Despite the fact that print media is dwindling rapidly and all news services have internet blogs, large corporations and the German state media pretend that they are the arbiters of truth, utterly different from internet sites like The Daily Wire, Breitbart or The Intercept.
Bertelsmann, the biggest publishing corporation in the world, which is largely run by Angela Merkel’s close friend Liz Mohn, has now broadcast a hit piece against all things internet.
The video starts at a Pegida march. The journalists complain that journalists are not liked and ask people for their opinions.
One unidentified man says that the media is aligned with the powerful, the next one says that we are lied to and vital information is withheld from the public like ‘in darkest GDR times’. GDR is short for German Democratic Republic, which was the name of the socialist dictatorship in Eastern Germany.
Where do people get information from if they distrust the media? One gentleman says he gets news every Monday at the protest marches. One man mentions Breitbart and JouWatch.
JouWatch or Journalistenwatch is a news site founded by author Thomas Böhm. Böhm used to work for various mainstream publications such as taz, Tagesspiegel, Stern, Vogue, tip and Zitty. I quote JouWatch regularly on my blog and regard them as a serious source of information.
According to Bertelsmann’s RTL the topics are already problematic: crimes committed by immigrants, dangers of civil war and the looming of Islamisation.
The Bertelsmann report complains that ‘politicians are defamed’, ‘Merkel is seen as the primary enemy of the state’ and it presents some Russian site that I have never seen in my life before that says Martin Schulz’ father was a concentration camp guard. ‘None of it is true’, says the voice from the off. This ‘it’ stretches at least to ‘Merkel is an enemy’. It is even likely to suggest that everything on the internet is untrue.
They then close in on website ‘unzensuriert.at’, which has 600,000 monthly viewers from Germany and 1.5 million viewers in total. The numbers are wrong. This is the statistics. In TOTAL it only has 200,000 visitors across countries. Few people know the site.
Before the reporter goes undercover to bust this tiny little news blog, they characterize it. The articles ‘try to stir outrage’, which is something the mainstream media apparently can’t be found guilty of.
The site has a category called ‘daily an individual case greets you’ which deals with police reports on crimes committed by immigrants. The Bertelsmann lady says ‘purported crimes committed by immigrants’.
We see her go to a job interview. The drama music is on, the building is called a “student fraternity building” with ‘darkish, cold rooms’; the ‘stucco comes off the wall’.
Editor of the news site is Alexander Höferl, who is also communication director of conservative party FPÖ. He tells the undercover lady that his site aligns with Austria’s FPÖ and Germany’s AfD. In other words, it is a conservative news site.
Bertelsmann runs a mini study on the reporting over the previous fortnight. The result is that:
- one positive article each on the topics Russia and family
- three positive articles about AfD
- two negative articles each on gender mainstreaming and the EU
- six negative articles about the mainstream media
- eight negative articles about Islam
- and a whopping 150 negative articles about immigration
They obviously hand-picked a website that is conservative, but basically very obsessed with one issue. That’s probably the reason why it hardly grabbed my attention and has only 600,000 viewers in Germany.
To the tune of thriller music the lady’s voice says the site ‘creates animus against migrants and competing political parties’. Bear in mind that “serious” media creates animus against Russians, Americans, the Polish, the French, Hungarians, Israel and conservatives.
‘The truth seems to be secondary’, says the lady. As an example she presents a situation where she is confronted with an article that says that apartments in Hamburg are confiscated to accommodate refugees. The article is wrong. There is a law that allows empty flats to be turned over to accommodate refugees, but it was not used at the time.
It is indeed a sloppy mistake. The lady asserts, ‘in professional media there is a duty to only publish what one has checked’. We all see far too many mistakes on your side, girl! The mistake is, however, immaterial because she guns for more and throws her net to catch all the news sources and unzensuriert’s way of fact checking. Alexander Höferl finds an article published on David Berger’s Philosophia Perennis which he believes confirms the information in question.
Dr. David Berger is a well-known author and publisher, who sourced his article with information from the Gatestone Institute. Gatestone sourced to mainstream media outlets, predominantly to newspaper Berliner Zeitung. Both Berger and Gatestone were transparent about their sources.
Finally the lady complains that the news site is aligned with right-wing parties and that it is not ‘objective’. The site does not claim to be objective. Bertelsmann, mainly headed by Angela Merkel’s close friend Liz Mohn, claims to be objective.