Dutch state broadcaster pulls logo from vans after ‘almost daily’ attacks.

The Dutch state broadcaster has removed its logo from outside broadcast vans as politicians complained of a steep rise in threats and the national counter-terrorism agency warned of a heightened risk of far-right violence in the Netherlands.

The broadcaster, NOS, said it had been forced to take the unprecedented step because “almost daily, journalists and technicians on the road to report are confronted with verbal abuse, garbage is thrown, vans are blocked [and] people bang on their sides or urinate on them”.

NOS’s editor, Marcel Gelauff, said it had been the case for some time that its reporters no longer went to public events without security guards.

“It’s not just what has happened, but what you are afraid might happen,” he said. “Journalism is under attack from people and groups who only want to see their own world reflected back at them, who are trying to deny every other perspective, and are therefore attacking the freedom of the press ? This is a defeat for journalism.”

The decision has shocked the Netherlands, which despite a history of having flamboyant far-right politicians such as Pim Fortuyn and Geert Wilders, and occasional political violence, is widely seen as a tolerant society of consensus and compromise.

‘Hands off’

Thierry Baudet, a far-right politician whose Forum for Democracy party has regularly accused the media of being “part of the elite”, told a TV talk show he thought it extremely unlikely that such criticism had led to the current climate.

But the minister for the media, Arie Slob, said he took the announcement very seriously, telling parliament a free press was at the heart of democracy: “Hands off our press. Let journalists do their job safely and let them do it independently.”

The speaker of the Dutch parliament, Khadija Arib, also said she was deeply concerned by an increase in online attacks against politicians and daily demonstrations outside parliament.

Protesters “harass MPs, touch them, and jeer at journalists and politicians”, Arib said, adding that politicians had reported 44 threats, and filed 17 formal police complaints about them, in the first eight months of 2020.

The Netherlands’ national co-ordinator for counter-terrorism and security, Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg, said the coronavirus crisis had made social unrest more visible both on the street and on social media.

The country was witnessing a “radical undercurrent with extremist behaviour”, Aalbersberg said, made up of people who harassed politicians and journalists, intimidated police officers and published online lists of private addresses of police and politicians.

“People who have long distrusted the government, science and traditional media may find their views confirmed in conspiracy theories and misinformation,” the counter-terrorism organisation said. – Guardian

The Irish Times

The Irish Times online. Latest news including sport, analysis, business, weather and more from the definitive brand of quality news in Ireland.

https://www.irishtimes.com/

Rove: I was 'shocked' Biden pivoted from question on pipeline ransom.

Rove: I was 'shocked' Biden pivoted from question on pipeline ransom.

FOX News contributors Karl Rove and Katie Pavlich discuss Biden's foreign policy plans on 'Fox News Primetime.' #FoxNews #FoxNewsPrimetime Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 2...

1 33

WATCH: Video From Inside Israeli Home As Rocket Strikes Building.

WATCH: Video From Inside Israeli Home As Rocket Strikes Building.

Surveillance camera footage shows a resident of Petah Tikva relaxing in front of his TV when a rocket fired from Gaza explodes just outside his window. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NBC News Digital is a collection of innovative...

Bill Hemmer reacts to latest 'woke' military recruitment ad.

Bill Hemmer reacts to latest 'woke' military recruitment ad.

'Gutfeld!' panel compares a United States Army ad to a Russian Armed Forces ad. #FoxNews #Gutfeld Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service deli...

BREAKING: England's lockdown easing will go ahead despite Indian variant.

BREAKING: England's lockdown easing will go ahead despite Indian variant.

Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi has told Sky News that restrictions in England will continue to be eased despite soaring cases of the Indian variant. However Mr Zahawi did not rule out local lockdowns. SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel for more vid...

Israeli army destroys Hamas' Gaza underground tunnels in large scale operation.

Israeli army destroys Hamas' Gaza underground tunnels in large scale operation.

The Israeli army said on Friday it destroyed several kilometres of underground facilities including tunnels in Gaza during a large scale operation involving 160 aircraft as well as ground forces, artillery, and armoured troops. The Israel Defence ...

Marsha Blackburn slams 'The Squad' over 'wrong' comments on Israel.

Marsha Blackburn slams 'The Squad' over 'wrong' comments on Israel.

Tennessee Republican says what the Squad said should never be said on the floor of the United States House. #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassin...