Depth at Op1 is therefore possible, but everything got mixed up at the farmer’s protest

Talk shows should do that more often: get out of the studio and sit somewhere in the country. On 1 was broadcast from the port of Rotterdam on Thursday evening. Outside, on the water’s edge, between stacks of containers, was a table of experts who came to discuss the problem of cocaine smuggling. It looked fantastic and it paid off that only one topic was discussed. This allowed presenters Hugo Logtenberg and Amber Kortzorg to calmly discuss the scope and breadth of the problem. From the murders and corruption to the laundered Russian millions that disrupt the Amsterdam housing market. The table was a nice mix of politicians (minister, mayor), crime fighters, journalists and experts by experience. Every now and then you heard seagulls or a ship’s horn.

Now I have to set something straight. Last week I wrote about the new RTL talk show Renze, where the farmer’s lobby was given free airtime, stating that all talk shows were uncritical entertainment disguised as journalism. That was against the sore leg of a reader, who pointed out to me that there are On 1 did have good, critical presenters.

I took the criticism and decided to see how On 1 the peasant protest.

Difficult reason

Last Wednesday, the talk show was all about farmers. Frisian officers had opened fire on a tractor with a 16-year-old driver. That was a difficult reason, because quickly various things got mixed up: police violence, work pressure at the police, the nitrogen crisis, and the protest. One elephant in the room was not named: the peasant terror. At least: in the 21st minute a devastating compilation of peasant violence was shown. But no one else went into that. And it was only in the 39th minute that Jan Struijs of the police union identified the real problem: “We must not turn the nitrogen crisis into a security crisis.”

Just like Renze the presenters present Tijs van den Brink allowed the farmers present to say without being contradicted that farmers are waging a just and peaceful fight. Farmers are “in principle not aggressive people”. Dutch agriculture was the most animal-friendly and environmentally friendly in the world, according to cow farmer Annemiek Koekoek, who once participated in Farmer seeks wife.

love of truth

The second cow farmer present, Nynke Koopmans, is a politician for the extreme right-wing party BVNL, an FVD split. Forum and its splinters are not exactly known for their truthfulness. A problematic guest, therefore, to which presenters have to be extra alert. But Koopmans was allowed to sell her nonsense without any objection, and was not asked any critical questions.

A day later On 1 the farmer’s son Jouke Hospes at the table. Sven Kockelmann asked him the right questions, but he also forgot to mention that the boy had taken part in illegal actions: blocking the food supply and driving his tractor on the highway. The boy’s parents were allowed to say without contradiction that all aggression during the actions came from the police alone. The farmers had done nothing. “All harmony.”

In June, a report from the public broadcaster’s ombudsman about Unheard of Newsin which Margo Smit also measured other talk shows: „Particularly in talk shows […] distinction between fact and opinion is not always sufficiently clear.” And: “Presenters and their editors always have to keep asking questions. You do not give free rein to a guest and his or her message and you are not a conduit.”

Is doing On 1 the farmer crisis better and more critical than Renze? Secure. Does it serve as a conduit for farm guests? Unfortunately too.