Something horrible has happened, if I The Telegraph must believe, something that will bring public broadcasting in the Netherlands to the brink of collapse if countermeasures are not taken soon.
“Left-wing politicians are offered a stage from Hilversum at the expense of the taxpayer, are allowed to interfere with so-called independent journalistic work and can even help decide on the moment of broadcasting,” according to the newspaper. the commentary in the newspaper.
I would have liked to see a list of those corrupt politicians plus a list of all the programs and broadcasters influenced by them, but even with three full pages of many suggestive headlines and insinuating sentences, De Telegraaf cannot meet my needs. They prefer to target Sigrid Kaag there, who is said to have collaborated on a shameful documentary about her person.
She was not wearing her seat belt in that documentary, something D66 had wanted to obscure (but what was in it anyway and which no viewer had noticed), she had been spotted in Niger near champagne bottles (which were already there) and she had also grumbled at certain MPs, whose names had been deleted.
Isn’t it astonishing? It is very understandable that the editors of De Telegraaf were gagging with excitement when they saw these alarming facts, thanks in part to their friends from No styletried to present as bold as possible.
At last they had her: ‘the Kaagmens’, that haughty creature who looked down on them and who, to their great regret, had such a success in the last election. She had to be broken. Preferably an article or column against that bitch every week. Kaag was the new Femke Halsema; they hadn’t gotten them away yet, but they kept snooping on her, you bet. But first Kaag. Well, they would be accused of misogyny again, but had they ever said a bad word about Fleur Agema and Annabel Nanninga? Oh no? Well then! They simply hated the left, they would rather see Geert Wilders in power than Jesse Klaver, but they had never made that a secret, had they?
So much for the ideas of De Telegraaf editors, as they have been blowing at me for years. Facts count less than prejudices. If you critically examine this Kaag affair, you will not see any startling facts – mainly empty suspicions and hot-headed rhetoric.
A broadcaster, the VPRO in this case, wants to follow a minister for three years. Every journalist knows that this is only possible if the politician involved has prior access to the end result. In such a case, changes must be negotiable. There is a game of give and take. An agile journalist makes modest concessions, but leaves the essentials untouched.
This is how the VPRO operated. There is nothing to show that Kaag and her environment fundamentally manipulated this documentary. At most, they could have been more reserved in their suggestions for changes, and the VPRO could have rejected them more forcefully – but that’s about it.
Kaag does not have to break down yet, even though they think differently at De Telegraaf, GeenStijl and of course the PVV. And let Halsema stay for a while.
Also read this article: D66 and ministry interfered with VPRO documentary about Sigrid Kaag
A version of this article also appeared in NRC in the morning of July 2, 2021