Biased election coverage from German-owned media: Belgian historian

Acclaimed Belgian historian professor David Engels calls a spade a spade saying that “day after day, leading German media bombard the German and Polish public with negative reports on [running for re-election incumbent President Andrzej] Duda and positive ones about [incumbent Warsaw mayor and presidential hopeful Rafał] Trzaskowski in order to ‘help’ Poles make ‘the right’ democratic decision.”

The professor of the Universite Libre de Bruxelles admits that having moved to Poland he had had the chance to compare foreign media reports on Poland with the actual developments in the country. He was shocked by the discrepancy between the two pictures with the German-owned media poised on the extremity of this disparity.

“I do not wish to generalise, suggesting that all journalists and media are similar because some clear differences still prevail. Yet, nevertheless, what is evident is the unilaterality of the German [owned] media narrative about Poland,” professor Engels said.

“Literally every day the main German [owned] papers and TV channels indulge in the glaringly one-sided publication of materials that portray leftist-liberal politicians as cosmopolitan heroes clad in shining armour, struggling to save their country from economic ruin, paedophile priests, intolerant homo- and islamophobes, and vile and dictatorial ministers. Meanwhile their [the politicians’/the media’s] mission is jeopardised by stubborn, heartless and uncouth peasants of Eastern Europe.”

According to the historian, “the right course for Poland” advocated by the German media “comes down to welcoming mass immigration, engrafting sexual ‘diversity’ from primary school level, subjecting all expression of domestic democracy to Brussels technocracy, exchanging the Catholic character of the Polish nation with multicultural relativism, censoring all media that do not knuckle under political correctness, distancing Poland from [President Donald] Trump’s US and, obviously enough, forgoing vital interests of the state in place of the needs of ‘European neighbours’, explicitly the German economy.”

“This campaign is, without an ounce of doubt, not just the fruit of an ordinary difference of political opinion… but a very conscious result of the will to impact the German and Polish public opinions,” the historian felt.

One of the numerous bad fruits that the campaign has brought forth is, as professor Engels put it, “the fact that most of the people in Germany digested the one-sided image that the media have created very well. Those people are ready to cut [EU] donations for Poland to punish Poles for the ostensible struggle ‘against European values’.”

Meanwhile in Poland, “German media reports are taken over by numerous Polish media belonging to German firms. These reports are very welcome by (and many a time inspired by) the current opposition that risks more important interests of the country in exchange for gaining power thanks to the German support,” the professor said.

According to the expert, this tendency has peaked during Polish presidential elections. The reason for “this unceasing intervention” is, professor Engels believed, the fact that “Poland is the only large European state that has not (yet) been entirely dominated by the multicultural, relativist and technocratic thought, a state being in the very heart of the Visegrad Group that is the last independent European centre of power outside of the immediate control of Brussels.”

Professor Engels did not believe that “Polish citizens will react very positively to this blatant intrusion” and yet he expressed his worry that “in the long run, the obvious radicalisation of German-owned media will bear consequences for the relations between both nations and will fuel the animosities that seemed to have disappeared to a large extent before [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel’s rise to power.”

Avoid the pitfalls, launch a media counteroffensive

“I believe that it is more important now than at any time before, to separate the sheer propaganda carried out by the current German political and media elite on one hand from normal Germans on the other who often become helpless victims of the content they are fed,” said the historian, adding that “this refers not just to Germans alone but also to the majority of Western European countries.”

The only right response to this situation, professor Engels stressed, is to avoid “falling into the snares set for Poland and retreating into isolationism or even nationalism, and rather to initiate a counteroffensive.”

By that, the historian suggested that “Poland could become an ideal get-together spot for European conservatives, the heart of the recreation of Christian Europe and the centre of the truly objective media market that would inform the inhabitants of Western Europe on what is truly going on in their countries.”

“This possibility is just what the German media currently dread the most currently,” professor Engels concluded.

Professor David Engels defended his doctoral thesis in ancient history at the University of Aachen. Following the development, he received an offer to the professorial office at the Faculty of History of Ancient Rome at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles. In 2012-2017, he headed the “Latomus. Revue et Collection d’Études Latines” quarterly journal. He has authored several dozen specialised articles and a number of books.