Uniformity of Opinion in Germany, and the State Indoctrination That Produces It

The SPD politician Thilo Sarrazin is known for his provocative statements about immigration and Islam. As we reported last night, Mr. Sarrazin was recently a guest speaker at an event at the University of Siegen, and was vigorously protested by progressive students.

The video below is an editorial comment by RTL WEST head Jörg Zajonc, who objects to the widespread attempts to silence dissident opinions.

Many thanks to MissPiggy for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

However, the uniformity of opinion decried by Mr. Zajonc is not a bug in German culture, but a feature. It is seen as the responsibility of teachers, journalists, and commentators to ensure that their audience is directed towards the correct opinions.

As MissPiggy (who translated this one, too) put it:

The state broadcasting agitator Anja Reschke declared on Swiss television (on the German-language network 3sat) to the stunned presenter that in Germany, journalists have an “educational mission”, because the citizens would otherwise overthrow “the government”.

Once again, thanks to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript #1:

00:00   RTL WEST — Daily — 6pm
00:03   RTL WEST — The New Magazine — for all NRW [North Rhine-Westphalia]
00:07   A lecture about freedom of speech is being protested, because the person giving the lecture
00:11   has an opinion. An opinion that’s not allowed. And anyone supports him is a Nazi.
00:16   Exaggerate much? Who determines what is allowed to be said or not said?
00:20   How about what opinions we’re allowed to have or not have? Of course, only those which don’t
00:24   break any current laws. There has been an increase in people who feel morally superior,
00:29   and they have declared war on people who think differently. More recently, even to the point
00:32   of spilling blood. They are creating an atmosphere of fear, and call it freedom.
00:36   They threaten others and call it peaceful. They call for togetherness and practice marginalisation.
00:41   This is always done in the name of a supposedly tolerant society, but that’s not tolerant at all.
00:46   It is perverted. The word for tolerance come from Latin. It means to bear, suffer, endure.
00:52   You can only be tolerant when you put up with something you oppose. Only then are you
00:57   enduring it. My request is that you speak with each other, listen to each other
01:02   and stop the abuse. Not everything we think is always right.
01:06   And not everything the other thinks is always wrong.
01:10   RTL WEST — Daily — 6pm
01:13   RTL WEST — The New Magazine — for all NRW

Video transcript #2 (Note: this is a composite and shows the times from two separate original clips):

00:00   If I now consider us — as a public broadcaster or even the German press and media landscape
00:04   in general — why do we exist? How was it founded, anyway? Why did we have, after the
00:07   war, let’s say, it was Sir Hugh Green at that time who gave German
00:12   public broadcasting the order to preserve democracy. That’s an order to the press.
00:18   That’s why only those publishers were given licenses who weren’t Nazis so that we could
00:23   have a country or rather a press or a media landscape in order to educate the citizenry to
00:30   become responsible citizens of a democracy. To train them to be able to participate in
00:38   elections. —That reminds me of… —My favorite question to journalists.
00:45   Re-education. This was carried out, for example, with German prisoners of war in Great Britain.
00:50   It was done openly. It was no secret. It wasn’t a secret project. They were re-educated.
00:56   Yes. That’s the term. I know I am taking a risk and I know already what kind of reaction
01:01   this will provoke. —Please do. —It is my favorite question to journalists. I always ask,
01:04   “Do you have an educational mandate?” NO! No. They say they explain things. Hmm.
01:11   OK, but explain what and why? Ok, so an explanation. Of course our job isn’t to force
01:17   someone in a certain direction through education by telling them
01:20   “you must think Trump is stupid” or “you must think that all refugees are great”. No,
01:24   of course not. But to explain or at least educate. Yes, an explanation in the sense
01:30   that one becomes a citizen who begins to think, and makes responsible decisions and
01:36   namely is responsible from the grassroots. Which brings me back to the constitution.
01:39   In the end, of course, I don’t want through my reporting to educate citizens who
01:43   would subsequently overthrow the government. That’s not what is intended.
01:48   Even though most will say they don’t have an educational mandate, in the end, I think
01:53   it was an educational mandate.
  — — —
00:00   “…but to explain or at least educate. Yes, an explanation in the sense that one becomes
00:05   a citizen who begins to think, and makes responsible decisions and namely is
00:10   responsible from the grassroots. Which brings me back to the constitution.
00:13   In the end, of course, I don’t want through my reporting to educate citizens who
00:17   would subsequently overthrow the government. That’s not what is intended.
00:22   Even though most will say they don’t have an educational mandate,
00:25   in the end, I think it was an educational mandate. In fact, if you take a look
00:31   at how Germany was after the war, I re-enacted it in a story on my show, and
00:36   it was not entirely clear to me before. It’s mind-blowing.

