The song against the "Bild" newspaper presents itself as enlightened and critical. But it plays with flat cliches. Who likes it "blunt" here?
Hate comments against refugees on the "Alan Kurdi" – unacceptable for the "Bild" newspaper Photo: Mark Zammit Cordina
The NDR satire program "Extra 3" has published a song calling for people to stop reading the Bild newspaper. "Now here is Hetz-Bube again trump / and the Bild-Krawallchef Reichelt mags gern blunt," it bumps over the melody of "Help" by the Beatles. In the accompanying video, Bild is read on the toilet. If the song is meant to be an insult, it primarily hits humorous and aesthetic norms. But when it goes against the tabloid, the knowing public shows its particularly low thigh-slapping standards.
With over one million views in the first 24 hours, the video is a success for "Extra 3. Everyone has their summer hole to fill, and criticism of Springer publications is always a hit. But does it really have to be so uncreative, embarrassing, flat and yes, blunt?
Especially since Bild-Zeitung hasn’t done anything wrong at the moment. On the contrary. The reporter Til Biermann has been reporting from the sea rescue ship "Alan Kurdi" for more than two weeks. Under a livestream video that Bild broadcast on Facebook, inhumane, racist comments piled up. Using real names, commentators called for the ship to be sunk or for the "dirty people" to be left in the water.
After ten minutes of reporting from on board the ship, the Bild editorial team already counted over 1,000 such hate comments. "Why doesn’t Facebook finally do something about the hate?" asks Bild afterwards. In a tweet accompanying the "Extra 3" song, the satirists point out: "The Bild newspaper has been asking for days what can be done against hate speech. We have an idea." In addition, the hashtag #BildLoschen.
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The fact that Bild is also taking on the issue, which has been discussed for years by the Ministry of Justice and civil society organizations such as the Amadeu Antonio Foundation, is not a bona fide cause for criticism. Not even when you spin it as the satire portal Postillon does: "Newspaper that regularly rants against refugees astonished by hatred of refugees."
It may be true that certain lines in Bild tend to fuel racist hatred rather than curb it. There is also no doubt that not every headline in the paper is conducive to universal human rights. Nevertheless, when Bild decently and sincerely condemns the agitation against refugees, that is not the right hook for Springer bashing. Especially not for one that pretends to be enlightened and critical, but relies on clumsy and cheap effects.