Quo Vadis Deutschland? (Part II – The Media)
The role of the media in forming public opinion and behavioural patterns in the populations in the Western world is indisputable. Whoever controls the media, controls the masses.
In post-war Germany, the Western occupying powers sought to establish a "democracy" in the West Zone (later the Federal Republic of Germany) based on the Anglo-Saxon model, and for this they needed the media to restore the people's lost faith in authority, the state and its institutions, as well as to "denazify" society. These aims were largely achieved through newly founded media formats and the restructuring of existing press organs. With freedom of the press and freedom of opinion guaranteed in the German constitution, the media came to be seen as the "fourth estate" in the democratic separation of powers. The news magazine Der Spiegel, gained the reputation of being the "assault gun of democracy" because of its critical and objective reporting and shaping of public opinion – with regard to German domestic politics... However, during the Cold War and on the international level, German media outlets predominantly toed the line of the Western states and disseminated their narratives.
The people trusted "their" media, and it gave them a sense of pride. Whenever the majority of Germans would settle down in front of their TV sets every evening at 8 p.m. to watch the main news programme "Die Tagesschau" ("The Daily News") on the prime ARD channel... or whenever they turned the pages of the latest edition of "Der Spiegel" every Monday, they felt assured that they were being provided with all the major local and international news in a critical and objective manner. The newscasters, presenters and commentators on the flickering screens all radiated an aura of respectability, credibility and trust. Back then everything was in order with their world. But today... that's all a myth.
Most of the providers of mainstream media in Germany have long been integrated into the transatlantic alliance, just like their politicians. In 2014, the creators of the satirical TV show "Die Anstalt" ["The Mental Institute"] produced by the ZDF network [the Second German Broadcaster], portrayed this collusion in one of their skits and named some of the more renowned and prestigious German newspapers involved, such as "Die Zeit", "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ)" "Bild" and others. As a result, Die Zeit sued the satirists but were defeated in court. Today, the court would most likely have upheld the suit and ruled against the satirists.
The German public were already being primed by the media for their war against Russia years ago (particularly after the return of the Crimea to the Russian Federation) with the ceaseless demonization of President Vladimir Putin.
For some weeks now, mainstream media's close association with the political establishment has been the subject of a particularly heated discussion in the "alternative media". The "scandals" exposing these close associations are multiplying. There is talk not only of nepotism, but also of the outright censorship of articles critical of the government. Some television and radio journalists have gone public and exposed the blatant misconduct of their bosses. The bosses then either resign or are dismissed and are simply replaced by others equally loyal to the government.
The television and radio broadcasters, including the ARD and ZDF, Germany's two largest TV networks, are chiefly financed by the public through monthly fees (€18,36 a month), which are obligatory for every citizen living in Germany, whether they take advantage of these services or not. In turn, these networks are obliged by their statutes to provide independent and neutral reporting.
But now, anything in the media that does not toe the government line is claimed to be "disinformation". A government whistleblower recently leaked an internal government document to the "NachDenkSeiten" (a reputable, widely read internet news site, critical of the government), which was published in an article on 29th September 2022. The NachDenkSeiten wrote the following:
"The document, entitled “Ongoing activities of the departments and authorities against disinformation in connection with Russia's war against Ukraine”, comprises a total of 10 pages and meticulously lists the relevant activities of the federal ministries and subordinate agencies as of 27th June 2022."
The document details a "10-point Resilience Plan". The 5th point in the "Resilience Plan" is focussed on the cooperation with the press.
"... It states that the concept of a 'task force on countering disinformation' was successfully introduced into the media. In the document, (Russian) 'disinformation' is understood as everything that corresponds to a reproduction of the official Russian position... and this exclusively in relation to the Russian side. (...) Another aspect of the plan is the 'outreach into the parliamentary arena', i.e. the influencing of members of the Bundestag and state parliaments. Not an unproblematic undertaking, considering the existing separation of powers between the executive and the legislative branches."
In addition, contacts and discussions with platform operators of social networks such as Twitter, Meta, Google and Telegram, among others, are to be intensified and conducted at top level, involving the parliamentary state secretary, "in order to sensitise them to state-directed disinformation".
Even children and young people in schools and universities will not be spared: ...influence is also to be exerted on the "curricula in schools and with the involvement of adult education centres and volunteer-run structures".
Furthermore, the Foreign Ministry "plans to support projects of the German foreign broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) and the DW Akademie". This plan effectively contravenes the Deutsche Welle Act, in which the broadcaster is committed to the independent formation of public opinion and neutrality.
According to the document, "the Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) is also planning a new funding programme 'with a focus on promoting news literacy amongst the entire population in order to combat disinformation'." The document goes on to mention: "the unspecified use of junior reporters from the age of 6 against 'disinformation': junior reporters – promoting news competence and thus resilience against disinformation of 6-14 year olds through active media work".
This is nothing short of a blatant plan for the outright manipulation and indoctrination of the entire population from the age of 6. The whistleblower told NachDenkSeiten ...that this document is only "the tip of the iceberg" and the projects listed are not even complete [...] and that the German public would not have a clue as to what else was going on in the background...
