ARD & ZDF embarrass themselves in the triumph of the chancellor candidates

Three-way battle for the Chancellery

Olaf Scholz (from left), Annalena Baerbock and Armin Laschet: The quality of the program was worse than that of the private broadcaster RTL.

(Photo: obs)

The quota is not everything, especially not in public television, which sees itself as the nation’s basic journalistic provider and receives monthly contributions from every household. That puts the number of eleven million viewers into perspective who attended the “Triell” with Annalena Baerbock, Armin Laschet and Olaf Scholz on ARD and ZDF on Sunday.

Yes, the quota was twice as high as at the private broadcaster RTL, where the two candidates for chancellor and the candidate had already been interviewed – but this time the quality was surprisingly far below.

It was simply inconceivable that such a shop window format in public law could fail so technically. Then there was a rumble in the studio, the clock of SPD candidate Scholz just continued to run, even though he had long since stopped talking. Above all, however, the moderation team with Maybrit Illner (ZDF) and Oliver Köhr (ARD) presented a picture of disharmony and situation chaos.

They regularly interrupted each other and found themselves in a kind of journalistic competition. The two of them still seemed safest as a team when it came time to talk about who was talking for how long.

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Perhaps the underperformance was due to the fact that the almost impenetrable world of committees of the ARD this time did not spit out a tried-and-tested talk show host like it used to in “TV Chancellor duels”, but instead had assigned a hierarchy, the ARD editor-in-chief, who had just come into office, to search for an electronic chancellor.

Perhaps it also played a role that, with the MDR home-grown Köhr, someone from an East German institution was supposed to get a screen presence (which is good in principle). In any case, it was found that such constellations lead to profile neuroses with a high degree of probability.

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The bottom line was that the ARD-ZDF duo was a lot worse than the top politicians present. The audience was amazed to find that important topics such as foreign policy, Europe or even education were not dealt with at all. It was better to get into the usual antics right from the start about who wants to lead which coalition with whom or who excludes them – and picked up the expected punches.

Illner / Köhr did not even provide an informative introduction to complicated issues such as the raid in the Scholz Ministry due to open questions in the fight against money laundering, so that most of the people on the screen should have understood “train station”. These 97 minutes were anti-advertising for a system that was actually more necessary than ever in these difficult times. A low point.

More: “Rumpel-Fernsehen”: Why the moderators at “Triell” didn’t shine