Dhe WDR has rejected the representation of the magazine “Der Spiegel” that the station had deleted a critical radio report about the North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU), in which he expresses himself angry about the activists in the Hambach Forest. The “Spiegel” reports “tendentious” and “untrue”, the WDR announced on Saturday morning in a message entitled “This is how it really works”.
The “Spiegel” had reported that the radio report was about a secretly recorded video. This documents Laschet’s statement that in 2018 he needed “an excuse” to clear the lignite area. The post in question was posted in September 2019, but removed again after a few hours.
The WDR announced that the video was circulated on the network and was “known in several places”. “The alleged core statement – ‘I need an excuse’ – was” no longer newsworthy “back then. The WDR and others had “long reported that the state government had been looking for an excuse to clear the forest”. The NRW interior minister Reul had also previously said in an interview with the WDR magazine “Westpol” on August 30, 2019 that it was about “having a legal basis in fire protection”.
So you “didn’t have to publish any excerpts from a video that was obviously recorded under cover” “to prove it”: “If you decide to use such material, you need a valid reason and we didn’t have it. So the specialist editorial team rejected the offered article with reference to the journalistic duty of care ”, so the WDR. According to the “Spiegel” report, the WDR legal advisor found the radio broadcast to be right at the time.
According to the WDR, the video shows that we “press” Laschet “several people” and “obviously go unnoticed”. You can hear how they confronted the NRW Prime Minister “for several minutes” about the Hambach Forest. Laschet said, “Among other things: ‘I need an excuse, otherwise you cannot take action. I wanted to clear the forest. ‘ Laschet’s statement can also be heard: “I’m going to finish it! In contrast to the SPD and the Greens, I am saving this forest. You will experience it and I will get out of the coal. “