9 thoughts on “Uniformity of Opinion in Germany, and the State Indoctrination That Produces It

  1. “In the end, of course, I don’t want through my reporting to educate citizens who
    01:43 would subsequently overthrow the government. That’s not what is intended.”

    This translation above is correct. But the headline added presumably by Vlad Tepes and taken on by GoV is false, namely:
    “journalists educate, otherwise people would overthrow the government”.

    This wording insinuates that Reschke is saying that she admits some need to overthrow the government and that journalists’ job is to stop such overthrow in advance. We are to believe that she has admitted her real agenda as Lügenpresse.

    But this is not proved by what she said. She is quite conservative, she is saying that she sees the job as educating ie pointing out shortcomings in governments, without inciting government overthrow.

    The key words which Vlad has put in her mouth are “otherwise” or “or”. But they are not in the translation of what she said.

    Now I myself would be very happy if she had in fact spilt the beans, i.e. said what Vlad or GoV are alleging.

    Because lying by omission is indeed the stock in trade of her employer, German public TV; currently, it matches the New York Times for anti-Trump hysterical Russophobia.

    But we cannot misquote the enemy, it is tactically very unwise as it leaves us with an unguarded flank.

    • Both translations: “In the end, of course, I don’t want through my reporting to educate citizens who would subsequently overthrow the government. That’s not what is intended” and “journalists educate, otherwise people would overthrow the government” have the same meaning in English which is my native language. Neither statement insinuates that Reschke is saying that she admits some need to overthrow the government. Both seem to convey her complicitness to Lügenpresse to create consensus in the public not to overthrow the government.

      “Sir Hugh Green at that time who gave German Public Broadcasting the order to preserve democracy. That’s an order to the press.” – 17 to 26 seconds.

      …and when Germans say democracy they mean socialism. Just as all socialists mean it. Obey that order she will.

      The context is a well established one of the collusion between “official” bought and paid for media mouthpieces and the STATE that is the official, establishment governing body which is a bought and very well paid for the entity of authority. This is the context of both statements to which we understand the messaging very well. So yes she did spill the beans despite being a conservative poseur. Such people do this from time to time such as when Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC, 20170222, made the statement: “The dangerous edges here, he’s trying to undermine the media, … he could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think, and that is our job.”

      See? Context is king and I fail to see the misquotation of any ‘enemy’. Nor do I see any unguarded flank. I think the strict adherence to the verbatim from German to English is never going to be a good one. Maybe if you translate it into French and then into Italian before translating it to English might end with different results. But I do understand the democratic worldview of such media personalities whether they appear conservative or otherwise.

  2. Since I don’t speak any German, I rely on our German-speaking translators to provide these transcripts for subtitles, plus the introductory summaries. These include MissPiggy, Egri Nök, Ava Lon, Rembrandt Clancy, and others.

    Other German-speakers are invited to weigh in on whether or not Miss Piggy’s précis of Ms. Reschke’s intended meaning is accurate.

  3. Though I can ‘ t stand Ms.Reschke, she seems to equal education and enlightenment and is not very clear about a distinction. But wouldn’t that be nitpicking? This is not a seminar in semantics. Isn’t any information that is true educative, or enlightening, at that? And in this respect,Ms. Reschke fails in her show: there are two recent terms in german about the media. There is ” Lügenpresse” ( blatantly lying press) and ” Lückenpresse” ( manipulate through omission of information) , which is more frequent and less offendable.
    Let me briefly illustrate by an example of the self- imposed ethic rules of the media: the origin of a perpetrator shall only be mentioned if the crime is related to the ethnic background.Period. So for a djihadi, no problem, it even seems to cheer the masochist hacks up when it’s a German.But what about drug dealers, murderers, thieves, muggers? It was always ” a man / a german citizen from” ( the latter is telltale for : muslim with german passport) , whereas in the case of an ethnic German, it is always some Herman K. from…. You get the picture? Newspeak at its best.

