‘Roar & smash’: German TV in hot water over cameraman’s ‘leftist’ pullover during interview
Top German TV channel ZDF apologized to viewers after a slogan of an anti-establishment band was spotted on a cameraman’s shirt during an interview with Wolfgang Schaeuble – a die-hard austerity advocate.
Wolfgang Schaeuble, a former finance minister and current Bundestag speaker, appeared on camera to give his take on what the parliament has been dealing with throughout 2018. However, the conversation had no chance of looking serious for some after the public spotted the black pullover a ZDF cameraman was wearing during the interview.
“Roar, smash and go away!” read the imprint apparently taken from a song by well-known German punk band Slime. The song sounds anti-establishment as it features phrases like: “They wish they could last forever and build a house out of lies.” Another line could be deciphered as a thinly-veiled attack on establishment politicians: “I hear them, I see them on the radio and on TV. Who can they cheat?”
There was also a bit of irony as Schaeuble himself gained notoriety for his harsh austerity policies during the Eurozone crisis in the early 2010s. At the time, Greece, which was nearing a bailout, repeatedly asked the EU and Germany to give it more time to make painful spending cuts, but Schaeuble refused.
Schaeuble’s budget policies allowed Germany to survive the crisis, but he earned the reputation of a stringent, almost relentless finance minister. The Economist once labeled him “Europe’s foremost ayatollah of austerity.”
Slime is one of the best-known bands among the German punk community. They rose to fame in the 1980s and some of their songs were openly directed against the state order. One of their singles, ‘Deutschland’, describes Germany as a country “where fascists and mommies rule,” and has the line: “Germany must die so that we could live.”
ZDF, Germany’s major publicly-funded broadcaster, issued a formal apology on Twitter, writing: “Our cameramen are required to wear dark clothing at work.
“The cameraman wore a fan shirt of a punk band, with no political statement attached to it.”
Later, the broadcaster added: “Still, we regret that the imprint was overlooked and was briefly seen in an interim cut in news coverage.”
(1/2) Unsere Kameraleute sind angehalten, dunkle Kleidung zur Arbeit zu tragen. Der Kameramann trug ein Fanshirt einer Punkband, damit war kein politisches Statement verbunden.— ZDF (@ZDF) December 31, 2018
(2/2) Dennoch bedauern wir, dass der Aufdruck übersehen wurde und in einem Zwischenschnitt in der Nachrichtenberichterstattung kurz zu sehen war.— ZDF (@ZDF) December 31, 2018
Online users were split in their reactions – some were forgiving of the cameraman, while others said this type of clothing is inappropriate. Meanwhile, people also lambasted ZDF for not admitting that the slogan was a political statement, while others slammed them for even issuing an apology.
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