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Der Spiegel blasts Spöttle, pro-government media

An article in German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel has delivered heavy criticism of Hungarian government-friendly media outlets, describing their reports on Germany as “fake news”. The article also ridicules the frequent media appearances of German-Hungarian “security expert” Georg Spöttle.

The article, written by Keno Verseck, singles out Spöttle, accusing him of “sketching a horrific picture” of Germany when he appears in interviews. The magazine accuses him of making unrealistic claims about Germany doing nothing against crimes committed by migrants, forcefully imposing political correctness on its citizens, while being pushed to its downfall by “migrants, Islamists, and the enemy of the people, Angela Merkel”.

Furthermore, Der Spiegel calls Spöttle the “crown witness” of the Orbán government, as he is a German who fiercely opposes Merkel’s refugee policies, and therefore comes in handy for the advancement of the Hungarian government’s agenda as its main authority on Germany in openly right-wing media outlets. The article observes that Spöttle’s history as an expert on UFO and paranormal activities in the 1990s is an aspect he might rather forget.

Verseck also criticizes the Hungarian media’s handling of the Chemnitz incident in late August, when German far-right protesters clashed with leftists after a man was stabbed, allegedly by Kurdish Muslim immigrants. The author cites two examples: one in pro-government daily Magyar Idők, which wrote that Germans are victims of such atrocities every day while the police are shackled by political correctness, and the other a claim by political scientist Zoltán Kiszelly on government-controlled state television news channel M1 that Merkel wants to implement a “new Soros Plan”.

The Der Spiegel article also accuses the Hungarian government media of spreading “fake news” with television reports of the Münster van attack in April, claiming that the incident was an act of Islamic terrorism, one day before the Hungarian elections. In reality, the man driving the van was a German with psychiatric problems, and there was no indication of an Islamist background to the attack.

The piece also mentions that the Hungarian media have falsely perpetrated the myth of German churches being converted into mosques en masse. In addition, the author mentions an occasion in May when right-wing Hungarian media outlets fell for a German satirical report about renaming the town of “Essen” (the German word literally translates as “to eat” or “food” in English) to “Fasten” (“to fast”) in honor of the Muslim Ramadan (when Muslims spend nearly a month fasting).