  4. I’ve listened to this carefully and don’t think the phrase “otherwise people would overthrow the government” catches Ms. Reschke’s meaning accurately. To my understanding, she means, her viewers are to be educated to think for themselves and, based on facts, on explanations, to be enabled to question things, but at the same time not to question them so far that they would overthrow the government. All of this is quite overbearing, of course, considering that her viewers are adult people who shouldn’t need her “education” to think for themselves, but she does not say – as the headline implies – that without her educational efforts people would overthrow the government.

  5. The Western Media is 99% in the tank for Progressive/Socialist causes. No interview(s) will change this fact regardless of what individual members of the press say. As Glenn Reynolds @ Instapundit quotes all the time:

    “Modern journalism is all about deciding which facts the public shouldn’t know because they might reflect badly on Democrats.”

  6. Why focus on the Germans? We have exactly the same thing in the US. The most nauseating example is the almost unanimous vote in the US House of Representatives to reprimand Steve King for his comments:

    “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King asked the paper. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”

    He was also stripped of his committee assignments. I know Baron doesn’t like the term “cuck” but it fits the Republicans in the House of Representatives just so beautifully. The think that blacks and Hispanics will vote for them in greater numbers if they jump on a pile-up on a Republican who says something faintly outside the bounds.

    The very accepted usage of “cuck” by the way, derives from “cuckold”, a man whose wife cheated on him, and means a Republican who tramples underfoot the real practice of genuine conservatism and nationalism.

    Anyway, I wrote a letter to my Representative protesting the action against King. I actually got a phone call from an aide. I made the point that the Congress is the greatest deliberative body in the world, debating issues of national and international importance. Why in the world would you want to stifle the free expression of ideas by enforcing censure and humiliation on someone who ventured briefly out of the bounds of political correctness? That means we will be deciding wars, national policy, crime and educational mandates with deliberately incomplete information.

    I would have been upset if a majority of Republicans had voted in favor of the reprimand, but it was unanimous. Even King groveled in the dirt (to no avail, of course). That means there is not one representative with a backbone. Not one. The only dissenter was a senile black legislator from Chicago who thought the vote of reprimand was too lenient.

    Anyway, the Republicans are beyond disgust, as a party. Realize that any association at all with real discussion of the issues at websites such as GoV, Vdare, or Freedomain Radio is likely to bring the entire Republican establishment on your head. Forget even running for office and you said anything in your entire history even faintly non-politically correct unless you’re a communist non-white, non-male.

  7. In my opinion what Ms. Reschke was trying to say is “people can overthrow a government, but they have to know all the facts before they do so.” In other words the moment journalism is used for propaganda, it goes past what journalism (in her opinion at least) stands for. And because so many people can’t really put two and two together, the journalist should be there to guide (or educate) them through whatever is happening. Do the research on behalf of the people, so to speak. Talk to both parties or narrate their discussion neutrally and lead people into being naturally democratic through acting as a rolemodel.
    Back in the days it wasn’t as neccessary to read several newspapers to get an idea about what’s going on. That way people had to train their critical thinking to form an opinion on whatever topic and because of that it was nearly impossible to hide inside your prefered social bubble. I think that’s the bottomline of her proposal.

    • There are two possible missions: to educate (or train) and to inform.

      The true journalist allows the facts to dictate the narrative, although the journalist may have a point of view. But, as a journalist, they have to report the facts straight and completely, and report all relevant facts, even if contrary to your point of view. In my opinion, the very best journalist would make great efforts to find facts contrary to his point of view, and report them. He can report mitigating background but again, only if the facts permit.

      But, I don’t see anything wrong with having to subscribe to several periodicals to get a balanced point of view. You can have opinion journalists, as long as they stick to facts and logic. There are people, ostensibly on my side, I simply avoid because they used a specious, shallow, or irrational argument. Once someone shows he allows partisanship or emotions to affect his reporting, I don’t want to listen to them. This includes Sebastian Gorka, Bill Whittle, and Dennis Prager. They all have broadcast some good information, but all have produced at least one egregious case of emotional slanting of facts, which makes me not want to use them as a source of valid information or opinion.

      I would read Juan Williams or Austen Goolsby, who make me froth at the mouth, but as far as I’ve listened to them, never knowingly reported outside of facts as they see them.

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