In the recently published “Ranking of press freedom” of the organization “Reporters without Borders” (RSF), Germany has slipped from rank 11 for 2020 to rank 13 and received only the rating “satisfactory” instead of “good”. CEO Michael Rediske called this a"clear alarm signal". He attributes the worsening of the situation to the “many attacks on corona demonstrations”. By this he does not mean the attacks of state power on journalists critical of the government in the course of the demonstrations, which were demonstrably there, but attacks by demonstrators on journalists, which were also there. For Germany, a better protection of the media by the police is therefore to be demanded.
In the ARD Tagesschau of 20 April 2021, RSF Managing Director Christian Mihr spoke of a five-fold increase in attacks on media professionals in Germany for the year 2020. Like Rediske, Mihr sees press freedom threatened in particular by the fact that journalists were repeatedly attacked by demonstrators at demonstrations against the corona measures of the government. The broadcast also stated that in many countries, government agencies threatened press freedom, for example in Brazil and China. In Germany, however, they are aggressive demonstrators. Mihr stated that in many other countries, “independent information is declared to be a hoax” so that journalists can be prosecuted.
The chairman of the German Journalists ' Association, Frank Überall, agreed with the RSF’s assessment of the threatened freedom of the Press in a statement. “Politicians must see the rankings as a wake-up call,” he said, and interior ministers must address the issue. “If the important fundamental right of freedom of the press and freedom of expression is ever further restricted, we have a massive problem in Germany,” says Überall. In 2021, too, there were attacks on reporters during the first months of corona demonstrations. “We are being insulted as system journalists,” explained the DJV representative. “Yes, we stand for the democratic System. Whoever rejects this has in us, so to speak, the right opponents.”
Repression of political reality
What is astonishing is the complacency with which these defenders of freedom of the press and expression appear. They obviously ignore or do not want to know that in the state-compliant media and by leading politicians propaganda is carried out, facts are suppressed or clouded and partly also lied, and that many people are now reacting aggressively to it. On closer examination, it can be stated that there is no more freedom of the press in Germany – as it has ever existed – because almost only pro-government opinions are disseminated. In addition, for years now in the leading media on important occasions reports and entire articles are taken over by dubious agencies, which obviously carry out propaganda in the sense of US politics. This is the real scandal that is not talked about, because it is not politically opportune.
If the Börsenverein des deutschen Buchhandels now calls for a" Week of Freedom of Expression 2021 " from 3 to 10 May, this may be well-intentioned, but it goes hand in hand with a suppression of political reality and is a sign of how far indoctrination has already progressed even among cultural workers. This is indicated, among other things, by the participation of the Soros-affiliated initiative “Die offene Gesellschaft”, which was founded in 2017 as an association in Berlin (speculator and multi-billionaire George Soros sponsors, for example “Regimental mechanics” and anti-Russian organizations such as the NATO-affiliated research network Bellingcat). In addition, several organizations are involved, which – apparently out of ignorance of the global political strategies of the USA – are committed to overthrow movements in Belarus, Myanmar or Hong Kong.
The Charter of Freedom of Expression, which the Börsenverein calls for to be signed, states:
“Freedom of expression requires a culture of debate for which both the state and civil society bear a responsibility… The use of violence against dissenters through physical and psychological intimidation, threats and financial pressure is inadmissible.”
These are pious wishes. It should be noted that there is no debate culture on precarious political issues in Germany and that physical and psychological intimidation as well as threats and pressure against dissidents emanate from the state as well as from civil society.
On 8 July 2020, in her inaugural speech for the EU Presidency, Chancellor Angela Merkel called for more effective protection against disinformation, hatred and incitement. If she also advocates truth and transparency in “our” democracy, this can no longer be surpassed in hypocrisy. Politicians courted by the leading media in particular stir up hatred against Russia through hate campaigns, defamation and slander. Critics of her corona policy, for example, would like to put Angela Merkel close to the mentally ill. In her New Year’s address from 31. On December 20, 2020, she told the population that the “conspiracy theories of the incorrigible” were “not only untrue and dangerous”, they were also “cynical and cruel”.
Disinformation as daily business
Leading politicians as well as renowned journalists want to fight incitement and fake news. But incitement and disinformation are their daily business, as is constantly evident in television, radio and newspapers. If it were not so fatal, one could call it a curiosity that government politicians and journalists turned to them want to fight incitement and lies, incitement and fake news.
The EU’s External Action Service also spreads fake news on a large scale when it comes to Russia. In 2016, a special unit called the" East StratCom Task Force “(East Strategic Communications Team) was formed to deal with alleged” large-scale organised propaganda " by Russian authorities in EU countries. Experts of the EU Commission are certain that Moscow pursues the goal of destabilizing the European Union and is engaged in “hybrid warfare” with targeted disinformation and uncertainty. A brazen reversal of the facts.
For example, according to the" fact-finders " of this obscure EU task force that scours all the media for alleged fake news, the NATO alliance of aggression, which violates its own statute, is a peace alliance, the 1999 war of aggression against Yugoslavia, which was illegal under international law, was justified on humanitarian grounds, and the massive Western armament does not endanger the system of global security, but serves peace. Those who hold a different opinion must be careful. The pressure on Google, Facebook and Twitter has been intensified and even punitive measures against so-called disinformers are under discussion. The aim is “to create a coordinated approach that is fully in line with our European values and fundamental rights”, according to the state-certified censors of the “Strategic Communication Team Ost”.
