But today this saga went into a new twist: Livestro's story on his experiences with publicly funded state television appears in the full international glory that is Pajamas Media. To get a taste of what a so-called neutral, impartial discussion program in the Netherlands looks like, the following fragment can't be beat:
Alarm bells first started ringing when, in preparing for my next column, Hegeman invited me to an impromptu crisis meeting an hour or so before the broadcast.To add insult to injury the three columns Livestro says were censored by the Buitenhof staff appear here on Pajamas. It is probably a safe bet that these columns will reach a much, much wider audience there then they ever would have, had they been broadcast uncensored on Buitenhof. SO the joke is very much on Dutch state television.
The column was an attack on the idea of a double ‘Cordon Sanitaire’ against the leftwing Socialist Party of Jan Marijnissen and the rightwing Freedom Party of Geert Wilders. Together, these two parties scored as high as 30 percent in recent polls. For established parties to exclude them both on a permanent basis from any governing coalition (aka a ‘Cordon Sanitaire’) would make a mockery of the democratic process. And, I suggested, there’s no need to do so because “Geert Wilders isn’t a fascist and Jan Marijnissen isn’t a communist.” Editor-in-chief Hegeman seemed shocked by this statement: “Wilders isn’t a fascist? Are you serious?”
I was astounded, but I managed to keep my cool. Yes, I explained, I was being serious. He’s an old-fashioned rightwing conservative populist à la Pat Buchanan. That’s something completely different from a fascist.
“But surely he’s at least a racist?”, she continued.
Sure brightens an otherwise rainy, gloomy day.