TV journalist Louis Klamroth has hit the headlines. He is accused of only publicizing his relationship with climate activist Luisa Neubauer shortly before he succeeded Frank Plasberg as moderator of “hard but fair”. The broadcasting council of the WDR, where the ARD political talk is based, is supposed to deal with the topic on Tuesday. It is about a possible violation of compliance rules because Klamroth had already signed his contract at the time, it is reported.
In the meantime, Klamroth and the production of “hart aber fair” – the show is a joint production of “Ansager und Schnipselmann” and klarlogo on behalf of WDR – have created facts. On Monday evening the title was “Last departure – how does the climate crisis change everyday life and life” (here in the ARD media library). The choice of topic made it clear that Klamroth does not intend to omit this debate from his show.
Franca Lehfeldt, wife of Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) and chief reporter of the TV station “Welt”, takes a different approach. It does not report on the FDP and the Federal Ministry of Finance. For Louis Klamroth, it goes without saying that Luisa Neubauer is not invited to his show.
But the topic, so much is now clear, will not be dispensed with in “hard but fair”. On Monday evening there was a lively discussion about the height from which snow cannons can be used to save ski tourism, why Germany is one of the last countries in the world to refrain from a general speed limit and what to think of paid climate activism.
“Hard but fair” wanted to prevent the accusation of a left-green bias in the selection of guests from the outset. With her radical positions on the implementation of climate policy demands, Aimée van Baalen was largely isolated as a spokeswoman for the “last generation”. Even the ARD weather expert and meteorologist Sven Plöger thinks little of forcing other people to protest against German climate policy and thinks highly of going through the institutions.
However, the other participants did not question climate change and the need for action either. Neither the deputy FDP parliamentary group leader Konstantin Kuhle – “the Harz is also beautiful without snow” – nor the CDU member of the Bundestag and chairwoman of the SME union Gitta Connemann or Hildegard Müller as president of the Lobby Association of the Automobile Industry (VDA).
Germany as a role model for China, India, Africa
The latter see purely symbolic politics in speed limits. Instead, Connemann and Müller advocated compliance with the climate targets for the development of innovative technologies. Germany should act as a role model here, showing countries like China and India, but also the up-and-coming economies in Africa, that climate and growth do not have to be mutually exclusive. Emissions trading should regulate everything else.
Measured by the applause, however, Aimée van Baalen had the most sympathizers in the audience with her demand to implement everything that is currently possible and free of charge in the climate catastrophe. She claims the right of resistance and civil disobedience for herself and the “last generation” as long as the federal government breaks the constitution and gambles away the livelihoods of young people. The parliamentarian Kuhle, on the other hand, insists on democratic decisions in the Bundestag, everything else leads to an arbitrary state. “They trample on democracy, because it needs rules,” Connemann counters the protest movement.
And what does Louis Klamroth do? The moderator follows the exchange of blows largely from the sidelines. Only when weather expert Plöger and FDP man Kuhle as well as climate activist Baalen and car lobbyist Müller get too caught up in each other does he leave the observer position to actively settle the dispute.
This edition of “hard but fair” did not provide any new insights. That was probably not to be expected with a long-running topic like this. The radical form of protest – Klamroth has Baalen explain the approach of the “last generation” so demonstratively in detail, as if he or the audience had never heard of it – was already widely discussed last year – also in talk shows of the first.
However, the aim of this program seemed to be proof anyway: Louis Klamroth, despite his relationship with “Fridays for Future” activist Luisa Neubauer, is very well able to have the climate discussed openly and neutrally. Klamroth did not even contradict Aimée van Baalen when he said that the “Fridays for Future” movement was not enough to get politicians to meet their own climate goals. It would have been interesting what Luisa Neubauer would have said to her.
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