TV review | Charity, but not for Muslims

Dutch TV is now used to the intended Prime Minister Wilders, so it is interesting to see how foreign TV views him. The Flemish public broadcaster offered this opportunity with the documentary Who is Wilders? (VRT Canvas). It takes some time to find the Flemish perspective. There are some tourist pictures in it, wide rivers that flow slowly through endless lowlands. When the Flemish voice-over talks about “Dutch Limburg” or “Kanaleneiland” they immediately seem like exotic places. But otherwise, Dutch journalists interview Dutch journalists, just like us.

Paul Cliteur speaks about the conviction of Wilders for his statement of ‘fewer Moroccans’. He believes that prosecution for hate speech affects freedom of expression. A respectable opinion. The legal scholar is announced as a man “known for his liberal views.” A pathetic mistake by the Belgians. Of course, they do not know that Cliteur was a senator of the radical right Forum for Democracy.

No news in there Who is Wilders? No foreign view either. On closer inspection, the documentary turns out not to be Flemish at all. It was made by two Dutch directors for the foreign market. The film was broadcast under a different name in 2017 and has been supplemented with new material.

For example, a scene on the Hague market is new. All respondents think Wilders is great, including the Moroccan market vendors. Why? Because Wilders wants to stop the asylum seekers. Getting a vox doll is what it’s called in journalism. Vox populi, the voice of the people. I’m starting to dislike it. Or rather, my old aversion has found a new reason. At first I thought it was lazy journalism that barely yielded anything. I now think it is spreading disinformation. You let a few random passers-by shout on TV that Bartje likes kidney beans and most viewers will think this is really true, especially because they hear it all the time.

Remarkable contrast

The EO program This is the issue (NPO 2) was made entirely of vox dolls on Tuesday. Reporter Hans van der Steeg rode his bicycle through the Veluwe village of Oldebroek, where the population is rebelling against the arrival of an asylum seeker center. Van der Steeg finds this a remarkable contradiction because Oldebroek is Christian and Christians believe in charity. He interviews opponents who tell him that only men come to the asylum seekers’ center, fortune seekers from safe countries. As a result, Oldebroek women and daughters can no longer cycle safely on the street. The reporter finds one couple with all the gnomes in the garden before the arrival of the refugees. Another couple has Ukrainian refugees in their home but is still against the arrival of the asylum seekers’ center.

I was left with all kinds of questions, so I got the regional newspaper The Stentor caught. Do only male safelanders come to Oldebroek? No, those appear to be assumptions. The only thing that is certain is that the COA is considering housing three hundred asylum seekers near the village next year. What is new is that the municipality cannot say no, due to the distribution law. Sexual assaults? The ministerial research agency WODC previously stated that the arrival of asylum seekers has no demonstrable effect on crime in a neighborhood.

According to The Stentor There are already 240 Ukrainian refugees in Oldebroek, 140 of whom are living with people at home. The Oldebroekers do indeed practice Christian charity, but this does not extend to Muslims. Hans van der Steeg did not say all that. Weird that I The Stentor must read to understand a TV program.