The Dutch media are once again talking themselves into the hole that will be tomorrow’s headlines. How many kilometres of newsprint and hours of broadcast time must we suffer over a ‘controversial’ film that has not even been released yet (and perhaps not even made)?
MP Geert Wilders must be rubbing his hands with glee at all the pre-publicity his latest islam-bashing project is getting. Of course it is his right to produce his propaganda: freedom of expression is holy in a democracy, as is the right to practice your religion.
And of course these two pillars of western democracy can clash sometimes – and clashes can make for interesting newspaper stories. But not if this means re-cycling the same old tired arguments day in, day out.
Some may even suggest that the a third pillar of democracy is an independent and campaigning press. The problem is that the Dutch press don’t quite dare to take up the issue of this anti-Koran film-to-be as a campaign.
Perhaps they should have a think about what news really is. Here’s a definition that translates very nicely into Dutch and is a big favourite at journalism schools all over the world: man bites dog.
And Wilders, the founder of the anti-immigration PVV party, hyping up his latest anti-Islamic provocation really is more a case of dog bites man. Not news. Yet.
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