- Karola Wille
ARD is one of three large agencies that constitute German public broadcasting. With a budget of about 8 billion euro per year Germany has the most expensive state propaganda machinery in the world.
The following article is based on a text by Dr. Wolfgang Hintze, originally published on the blog of civil rights hero Vera Lengsfeld.
Do you know the opposite of the state? Anti-statism? Independence from the state? Free media? All wrong! The answer is: the opposite of the state is tax-financed public broadcasting!
You don’t believe it? I first did neither, but Monday evening it was officially announced on news shows Tagesschau:
The model of a tax-financed broadcast is the exact opposite of the state, because the state does not pay for what it offers, but the citizens.
This cynical sentence, which mocked the population, was offered to the viewer. Those who understood it immediately are shocked, the rest can follow them next. Bear with me!
The citizen, who under the threat of state sanctions (i.e. drastic penalties) must pay a compulsory fee to preserve the ever-growing public broadcasters, is used as legitimization that public broadcasting is the opposite of the state.
The public service broadcaster is thus a kind of broadcasting from the citizen to the citizen, a circle of well-wishers who like to throw their money into the tithe.
There are two aspects: firstly, funding through a compulsory fee imposed by the state, and secondly the program offered for it. The fee/tax is indeed independent of whether the citizen can receive any program at all – an absurdity which can hardly be explained to any rational man.
In addition to the “Bread and Games” section, the contents are often state propaganda and a leadership cult, critical reports are a rarity. The Tagesschau is called by many “Aktuelle Kamera”, which was the name of the news show in socialist Eastern Germany, a show which people only accidentally saw if they did not change the channel in time. Free information is obtained from today’s “Western television”, the Internet.
Mathias Döpfner, President of the Federal Association of Newspaper Publishers, has now criticized public broadcasters with a bold comparison:
“It takes a variety of private media options. To have only state television and a state press representation on the internet would be rather to the taste of North Korea.”
ARD chairwoman Karola Wille, the woman who gave us the bonmot about the definition of the opposite of state, is outraged:
Such a choice of words plays into the hands of populists and conspiracy theorists. The ARD and the newspapers should rather stand together for what makes us strong and what our society needs. And that is credibility today, that is reliability, that is good journalism.
Well roared, lioness!
But who is Karola Wille? According to Wikipedia she was born in Karl-Marx-Stadt in Saxony [then GDR]. She entered the [socialist all-controlling party] SED at the age of 18, studied law in the lawless GDR, and worked at the Leipzig Institute for International Studies. The latter had a keen eye on the “class enemy”, i.e. Western Germany. She worked there with a high-ranking secret service member, a stasi officer. For some time she was also married with a military prosecutor of the GDR.
Honestly, who would not like to see Frau Wille at the highest post of the central propaganda department of the Federal Republic – the public service broadcasting agency ARD – with this impressive CV? Nobody has to wonder why people find the compulsive fee utterly cynical.