Replacement Theory report on public broadcaster shocks Dutch MP’s
The lower house of the Dutch parliament wants State Secretary Gunay Uslu (Culture and Media) to take steps against "uncontested population theories" disseminated by public broadcaster Ongehoord Nederland. Flemish politician Filip Dewinter was on an Ongehoord Nederland broadcast on May 10 during which he spoke about replacement theory, which claims that Western society is slowly being replaced by immigrants with an ethnically diverse, non-Western background. The program's presenters did not contradict him, and they did not intervene in any way during the broadcast.
Various political parties that combine for a large majority in parliament asked parliamentary questions about the broadcaster's recent focus on replacement theory. The MPs now wonder what the risks are if the public broadcaster broadcasts such theories in an "uncontested" manner.
They also want to know whether the broadcaster violated the journalistic code of NPO, the organization overseeing all public broadcasting in the Netherlands. Parliamentarians also asked State Secretary Uslu to check with the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security whether such broadcasts pose any risks to national security.
The group of parliamentarians asking these questions includes Nilüfer Gündoğan and members of the VVD, D66, PvdA, GroenLinks, PvdD, ChristenUnie, DENK, and Volt.
In March, the NPO's ombudsman, Margo Smit, launched an investigation into complaints that were received about the first broadcasts of Ongehoord Nieuws, the broadcaster's news program. The NPO says it wants to wait for the conclusions of the study before taking any action. "If the findings give reason to do so, the NPO may consider imposing a measure within our powers," it said in a response.
The NPO said it is conceivable that complaints were also filed about the more recent broadcast. "The ombudsman's statutes offer the ombudsman the opportunity to include recently submitted complaints in her ongoing investigation until the date of her ruling, so possibly also about the broadcast for which parliamentary questions have now been asked." The investigation is expected to be completed in early June.
Belief in the replacement theory conspiracy was the likely motive behind a mass shooting in Buffalo in the United States on May 14. An 18-year-old American shot and killed ten people and injured three others. Eleven of the victims were Black.
Reporting by ANP