Attitude test for NDR journalists: outrage over CDU politician Maaßen
There are serious allegations: Ex-Constitutional Protection chief Hans-Georg Maaßen (CDU) sees a connection to the left and left-wing extremist scene in public broadcasting – without citing any evidence. He calls for an attitude test for journalists. Criticism is now coming from all sides. Even calls for resignation from their own party are getting louder.
In an interview with the private broadcaster “TV Berlin”, Maaßen called for the biographies of Tagesschau editors to be “put to the test”. He sees connections from public service journalists to the left and left-wing extremist scene.
Maaßen calls for an attitude test for journalists
It is a matter of checking whether “these people also have a character trait to accompany the Tagesschau through the editorial team,” says Maaßen. For example, there could be an investigation committee of the NDR, which is responsible for the Tagesschau and is based in Hamburg.
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When asked whether the CDU politician had evidence for his allegations, Maassen was unable to answer in the interview. His statements sparked a heated debate. Dirk Toepffer, CDU parliamentary group leader in the Lower Saxony state parliament, publicly called on Maaßen on Twitter to step down from his Bundestag candidacy and to leave the party.
Our freedom of the press is inviolable. Anyone who demands an attitude test for journalists falls behind in the darkest of times. That is not compatible with the values of the @CDU. @HGMaassen resign and leave the CDU.— Dirk Toepffer (@DirkToepffer) July 3, 2021
Serious allegations: NDR and Althusmann counter Maaßen
The CDU state chairman of Lower Saxony, Bernd Althusmann said to the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung”: “Maaßen is emphatically damaging the party with positions that we do not share. His call for a “character test” from journalists is unacceptable! If the fundamental values of the party for which he wants to move into the Bundestag mean nothing to Mr. Maaßen, he should look for another party. For us, the freedom of the press is and will remain inviolable ”.
NDR spokeswoman Barbara Jung announced in response to a dpa request that the Tagesschau had “high demands on objectivity and diligence in reporting”. She only follows journalistic criteria when selecting news. “The Tagesschau thus stands for balanced, comprehensible and fact-based journalism.”
Criticism from the German Association of Journalists
Criticism also comes from Frank Überall, the chairman of the German Association of Journalists (DJV).An apology is urgently needed!https://t.co/ShvQKBKNxp— Association of Journalists (@DJVde) July 4, 2021
The DJV Thuringia is also outraged and invokes Article 5 of the Basic Law in a tweet – which protects freedom of expression and freedom of the press.
Mind tests for journalists. Perhaps the @cdu_thueringen should clarify the relationship of their candidate # Maaßen to Article 5 of the Basic Law.https://t.co/DAD1W1EmB7— DJV Thuringia (@DJVThueringen) July 4, 2021
Maaßen is running for the Bundestag in the election on September 26th in a constituency in southern Thuringia, which also includes the city of Suhl. He is controversial because of his stance on the federal government’s refugee policy, among other things. Politicians from the SPD, the Greens and the Left have repeatedly accused the CDU of fishing with measures on the right edge.
SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil linked a critical tweet with the tv.berlin video on Twitter and wrote with a view to the CDU boss and candidate for chancellor: “And Armin Laschet is silent.”
(dpa / lmr).