After the abrupt departure of afd top candidate alice weidel in the election program "wie geht’s, deutschland" (how’s it going, germany), the german television channel ZDF said?"The party’s accusation that moderator marietta slomka acted in a biased and unprofessional manner has been rejected.
Weidel had left the live ZDF discussion round early on tuesday evening in protest. ZDF editor-in-chief peter frey said that slomka had moderated the roundtable with seven politicians and six burghers in a fair and relaxed manner. "I hope that in future election formats the focus will not be on staging, but on political debate."
German justice minister heiko maas, who took part in the broadcast, accused the afd politician of political calculation. On his facebook page, the SPD politician wrote: "we should be careful not to fall for this planned, embarrassing production."It is a cheap trick of right-wing populists to present themselves as victims. In reality they are intellectual arsonists. Democrats debate, but afd has no interest in that". Weidel, meanwhile, stood by her criticism of the broadcast.
Immediately before weidel’s unexpected departure, CSU secretary general andreas scheuer had called on her to distance herself from co-lead candidate alexander gauland and thuringia’s afd state chairman and right-winger bjorn hocke. Gauland called hocke the soul of the afd, scheuer said. "For me he is simply a right-wing radical." Weidel, who had threatened once before – "mrs. Slomka, let me finish, otherwise i can save myself the trouble here" – then packed up her notes and left.
In a reaction on twitter, weidel wrote about slomka’s moderation: "she has made herself common with the impudent intolerance and the clumsy argumentation of SPD and grunen. This is unworthy of a public broadcaster."Only a few minutes after weidel had left the studio, the afd published a joint statement by weidel and gauland. In it, they also criticized slomka. Scheuer’s attack, on the other hand, went unmentioned, leading some observers to suspect that it was a prepared declaration.
ZDF editor-in-chief frey said: "those who dish it out must also be able to take it. This is part of the discussion culture in talk shows. Leaving a live show brings attention, but prevents political debate on the issue. I emphatically reject mrs. Weidel’s criticism of the moderator."
Weidel, meanwhile, was emphatically self-confident. In a video posted on her facebook page on wednesday, she commented on the broadcast with the words: "we’ll remember all that, of course, say "thank you" and we’ll see you on the 24th of this month.9. Again."
At an election campaign event in pforzheim, she called the evening’s broadcast a "fool’s farce". In front of afd supporters, she said with regard to the positions of the representatives of the other parties on "illegal immigration": "i stood there last night and thought to myself: who has left the kafigtur open?"