Should you report? Do you have to report? And if so, what is the best way to do it without drawing too much attention to the AfD?

Protesters with sheets of paper saying: Björn Höcke is a Nazi.

What attention does the politician Höcke want? Protests outside the Halle regional court on April 18. at the beginning of the process Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/Pool/Reuters

It was not a premiere. When AfD man Björn Höcke recently had to appear before the Halle court because he had repeatedly used a National Socialist SA formulation, God knows, journalists were not for the first time faced with the question: What to do? Play that shit? A few days earlier, Höcke's on-screen “duel” with the top candidate of the Thuringian CDU, Mario Voigt, made it necessary to think about how to properly approach a production of this type, and it was not the first time.

There is no way around it: a trial like this and how a defendant appears in it, especially one who wants to shape politics, something like this is news and must be reported. Especially since the AfD seems to be having more success than all other parties in cultivating a media landscape that is friendly to it and can even be controlled by it.

Trying to ignore them and their activities – including the presumably very calculated mistakes of perhaps their most prominent official – cannot achieve the desired success. Worse still: being “silenced” by the so-called establishment media will probably generate even more sympathy among Höcke and his followers.

So should journalists worry about those for whom there is still something to be done? Who has not yet recognized the true far-right character of the “alternative”? Yes, but. What if the scandal simply doesn't achieve what it's supposed to achieve? What if even highlighting the party's closeness to the Nazis still appeals to voters because the right ones (i.e. the wrong ones) are the ones exposing them, and the media enemy of the establishment is my friend?

AfD doesn't really care who notices what they say

There is reason for hope: the apparent desire of the party and its entourage to distract attention from Correctiv's investigation into the Potsdam meeting and the “remigration” fantasies formulated there suggests: These people don't really care who and when they heard a lot about your actual thoughts and actions.

Declaring that the AfD does not present problems because it has been “democratically” elected is naive. But she is elected, and what may be a clear case of fascism for my afternoon discussion group is not also a clear case for everyone else. So beware of having too high expectations of “Gotcha!” journalism, which aims to debunk rather than enlighten.

Is the only thing left to do is to repeatedly argue that the policies of the supposed alternative would harm its most loyal supporters? As sober as possible, but even more complete? God, this is depressing. But that's just the whole AfD.

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