Skip to Content

Banner from Identitarians displayed in Cologne. Photo: IB
Cologne

Dispute over German broadcaster’s “environmental pig” song continues

Several editors from German public broadcaster WDR have accused director Tom Buhrow of harming the broadcaster with the so-called "environmental pig" affair. On Tuesday there will therefore be an editorial meeting in which Buhrow will also take part.

Published: January 7, 2020, 5:38 am

    Read more

    “We are – as many of you are sure – stunned,” the editor’s representative noted in an internal circular letter, according to a report by the dpa news agency.

    The editors are stunned “of course not about a satire that may be a matter of taste; no, we are stunned that the programme director of WDR2 has a video deleted with a satirical children’s song, and above all that director Tom Buhrow so easily gives in to a controversy apparently orchestrated by right-wing extremists, hastily distances himself editorially and does not only apologize personally, but in the process repeatedly in public (including live at WDR2), stabbing editors in the back instead of strengthening their voices in times of a staged outrage against the WDR and the ÖRR [public service broadcasting]”. Buhrow thus endangered the freedom of broadcasters to do whatever they like.

    The case had caused violent reactions between Christmas and New Year’s. The occasion was a video with the WDR children’s choir, in which they sang about a grandmother being “an old environmental pig”. To emphasize the insult, a freelancer at WDR went one step further and turned the “environmental pig grandma” into a “Nazi pig grandma” .

    Criticism of the song quickly spread on social networks. Users accused the WDR of politically abusing the children and playing young against old, thereby inciting a generation gap.

    Buhrow justified his criticism of the song again on Friday and rejected the allegation that he had listened to conservatives.

    “You can’t stop these kinds of people, you can’t control them. And I don’t make my decisions dependent on them,” he said.

    Hundreds of seniors and their grandchildren had expressed their displeasure on the phone. And these were real expressions of emotion from otherwise well-meaning listeners. “It was immediately clear to us that these people were not part of an orchestrated thing.”

    Meanwhile, members of the Identity Movement protested against the broadcaster on Sunday afternoon at the WDR broadcasting center near Cologne Cathedral Square. They posted a banner with the words “Stop WDR media agitation – sabotage GEZ” at the broadcasting center and threw leaflets from the top floor.

    GEZ is a German public agency, which collects fees for German public broadcasting. In other words, the GEZ is a state organisation that takes money from the people to produce public TV and radio programmes to produce propaganda.

    The fee is justified on the basis that the government wants to provide “a diversity of high-quality programmes on television, on the radio, online and in media libraries” without having to rely on commercial networks and advertising.

    The justification is similar to that in other countries which are committed to public broadcasting, although the German system is managed in a different way.

    Unlike the UK’s licensing system or Australia’s income tax-based charge, the German TV tax is charged on a per household basis – which is not a very equitable system since those sharing a house or flat are liable to pay the same as single inhabitant.

    According to the Identitarian’s statements, they wanted to send a signal against “against increasing media propaganda”.

    The Rund­funk­beitrag is a letter informing you about your obligations under the German TV and radio tax and requires each household to pay €17.50 per month towards the Beitragsservice, which is the public service institution in charge of German public broadcasters on TV and radio.

    In effect, a five-person shared house in which students live, pays the same per month as a grandmother living on her own.

    It is to be hoped that IB Germany’s action against the WDR will encourage even more citizens to protest peacefully against the conversion of public television channels into left-wing propaganda centers.

    In response to the peaceful protests of the IB, the station was immediately cordoned off like a crime scene and one got the impression that a terrorist attack had taken place.

    In a statement, IB said: “We are protesting against the latest excesses of the ideologically motivated agitation of public service broadcasting, which mocks honest citizens and tries to incite the generations against each other. The much-criticized ‘environmental pig’ video triggered a broad wave of outrage, but is actually only the tip of a gigantic iceberg of propaganda contributions from the state media, which is fed with compulsory fees.

