Public television has persistently put the AfD in a quiet place. How do you do that with naughty kids. Now ARD and ZDF are trying hard to get back into the conversation. How does it work when silence is not a long-term solution.

In the first part, “Hard but fair”, the economic policy spokesman of the AfD parliamentary group, Leif-Erik Holm, is invited to “speak at eye level”, as the speaker's self-promotion on Monday says.

On Tuesday, Markus Lanz will follow the AfD's federal spokesperson Tino Chrupalla in his ZDF round. Two channels. Two moderators. Two ways. Which leads to which goal?

AfD man in Klamroth: tough but unfair

Louis Klamroth has opted for many shades of brown in his new background “Hard but Fair”. He positions himself and his program very clearly in the motto of the evening: “What helps against right-wing extremism: listen, demonstrate, ban?”

The front is clear. All against one. He first softens his voice: “We are a party that supports the country through and through,” Holm confirms. With the first answer, the moderator interrupts him: “Are you lying to yourself now?”

Klamroth stays true to this line. Seen soberly and dispassionately: AfD man Leif-Erik Holm hardly gets to the end of the point. Not other conversation guests, but the moderator himself, who interferes and interferes, stands very close to his seated guest, leans on his table – and shows: instead of “talking at eye level”, class wedges come down. from above. Harsh, but unfair.

Klamroth Road is a dead end

In the same program, Hildegard Müller explains how the debate with the AfD can be conducted in a completely different way. The president of the Automotive Industry Association (VDA) gives a strictly objective answer to the spokesman for the AfD's economic policy. “We live on diversity, we live on exports, we live on the coexistence of regions – the AfD does not stand for that,” he says. And he adds the facts: “70 percent of the automotive industry relies on exports, which would lead to a huge loss of economic growth and prosperity.”

A clear edge instead of sentimentality – and all summed up in a simple sentence that is valid in any anti-populist argument: “Emphasizing the problems does not mean that you have the right solution concepts. Your solutions are not!”

Dressed in black and red, Hildegard Müller gets a noticeable round of applause. Moderator Louis Klamroth remains pale. For AfD man Holm, the economic truths cause much more problems than the constant interruptions of the moderator. Klamroth Road is a dead end.

Chrupalla's really treacherous sentence in Lanzi

Scene change. With Markus Lanzi, the guests are actually sitting at the host's eye level. It should also concern the economy. In fact, it is about the AfD. Clear questions lead to clear answers:

“Is the Office of the Protection of the Constitution Politically Abused?” “Absolutely.” – “Are you a victim?” “That's why we're suing.” – “Is Björn Höcke a far-right extremist for you?” “For me, he is not an extreme rightist.

However, there is very little space to the right of Höcke. Very casually, Chrupalla slips out a truly treacherous sentence. “It's a politician's job,” says the AfD's federal spokesperson very seriously, “that I'm not squeamish.”

The viewer learns: you can't believe a word the AfD says. And perhaps even more devastating to the protest voters that this party is gathering: it is no better than the “politics” of the SPD, the Greens, the FDP and the Union so often attacked.

With his short and quick questions, Markus Lanz made the AfD tear off its carefully maintained mask before the carnival weekend.

The public forces the AfD to rinse its mouth with plasticizers

What are we learning? Democracy and the democrats of this country can certainly have the confidence to engage in discourse with the AfD. It is positive if millions of people no longer come to the street not only for their own interests – a few percent less VAT in the catering sector, a few cents less for a liter of agricultural diesel fuel – but for their country, their convictions and big interests, the whole commons.

Public television also dares to take a stand. The public forces the AfD to rinse its mouth with plasticizers. The will to power changes those who want power.

Example from the left: Back in 1984, Joschka Fischer insulted the Bundestag: “Mr. President, you are an asshole, with all due respect!” Since 1998, Fischer was a member of the state as foreign minister and vice chancellor. .

Example from the right: Tino Chrupalla and his sentence: “The task of a politician is not to be stuck”. AfD is just a party. And certainly not the ones with the best solutions.