The CDU Bundestag candidate and former President of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Hans-Georg Maaßen, rowed back in the discussion about his statements on public broadcasting. "Freedom of the press and broadcasting have constitutional status in Germany," wrote Maassen on Twitter on Sunday evening. Independent journalism and politically independent public service broadcasting are essential for democracy. He criticizes the tendentious reporting of public service broadcasting, which is part of freedom of expression. But it is clear: "There must be no 'mind control' of journalistic work by politics."

In an interview published on Thursday with the television broadcaster, Maaßen had at least suggested such a control. He accused the public broadcasters of “manipulating opinions” and said: “I think it's a shame that the supervisory authorities don't really correct this public broadcasting service in this regard and ensure that something like this no longer takes place.” He also brought an "NDR committee of inquiry" into discussion; Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) is responsible for the editing and production of the “Tagesschau”.

Maaßen went on to say: “If you can see that there are connections between the 'Tagesschau' or between people who work for public broadcasting and the 'Tagesschau' and the left and left-wing extremist scene - then that would really be one too It is worth investigating that the biography of some editors is also put to the test to see whether these people have the character trait (...) to accompany the 'Tagesschau' through the editors.

Exclusion from the party called for

The discussion about the Personnel Maaßen continues. The former CDU general secretary Ruprecht Polenz told the information radio of the Berlin-Brandenburg radio on Monday that it would be nice if Maassen would look for another party. "But I'm afraid he will not do the CDU this favor." He would therefore advise his party to initiate a party expulsion process against Maassen, who has repeatedly harmed the party. “Anyone who questions the freedom of the press in such a way that they want to create a threat against journalists with an attitude test who fails to recognize an important, perhaps the most important basic democratic right: freedom of the press, freedom of expression. And the CDU has nothing in common with such people. "

The chairman of the CDU regional association Hamburg, Christoph Ploß, said in the broadcast "The right questions" of the Bild newspaper that the statements of his party colleague were unacceptable. Conclusions on whether Maassen could still remain a candidate for the CDU in the Bundestag "must be drawn by the colleagues from the CDU Thuringia". In an interview with the editorial network Germany on Friday, the CDU chairman Armin Laschet referred to the independence of Maassen's constituency in southern Thuringia: “In Thuringia, the grassroots have decided. The constituencies make their own decisions. This is regulated by law. "

When asked whether it would not be better if the CDU would credibly differentiate itself from Maassen, Laschet said: "I will not comment on who is running in 299 constituencies." The delimitation of the CDU to the right is crystal clear: "With the AfD there is no coalition, no cooperation, no negotiation.

It has to disappear from the parliaments. "

Criticism of Laschet's silence

Politicians from the Greens and the SPD accuse the Union's candidate for chancellor of inaction on the matter.

"Another anti-democratic failure of CDU Bundestag candidate Hans-Georg Maaßen, once again CDU boss Armin Laschet is silent," said SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil of the newspaper Tagesspiegel.

The impression is slowly emerging that Maassen's behavior is not only tolerated by Laschet, but is wanted.

Green parliamentary group leader Anton Hofreiter also called on Laschet to react. "Armin Laschet's silence on this CDU candidate for the next federal election is unbearable," he told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. “Laschet is making grazing on the right-hand side acceptable within his party. That is a dangerous game with fire. "