Salos in Germany for the unprecedented intervention of a politician while a journalist is on the air

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Salo causes in Germany the unprecedented attack of a Christian Democrat politician on a public television journalist, while she is on the air.

Southwestern Radio (SWR) envoy Natalie Akbari was in charge of covering the German Christian Democrats (CDU) regional congress in Mannheim on Friday. Although only local executives participated, the conference was of greater interest, as the results of an internal scandal with the “protection masks” which had led, in March 2021, to the resignation of MP Nicholas Label.

As it became known, Label, while still an MP, received a commission of 250,000 euros to launch contracts for the supply of masks. The director of his office was Thomas Hornung. Label himself resigned and left politics, while Hornung remained and is now a city councilor in Mannheim in southwestern Germany.

Friday 19:30 at night, in the best viewing area, the journalist of the SWR goes live “online” in the news bulletin, while at the same time the result of the internal party investigation is announced. Suddenly, something unexpected happens: Thomas Hornung enters the plot during the connection to criticize the way the journalist presents the issue. He speaks of “non-serious journalism” or even “shameful” coverage, interrupting Natalie Akbari, according to Deutsche Welle.

She tries to continue, but Hornung insists and the live connection is forced to be cut off. Hornung would later claim that the journalist “disturbed” the smooth flow of the conference. However, no one else seems to share this view. SWR officials point out that the journalist had taken exactly that position for the live connection (stand up position) suggested to her by the organizers. It is clear that the case does not end here.

Request for resignation of the “warm-blooded” municipal councilor

The director general of Southwestern Radio, Fritz Fry, said in a statement that Hornung’s conduct “is not in line with freedom of information, as enshrined in the German Constitution.” News presenter Tatiana Gessler also protested against this “interference in free journalism”. Shortly after the scandalous incident, two CDU MPs in the Baden-Württemberg local parliament, Winfried Mack and Tim Bikner, called on Thomas Hornung to resign as city councilor and voluntarily leave the Christian Democrats. At the same time, the secretary of the Social Democrats (SPD) in Baden-Württemberg, Sasha Binder, called on Hornung to at least apologize for his behavior. “We have only seen similar attitudes towards journalists at events of the (far-right) AfD party,” the Social Democrat politician said.

“It was a very, very unpleasant situation,” said Natalie Akbari. “I could no longer do my job. There were also some insults, which I would not like to repeat. ” In recent hours, the case seems to cross the Baden-Württemberg border. The German Federation of Journalists (DJV) said in a statement: “It is frightening that even in democratic parties, the belief in the need for free journalism seems to be waning.” The RTL television network speaks of a “scandal”. Speaking to the German News Agency (DPA), Christian Democrat politician Tim Bikner stressed that “we only see similar scenes in Pegida protests”, so “it is important to suppress such behavior before they start finding imitators”. Former Christian Democrat secretary-general Ruprecht Polentz also called on the party’s local branch in Mannheim to apologize for the incident.

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