Few have studied the opposite sides of media and politics as thoroughly as Monika Zimmermann. After the fall of the Wall, she worked as editor-in-chief at the Neue Zeit, the Tagesspiegel, the Westfälisches Anzeiger, the Münchner Merkur and the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung, before moving to the state chancellery of Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony as a department head to work as a government spokeswoman for the respective prime ministers in Saxony to work.
So nothing media-related is alien to her, so it seems logical that she gave the form of a novel to her new book, “Lots of Noise and Nothing”, published by Mitteldeutscher Verlag, because the author, who is quite controversial herself, knows exactly “that someone is always on feels kicked in the tie”.
At the book launch on Monday evening in the state representation of Saxony-Anhalt, she pointed out right at the beginning, as a precaution, that “the people and the plot are fictitious”. She will probably have encountered some of the vanity and personal infallibility assessment more than once live at the many different stations in her career.
This comes out in more detail in a conversation with Minister of State and Culture Rainer Robra (CDU), who heads the State Chancellery in Saxony-Anhalt.
The fact that in the end she always remained a journalist becomes clear from the official processes described with hardly hidden irony, from the staccato of orders from the head of the state chancellery: “Create a roadmap, work out a schedule, commission reports, arrange a telephone conference, win over Hesse, slow down Thuringia …”.
And the fact that everyone in the hierarchy has their own color to tick their boxes, purple for the heads of department, red for the head of department, green for the boss, the trained journalist, here the fictitious Lisa, who “threw herself in at the deep end” in the government machine room feels thrown and swims quite a bit”, apparently very amazed.
Although Klaus Rost, the former editor-in-chief of the Märkische Allgemeine, is actually moderating the event, the author can only stand not to ask any questions for a certain amount of time. “Have I exaggerated?” she finally bursts out. Everyday life can sometimes be extremely boring, admits Rainer Robra, who had previously spoken about the novelist’s freedom to play with materials and components of different personalities. “You’ve got it pointed.”
At the end, a number of listeners wanted to ask even more questions, although the wine from Saxony-Anhalt was already waiting for them. Too many food for thought had been thrown around. The falsifications of the shitstorms, the urge of the media to become faster and faster, which Monika Zimmermann considers wrong because it is at the expense of thoroughness, the increasing permeability of background talks or prime minister conferences with the inevitable loss of trust are just a few of them.
It’s about bureaucratic gibberish, about forging majorities instead of finding solutions. Above all, it’s about the normal madness in politics and the media, which is fictitious alienated and exposed.