s Appellhofplatz, but so far nothing has been reported about physical excesses, the spokesman said.

    The little girls of a Dortmund children’s choir sang on behalf of the WDR and under the musical direction of Zeljo Davutovic in a video of almost 90 seconds on the channel’s Facebook page. But apart from the refrain, the text is completely new.

    Grandma is now a “new environmental pig”. One that burns a thousand liters of fossil fuel every month, drives the SUV to the doctor, goes on ten cruises a year, and likes cheap meat from the discount grocer. The WDR initially called the new version “2019 Friday for Future Version”.

    By Sunday, the short message service Twitter counted over 40 000 tweets with the hashtag #umweltsau.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    Covid taboo: 90 percent of ventilated patients in Germany have migration background

    BerlinIt is mainly migrants who are in the intensive care units in Germany as a result of the Corona crisis.

    The majority of rapes in Sweden are perpetrated by immigrant men study reveals

    StockholmA new research study of more than 3 000 convicted men in Sweden shows that 60 percent were first or second-generation immigrants, and that almost half were previously convicted of violent crimes.

    The debate around Islamo-leftism ignites in France

    The debate around rising Islamo-leftism in France gives the impression of gigantic amateurism, while testimonies accumulate in the press on the growing racial divide happening in universities in the country. Germany will not spared either.

    Danish PM: Coronavirus is here to stay

    CopenhagenDanish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has warned that the Coronavirus was here to stay. She sees a bright future for vaccine sales globally. Over 206 million vaccine doses have already been dispensed and American pharma giant Pfizer has projected a profit of 15 billion for 2021. It is a very lucrative start for the Covid Industrial Complex.

    Study: Young European women massively avoid public places for fear of being sexually assaulted

    ViennaAn overwhelming majority of young women in Europe avoid certain places or neighbourhoods for fear of being assaulted or harassed, according to a European report published on Friday.

    German taxpayers fund left-wing extremist clubs

    BerlinLeft-wing extremist groups in Germany are subsidized by the state. Every now and then, the real extent of this phenomenon is expressed in numbers: For example, in 2018 an AfD inquiry to the federal government revealed some hard facts.

    Thaïs d’Escufon from Generation Identity responds to their dissolution

    ParisA few days ago, the French Ministry of the Interior notified Génération Identitaire of their dissolution. They now have 10 days to respond in order to avoid it. Why this dissolution? Thaïs d'Escufon responded to the threat.

    Antifa trash AfD stand, viciously attack candidate

    Schorndorf An AfD information booth in Schorndorf became a crime scene on Saturday. At around 9:45 am, Landtag candidate Stephan Schwarz was attacked by a mob from the left-wing extremist group Antifa. He was brought to the ground and beaten all over his body with sticks and kicked.

    Medical treatment for chronic patient refused for political reasons

    BerlinA political quarrel should end because the means to solve it is provided by law. Health has nothing to do with it - at least one should hope so. But the case of an AfD candidate in the Bundestag in Baden-Württemberg has raised serious doubt.

    French teacher under police protection after he reveals Islamization in Trappes

    TrappesIn France, a teacher received death threats after warning of the growing influence of Islamism in the country. The philosophy teacher Didier Lemaire says he is now under police protection, reported the AFP news agency. The Versailles prosecutor said they were investigating the threats.

    Go to archive