Furthermore, the EU Parliament is planning a regulation to prevent the spread of terrorist online content. Terrorist-organised activities, radicalisation and recruitment should be recognised and prevented at an early stage. A report by the “Institute for Civil Rights & Public Security” of the Faculty of Law at Berlin’s Humboldt University states:
“Central to the regulation are short deadlines within which Internet companies must remove criminal content. In addition, the Commission requires upload filters for already known “extremist” or “terrorist” material. For this purpose, the algorithms should draw on a database that YouTube, Google, Twitter and Facebook have started. No entire files are stored there, but their digital fingerprint. Europol operates a “reporting office” for Internet content in The Hague, which itself searches the Internet for allegedly criminal content and then sends requests for removal to the companies. To manage these reports, the EU Police Agency uses an “Internet Referral Management Application” (IRMa)… As part of a pilot project, France, the Netherlands and Belgium were connected to IRMa, followed in January by the BKA, which now operates its own “national reporting office”.”
The media war of the British against Russia, which is fueled again and again, corresponds exactly to this. At the beginning of 2019, leaks by the hacker group Anonymous led to the discovery of the originally secret British anti-Russia organisation “Integrity Initiative”, which has formed a propaganda cell in Germany to concentrate anti-Russian forces in the media and expert circles. The Russian news portal Sputnik Deutschland reported as follows:
“The aim is on the one hand to sabotage' pro-Russian ' positions and information and on the other hand to promote and launch anti-Russian campaigns in order to isolate Russia politically. While the focus is on the UK, ‘anti-Russian cells’ are to be built across Europe and beyond. The ‘Integrity Initiative’ is also active in the post-Soviet area, for example in Moldova, Serbia or Armenia, with further branches to follow.”
“Conglomerate of anti-Semites and absurd conspiracy theorists”
One of the protagonists of state control and surveillance is the Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder, who wants Querdenken 711 to be monitored by the Verfassungsschutz. In an interview with Münchner Merkur he said: “A growing conglomerate of right-wing extremists, Reichsbürgern, anti-Semites and absurd conspiracy theorists is developing, which even accuse politics of Satanism”. The Constitutional Protection had to take this development “closely under the magnifying glass”. Söder warned: “Everyone should take a close look at who you are demonstrating with.“Obviously, demonstrations should be prevented in the beginning.
How far the interference with freedom of the press and freedom of expression has gone in the meantime becomes clear when the journalist and editor of the critical Internet portal KenFM, Ken Jebsen, announces that he is leaving Berlin, where his studio is located. He has been defamed in the mainstream media, videos produced by him, some of which have received millions of views, have been blocked from YouTube, an assassination attempt has been carried out on him, he and his family are threatened. He justified his move as follows:
“The digital space in the Corona-FRG is getting tighter every day. Censorship is now commonplace and makes free journalism a stickler. KenFM is one of the largest press portals in the German-speaking world and is increasingly hampered in Berlin. … If we invite guests, their later lectures in public space will be prevented. Getting studios to interview guests in front of an audience has become almost impossible. And to top it all, YouTube arbitrarily deletes and blocks our publications.”
On 19 November 2020, KenFM and the Internet media Sputnik Deutschland, NuoViso and Rubikon were completely deleted from YouTube (subsidiary of Google).
Current examples of the incorrect reporting in the German media and the hypocrisy of the US-affine politicians are enough, one only needs to look at the newspaper and television or turn on the radio. There are reports of a reinforcement of Russia’s armed forces on its southwest border as an aggressive, peace-threatening “troop march”, but hardly a word is lost about the NATO maneuver “Defender 2021” with 28,000 soldiers in the Black Sea region. Alexei Navalny, convicted of violating probation and in custody, is portrayed in the Western media as a political persecutor of Vladimir Putin, while the whistleblower Julian Assange remains silent and is also denied that Navalny produced a propaganda film about an alleged palace of Putin on the Black Sea during his “convalescence” with support from the United States. And so on.
The US has declared Russia and for some time now also China as an enemy, and under Chancellor Merkel Germany has become not only the main player in the incitement against Russia, but also the military spearhead of NATO against the “enemy in the East”. They are also hounded against so-called conspiracy theorists, Putin sympathizers, Kremlin propagandists, anti-Semites and, in general, against all those who are critical of government policy. This is obediently taken over by the state-supporting media and large parts of the population, by the executive bodies anyway. From self-appointed judges to “protestants”, critics fall prey to ostracism, they may be discriminated against. About 50 actresses and actors, who had expressed themselves critically and satirically in short videos about the corona measures of the government, learned this. After all, there was a public discussion in the short term.
Media failure in the Corona-crisis
The extent to which the media failed in the corona crisis was demonstrated by the tightening of the Infection Protection Act, which provides for a questionable incidence value due to a controversial PCR test as the basis for serious interference with civil rights. That this is an arbitrary number game does not seem clear to many of the MPs who have decided on the law. The incidence value, which does not depend on the number of patients, but on the number of people tested positive, can be arbitrarily increased or reduced by more or less conducted tests, i.e. manipulated, it is therefore in no way suitable as a justification for state coercive measures, which even provide for curfews. But there was hardly any well-founded opposition to the amendment of the law, which clearly contains unconstitutional provisions, in the media; on the contrary, critics were insulted and defamed.
Article 5 (1) of the Basic Law states:
“Everyone has the right to express and disseminate his opinion freely in word, writing and image and to teach himself freely from generally accessible sources. Freedom of the press and the freedom of broadcasting and film reporting are guaranteed. Censorship does not take place.”
An excellent fundamental right! But the German reality is that everyone has his or her opinion and is even allowed to express it freely, but when it comes to its dissemination, the guarantee of the Basic Law ends. This is evident every day. What does not fit into the given grid will be censored or not published. More and more people understand this and dare to contradict it. One can hope for a broad democratic counter-movement.