Obviously, most Germans strongly disagree with the idea that apologetics for Nazism and racism are in their interest. Shortly after Zuerst! began publication in 2010, workers for its then distributor (Bauer Media) disagreed so strongly with that claim that they threatened to strike, refusing to handle the magazine. Bauer, which is Germany's largest magazine publisher and has a growing worldwide presence, washed its hands of Zuerst! after an embarrassing expose in Der Spiegel. (More here.) (At the same time Bauer Media broke its ties with several other far-right, pro-Nazi German publications, and with a producer of Nazi-themed pornography.)
You've most likely never heard of Manuel Ochsenreiter -- few people outside of the German far-right have -- but somehow those who program RT did hear of him, singling him out as their primary on-air spokesman for the German point of view. He's appeared on the network scores of times over the past four years. While it may appear more than a bit odd that RT would choose the editor of a neo-Nazi magazine to be their expert on German public opinion, in a way it makes perfect sense precisely because so few people know who he is. RT identifies him on air merely as a German journalist. Moreover, judging by his on-air performance, he is very happy to say whatever it takes to keep his patrons at RT happy.
For example, on the March 17 edition of the RT talk show Cross Talk, Ochsenreiter started by comparing the Crimea invasion to the reunification of Germany, then veered off-script to state that Tatars in Crimea who are not in the pay of the EU actually supported secession from Ukraine. The program's host interrupted this implausible report to ask a leading question about the freedom of the voting in the Crimea secession referendum . In reply to this, Ochsenreiter laughed as he reported that the voting did not take place "under the gun...there were no guns". Then, as he stared somewhat forlornly at the camera, a fellow guest corrected this obvious distortion by arguing that the referendum could safely take place only under the protection of Russian guns -- that the guns were there to protect democracy from pro-Nazi Ukrainian nationalists. Again at the prompting of the program's host, Ochsenreiter turned his attention from the purported non-violence of Russia's presence in Crimea, to parroting almost word for word the host's statement that German taxpayers were being asked by the EU to pay Ukraine's debts. You may think that such servile on-the-spot reproductions of a party line from an English-speaking alleged journalist are easy to come by, but you'd be wrong. For that reason alone, it's perfectly understandable that RT would resort to airing the views of the editor of a neo-Nazi propaganda pamphlet masquerading as a news magazine.
|Ochsenreiter with Alexandr Dugin|