My next column was an attack on the pretend-solidarity of the Socialist Party leadership. It claimed to be on the side of the oppressed but in practice always sided with dictators, provided these dictators opposed the United States. Hegeman didn’t like it. At all.Don't get mad. Get even. Where is our Joshua Livestro for our NPR?
As she herself put it, she “just didn’t agree”.
‘And if I insist?’ I asked.
“Well, then we have a serious problem,” she replied. There it was, censorship raising its ugly head.
Now what was I going to do? I’d spent the weeks in between columns two and three thinking about that question. An obvious choice was to blow my top and hand in my resignation. But the more I thought about it, the more I was persuaded that there was a better way. I wasn’t going to get mad. I was going to get even. I was given a unique chance to show the Dutch viewing audience what really went on behind the scenes of Dutch public broadcasting’s flagship current affairs program, and I wasn’t about to walk away from it.
Where there had been merely speculation regarding bias, I was going to bring facts – cold hard facts, and plenty of them. From then on, every banned column, every politically correct statement, every e-mail, all the minutes from editorial meetings: every scrap of evidence would be filed, for use in a tell-all undercover story about leftwing bias and censorship in taxpayer-funded public broadcasting.
This has traction - even Radio Netherlands is commenting. The closest thing The Netherlands has to an American Republican, Geert Wilders, reacts like, well, an American Republican would to NPR.
In response to the columnist's sacking, Wilders is now calling for the Dutch public broadcasting system to be abolished altogether. Or as he calls it, 'the whole left-wing kit-and-kaboodle of them'.The Dutch right continues to impress. Getting on par with the Denmark.