The director of Westdeutscher Rundfunk does not attribute the deletion of a satirical WDR video to the pressure of political rights. The "environmental sow" video of the WDR children's choir was blocked and thus withdrawn because a large part of the audience felt attacked, said Buhrow, who has also been chairman of the ARD since the New Year, the mirror .
The station's children's choir had recorded a song for a satirical video. He sang the lines "My grandma is an old environmental pig" on the melody of my grandma riding a motorcycle in the chicken coop . The phrase "environmental sow" brought the broadcaster on social media and also fierce criticism, on Twitter and Facebook it was in many self-reinforcing discussions about respect for old age, Nazi allegations against grandparents or the tasks of public service broadcasting against which the AfD in particular mobilizes. In front of the WDR buildings in Cologne, demonstrators gathered, including police officers, who recognized them as politically right-wing.
The transmitter was not buckled in front of right-wing circles, said Buhrow. "You can't stop these kinds of people, you can't control them," said Buhrow. "And I don't make my decisions dependent on them."
Rather, the reaction of seniors and grandchildren, hundreds of whom answered on the phone, was taken into account. "We can't just pretend that when a large part of our audience feels wrongly attacked," Buhrow said. "Should I say to them: you have a right instrumentalization and your feelings are therefore irrelevant?" The broadcaster could not hide behind the freedom from satire and say that the audience was wrong with its feelings.
The WDR has recognized the mechanisms of right-wing mobilization, said the director. "But we were also able to distinguish between what is orchestrated and what are real expressions from otherwise well-meaning listeners." It was "immediately clear" that the many callers were not part of an orchestrated thing.
2/2 The WDR has exceeded the limits of style and respect for the elderly with the song "My grandma is a old environmental sow", which the editorial team had the Dortmund children's choir sing. Instrumentalizing young against old is not acceptable.- Armin Laschet (@ArminLaschet) December 28, 2019
Buhrow also rejected the accusation of the North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) that the WDR had used children for political purposes. "It's ridiculous," he said. "I don't agree with that at all." He found it absurd to want to politicize children singing a children's song. Children are everywhere on television and radio, at donation galas, at Christmas concerts. "I think even on politicians' election posters," he said. In the 2017 election campaign, the CDU also showed Laschet on posters with a child.
The WDR had deleted the video after criticism at the end of last week. WDR-2 boss Jochen Rausch had apologized "for the unsuccessful action" that the word "environmental pig" was inappropriate. Buhrow also apologized. In a special show, he said the video with the "accident grandma song was a mistake".