Chancellor angela merkel (CDU) has rejected criticism of her conditions for the TV duel with SPD chancellor candidate martin schulz.
It is "good style to talk about the modalities of how things can be done," merkel said at her traditional summer press conference in berlin. The discussion about the format is not in conflict with the freedom of the press from their point of view. The freedom to decide whether or not to accept an invitation to such a broadcast is "always just as important as the freedom of the press and independence".
In the only direct TV duel between merkel and schulz this sunday evening, the two pairs of presenters from ZDF, RTL, ARD and sat.1 as in the election campaign four years ago alternate. The duel was to be broadcast on two evenings – once on public TV and then on private TV – according to the will of the broadcasters. The model did not find approval in the chancellor’s office. The idea of having the two moderators (maybrit illner with peter kloeppel and claus strunz with sandra maischberger) ask questions one after the other in 45-minute blocks was also rejected by representatives of the CDU leader, and merkel threatened to cancel.
The CDU leader now said that the format of the past has been very well preserved. It offers the opportunity to focus strongly on the dialogue between the two opponents. "That’s why our idea was to keep it that way at the core." In addition, there are a variety of other interview formats, such as so-called townhall talks with an audience, "so that the talk with the burger does not come up short either".
Merkel avoided the question of whether she would not have accepted the invitation to the TV duel if her conditions had not been met. She answered with the words: "that means that I am looking forward to the duel on sunday."People should get a picture of the concepts and ideas for the future of the two leading candidates, "who have a realistic chance of actually holding the office of chancellor".
The chancellor only indirectly addressed the accusation by schulz, who had said on sunday that merkel seemed aloof. The duel will certainly also work out where there are differences in political ideas. "That goes without saying, irrespective of what the challenger says or doesn’t say."In the past, they have not always won in votes after the duels. "It wasn’t that I could say that for me it always turned out just super."
The german journalists’ association (DJV) criticized the mode of the TV duel. "I am surprised that the government spokesman can apparently dictate to the broadcasters how the television duel should proceed," said the DJV’s federal chairman frank uberall in a release. "In case of doubt, the broadcasters would have preferred to forego the duel rather than bow to the chancellor’s wishes."