To all this, no document drawn up by the Federal Government has ever presented a clear and consolidated definition of the "disinformation propagated by the Russian Federation"...."the Federal Government (...) lumps everything and anything together that resembles a reproduction of official Russian positions and views under the battle cry "disinformation" – which is to be contained, by any means necessary."
The infiltration of the mainstream media in Germany through "international" private media corporations and transatlantic organisations was launched back in the 1970s and culminated after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the institution of neoliberal policies. Today most mainstream media are either owned by a single media corporation, or they have loyal transatlanticists planted in their editorial offices and boards who direct and determine everything for the benefit of themselves and the governments they have taken over (see Operation Mockingbird).
At the onset of the so-called "corona pandemic", the government was slow to take any active countermeasures, but mainstream media in all its forms (large and small, public and private TV and radio broadcasters) fomented fear and panic. Renowned and experienced scientists and virologists calling for prudence and reason were attacked, denounced and declared enemies of society by the media. The branches of the government that were reluctant to take action were put under pressure by the media to adopt rigorous, albeit preposterous measures for the purported "protection of the population". The political establishment and the media – which until then had praised individualism, propagated it and canonised it as one of the highest values of Western man... and had been contributing to the neoliberal fragmentation of communities – suddenly discovered "solidarity" and "communality", while pursuing their policies of further dividing society (more on this later in the next article).
The demonization and denunciation of critics of the corona measures and of the government's policies regarding Russia and the war in Ukraine is ongoing in the media and the political establishment. The mainstream media has degenerated into the shabby mouthpiece of the political establishment and capital. Having privatised censorship and outsourced it to the media and social network corporations (Google, FaceBook, YouTube & Co), the government can still claim that freedom of speech in Germany prevails and that it has no hand in censorship – which is a "private matter".
Just as it had fomented fear and panic during the corona saga and just like in its campaign against Syria and Assad, the media has now focussed its activities on fomenting Russophobia. It declares Russia, the Russian people and especially Putin as an individual to be the sworn enemies of "democracy and freedom and "western values"... This harks back to the time when Nazis viewed Russians as "Untermenschen".
Frankly, the statement that the media has become the "mouthpiece" of the political establishment is not all that accurate, because the media and the political establishment are actually two sides of the same coin – they play off each other. Where the political establishment becomes soft or inactive, mainstream journalists intervene and influence policies.
Another farce is the recent attack on the NordStream 1 and 2 gas pipelines. With regard to who the perpetrator is or could be, the German government either remains silent, gazes hesitantly and cautiously in the direction of Kiev or... points its finger at the usual suspect, namely Putin. Mainstream journalists have had to resort to ludicrous verbal acrobatics to end up with only one possible culprit: Putin. The 30-headed elephant in the room – USA/NATO – is never alluded to, although the circumstantial evidence is only too obvious. All are busy scratching their heads, wondering who dunnit.... The government and the media would be well advised to show a little more imagination by learning from the Taleban for once: In recent months, many houses in villages in northern Afghanistan were set on fire and burned to the ground. The Taleban sent out a fact-finding mission to investigate the case. In the end they concluded that the arson was the work of djinns.
The referendums in Eastern Ukraine for entry into the Federation of Russia were dubbed "sham referendums" by the media. In this case, the political establishment set the tone: foreign minister Annalena Baerbock commented on the referendums in a talk show via video [from 05:24], insisting they were totally unacceptable, because the local people were threatened, raped and forced to cast their vote at gunpoint with Kalashnikovs.
Patrik Baab, a renowned journalist with a good name and many years of experience, had dared to set off to Eastern Ukraine (to Donetsk, Lugansk and Donbass) to report on the referendums on site. A "colleague" at the news portal "t-online.de" intervened and described Baab's mission as a "dubious" act to legitimise and portray the referendums in a positive light with his presence in eastern Ukraine; he went on to publicly denounce Baab as a Russophile and a "Putinversteher" (the awkward German expression for "Putin sympathisers"). The T-Online journalist later boasted that, as a result of his article, Baab was showered with public condemnation over his mission and dismissed from the Hochschule für Medien und Kommunikation and from the University of Kiel, where he was a lecturer.
There are many similar cases, but listing them here is beyond the scope of this article. Any journalist who tries to report objectively and neutrally on Russia, Ukraine and the war is digitally pilloried by the mainstream media and presented as a traitor. Only in some internet portals of the "alternative media" is it possible to exercise criticism and report objectively – that is, so far... Because the government is aiming to put a stop to this option as well. The monstrous Western/NATO propaganda machine has never been as ramped up as it is now in "Causa Corona" and Ukraine. But it is gradually becoming overheated and threatened with getting more sand thrown in its gears. Its engineers, however, carry on unruffled as they devise ever new tactics of suppression and oppression. They all expect major uprisings, as Ms Baerbock once proclaimed.
Today, 77 years after the Nazi dictatorship, one can once again speak of the "Gleichschaltung" of large sections of the media in Germany. Goebbels must be dying of laughter in hell.