TV criticism too harsh but fair: The great Putin potpourri

TV criticism too harsh but fair: The great Putin potpourri

Dhe autumn of talk shows has only just begun, and yet the programs on Russia’s war against Ukraine are often stuck in the loop of what has been repeated since the end of February. After an hour of “Hard but fair” you get the feeling that you’ve heard almost all the arguments many times over – and it all started off really well.

The first few minutes of the program, under the usual lurid title “How high is Putin’s gamble?”, dealing with the latest events in the Russian mobilization, were interesting. For example, the reference by former Moscow correspondent Udo Lielischkies to the Russian pollster Lev Gudkov from the Levada Institute, which is classified as independent. According to Gudkov, only four to ten percent of the Russian population has access to alternative information beyond state propaganda, about fifteen percent of Russians are against the war, and this is not enough to cause the population to revolt against Putin.

Again and again the nuclear weapons question

This cool assessment was flanked by that of the military expert Claudia Major, who said that mobilization would not achieve anything in the short term because Russia lacked the structures and material for it: “Even if these troops do arrive at the front at some point, they are probably not super well trained and they are not Super motivated.” Nevertheless, it is an escalation announcement by Putin (who would have assumed otherwise?), which had already been made with a view to a spring offensive in 2023.

The West must therefore prepare for a longer war. With the assessment of the diplomat Wolfgang Ischinger that Putin is now linking his own career to the course of the war (who would have assumed otherwise?), the more interesting part of the show was almost over.

If this show had stayed with the internal Russian situation for an hour, you could have learned a lot – but instead, Frank Plasberg wanted to clarify the question of whether Putin’s nuclear weapons threat should be taken seriously. The round tended to take it as a bluff, though not without warning at the same time that it should still be taken seriously. It is basically a rhetorical exercise to deal with this question, in which politicians in particular have to perform the balancing act of answering cautiously and yet not too cautiously, courageously and yet admonishingly.

At the latest with the assessment of the CDU member of the Bundestag Serap Güler that playing with fear is actually Putin’s greatest weapon, the great Putin potpourri was opened, in which sooner or later it comes down to whether the man is still acting rationally in any way, and whether he is becoming “lonelier” on the world political stage.

Suggestive question about arms deliveries

Because there wasn’t much new about this (on the one hand yes, on the other hand no), the subject of German arms deliveries to Ukraine suddenly came up again, probably for the sake of greater dissent. The suggestive question, hypocritically presented in the mode of a “fact check” feature film, why Germany was supplying the Ukraine with a self-propelled howitzer but not the Leopard tank, rightly upset the SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert, because, as he correctly recognized, the broadcast -Regie clearly suggested the “right” answer here.

Here Kühnert saw himself isolated: “Mr. Plasberg, we are sitting here again today in a group in which you are apparently already the pacifist outer wing with the position of not automatically supplying western tanks.”

At the latest, when Frank Plasberg then suggestively quoted the request from the Ukrainian embassy, ​​”We would very, very much like the Leopard 1″, – and this can be stated, no matter what your opinion on arms deliveries is – the journalistic level of the show was in the basement .

It was praised again by a conversation Plasberg had with the economist Erdal Yalçin. The Konstanz professor gave the optimistic outlook that the sanctions against Russia will take effect in the long term.

The report on this overall rather disparate Plasberg program should not end without a philosophical insight into the best of all worlds, as the expert Claudia Major gave when she explained the mode of action of war equipment at Frank Plasberg’s request: “In a In the ideal world, they’re all together: there they have the self-propelled howitzer that fires the whole thing, still with a rocket launcher, but to take it they need the interaction of the tank and the infantry fighting vehicle – in the very best world with air support.”


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