In 2012, the satirical magazine Titanic featured Pope Benedict XVI. with a urine stain on his cassock and with this allusion to the age of the pontifex not only strained the religious feelings of devout Catholics. The Pope took legal action against the cover photo, the magazine bowed to the decision, and a controversial discussion about the limits of satire ensued.
Jan Böhmermann is also testing the limits of satire. As a PR stunt for the new issue of “ZDF Magazin Royale”, he used a fictional wanted poster to put members of the FDP, such as its chairman Christian Lindner and party friend Wolfgang Kubicki, as well as journalists from the Welt newspaper group with publisher Stefan Aust and editor-in-chief Ulf Poschardt in the vicinity of left-wing terrorists . Hashtag #RAFDP. Absurd but effective.
The search notice is based on the BKA posters from the 1970s and 80s, which were used to search for members of the Baader-Meinhof group and later RAF generations. The advertising for the “Magazine Royale” may be clumsy, but it is so outrageously exaggerated – the reward is promised in D-Mark – that it should not be taken seriously.
However, the reactions are extreme. Those pictured are on the battlement, the Böhmermann sympathizers enthusiastic, the reflected ones arguing about questions of good taste. The action is sure to have a longer reverberation.
It might have helped to wait for the show to classify. In it, the alleged terrorist hunt turns out to be a tit-for-tat response to the fact that climate activists of the “last generation” were recently brought into the vicinity of that RAF terrorism. Instead of #rafdp it could also have been: Same RAF!
The fact that the ZDF satirist drilled fairly thin boards in his argumentation – the comparison between Christian Lindner and Andreas Baader consists of a certain similarity and the common preference for Porsche cars – is further proof: It is not the investigative Böhmermann on the road that evening, this time the political clown critics take him for appears on screen.
Maybe that’s exactly the problem: you never know what he’ll come up with next, keywords Varoufakis, Erdogan, NSU files or, most recently, criticism of the in-house public broadcaster.
Speaking of public law. It shouldn’t be a coincidence that Böhmermann specifically dragged politicians and journalists onto the poster, who have almost as big problems with ARD and ZDF as with climate stickers. The fact that Markus Söder was not pictured is probably due to the fact that the party name CSU does not fit RAF at all. Although Alice Weidel is mentioned in the program, Böhmermann apparently did not want to concede the “honor” of the profile to the AfD.
That would probably have been too much of satire.
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I have been working in the news industry for over 10 years now and I have worked for some of the biggest news websites in the world. My focus has always been on entertainment news, but I also cover a range of other topics. I am currently an author at Global happenings and I love writing about all things pop-culture related.