A scene of just a few seconds in the ARD program “Report from Berlin” caused a lot of displeasure among the Christian Democrats. In the latest issue on Sunday evening (November 20th), the editors now admitted a mistake. It was about an excerpt with CDU leader Friedrich Merz, which was put in a questionable light.
But the apology of the ARD program actually only affects part of the criticism made by Merz supporters. In the room was the accusation of tendentious reporting.
Excitement about the Merz scene: “Report from Berlin” admits errors
All the excitement revolved around an excerpt from the Bundestag, in which there was a heated debate about citizen income. In the ARD program, a sneering CDU/CSU parliamentary group leader was shown during a speech by Green Party leader Britta Haßelmann. According to the article, Haßelmann claimed at that very moment that Merz would live “in a completely different reality” as a person affected by poverty and would rather consider “whether he would come to the party by private jet, car or train”. An allusion to Merz’ arrival in a private plane to the wedding of Finance Minister Christian Lindner on Sylt.
The Merz camp criticized two things: On the one hand, the Merz excerpt was wrong, he reacted and looked differently at that moment than was presented to the viewers in the ARD contribution. On the other hand, it was criticized that the ARD program also showed a photo of Merz as a pilot on the plane to underline Haßelmann’s statement.
More about the ARD program “Report from Berlin”:
- Follow-up broadcast of the magazine “Report from Bonn” (1963 to 1999)
- Since 2005 in the ARD evening program on Sundays
- Broadcast time: 30 minutes
- “Summer interviews” with top politicians are shown during the parliamentary summer break.
- Current moderators: Tina Hassel, Matthias Deiß and Martin Schmidt (substitute)
CDU accusation of manipulative intent against ARD broadcast
Shortly thereafter, the “Report from Berlin” apologized via Twitter for the “wrong picture” in the post and announced that it would re-upload the post in the ARD media library in a corrected version. Now there was also an explanation on the show.
At the end of Sunday’s edition, moderator Matthias Deiß admitted a “mistake” and showed the criticized scene again for classification. Merz’s reaction “took place exactly like this” in the Bundestag debate, but “not at this moment, but a few seconds earlier,” explained Deiß. Then the moderator showed how Merz actually looked and admitted: “Of course we should have shown it that way.” The error happened during the production of the contribution, according to Deiß. “We apologize for this.”
But this picture stayed in the ARD contribution
ARD has now inserted Friedrich Merz’s correct facial expressions into the post, which at that moment grimaced in response to Haßelmann’s assertion, but did not smirk. What is striking is that the ARD media library contained the sectional view of Merz in the private plane, although this stylistic device had previously been criticized by the CDU.