    “The public service media, which are committed to neutrality and balanced information, have long since given up their critical distance from government power and are instead pursuing ideological indoctrination and paternalism.

    It was our concern to express the justified anger of millions of contributors about this scandalous development through a spectacular campaign.”

    After the IB operation, the police noted the personal details of five men between the ages of 20 and 33. According to a witness, the area at Wallrafplatz was cordoned off and the IB activists were stopped by police.

    The state police of Cologne are currently investigating IB members for violating the Assembly Act and trespassing.

    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

    Freedom of expression: Poland to fine tech giants that censor users

    WarsawIn the mainstream media, Poland has been branded as a country which does not respect the "foundations of democracy". But it is precisely Poland that is now at the forefront of freedom of expression on social media. According to a proposed bill in Poland, social media that censors users will be forced to pay multi-million euro fines.

    Social unrest explodes in the Netherlands after Corona curfew

    The HagueSome 240 people were arrested, mostly in Amsterdam, after riots broke out in at least 10 cities across the Netherlands on Sunday evening. On Saturday night was the first curfew in the Netherlands since the end of World War II, and police arrested scores of young foreign men and handed out 3 600 fines for curfew violations. 

    The EU ignores neutrality, provides funding to undermine political foes

    BrusselsCountries in the EU are theoretically bound to the neutrality obligation in its use of tax revenues: The taxpayer's money must not be used for political purposes. But just as the German government wants to spend 1 billion euros in the next four years on the so-called “fight against the right”, the EU is funding a network of “civil society” NGOs that represent clearly left-wing politics, actively combatting conservative politicians and their parties – Matteo Salvini and Viktor Orban are but two examples.

    Seven dead after Corona vaccination in German old people’s home

    MiesbachThe most important lesson to be drawn from the Corona crisis appears that it has become a great risk to be a retirement home resident. If one is assigned to such an institution, one invariably gives up basic human rights. At first it was "only" the restrictions on freedom of movement and contact with loved ones that the elderly had to endure, but now it is the Corona vaccination, which one can hardly avoid in these custodial institutions.

    Referendum in Switzerland could end government-imposed Covid restrictions

    GeneveSwitzerland will hold a referendum that could stop the government from imposing lockdown measures. The country has not introduced a lockdown like many other European countries, but has instead - like Sweden - mainly emphasized personal responsibility. In terms of the spread of infection and the number of deaths, it is about the same as in Sweden.

    Armin Laschet to lead Angela Merkel’s CDU as new chairman

    The Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous of the 16 states of Germany, Armin Laschet was elected as the new CDU chairman at the digital CDU party conference on Saturday. In the runoff election he prevailed with 521 votes against his toughest competitor Friedrich Merz (466 votes). In a nutshell, the party establishment pushed through its candidate, while the voter's candidate failed.

    The new rise of ISIS in Syria: The reasons and possible consequences

    Deir EzzorThe Syrian province of Deir Ezzor is back in the news after Israel's devastating airstrikes on Syria. However, against this background, most of the Western media has overlooked other events that may prove to be far more important to the security of both the Middle East and Europe.

    Italy: A poll that could become a nightmare for the left

    RomeBad news for the Democratic Party in Italy, which has seen Giorgia Meloni's party dangerously approaching them in the polls. Fratelli d'Italia (FdI) seems to be making great strides towards becoming the second largest party in the country after the Lega led by Matteo Salvini.

    Violent crime rises dramatically in French countryside new data reveals

    ParisA particularly worrying assessment of crime in the French countryside has seen the light. Crime is on the rise almost everywhere in France according to the 2020 report from the SSMI - Statistical Service of the French Ministry of the Interior .

    Islamist currents in France desperate to hinder ‘Charter of Values’

    ParisThe numbers are overwhelming, and so are the testimonials. Data collected by French pollster Ifop for the Jaurès Foundation, which had interviewed several teachers confronted with political Islam even in their classes, paint a dreary picture.

    Go to archive