The public prosecutor’s office in Berlin will not investigate RBB director Patricia Schlesinger – there is no initial suspicion of corruption. A stage has thus been completed, but the goal has by no means been reached: the “complete clarification” promised by the director and broadcaster.
It’s about strange consulting contracts, questionable practices at the planned media company and dinner in the Schlesinger household. It’s about the appearance that there is nepotism at the top of the RBB instead of clean management. The tour de force continues, only in October will the contributors know what was going on, what is going on, and what the consequences of the investigation results will be.
The manager doesn’t want to wait that long. She wants to show a public that has become suspicious: I understand. Your annual salary of 303,000 euros is to be renegotiated, certainly with the aim of reducing it. Such symbolic politics will not suffice.
As if Schlesinger wanted to test what is still possible and what is not, she specified the expenses for nine dinners since 2018 in a letter of reply to the Brandenburg State Chancellery. For each of their guests, at least three and a maximum of nine, between 23.12 and 56.53 euros were spent on meals. Quicker than these numbers were known, the follow-up question was raised: And the drinks? Who were the guests?
Schlesinger doesn’t want to name her. Why not? Does she want to emulate Helmut Kohl, who climbed into the grave with his donors? This incomplete information contradicts a complete clarification. Communication must be adapted to the crisis and not the crisis of communication. This is the only way Patricia Schlesinger will be able to get rid of the impression of self-importance through to self-service.
The planned media company shows a comparable mentality. The broadcaster called the KEF contribution commission an investment of 95.2 million euros. It will by no means stay at this sum, skeptics expect costs of up to 185 million euros. Is the public broadcaster planning on becoming over-indebted? The project has been stopped, but the approach applies here too: make everything transparent so that it is a clean process and a clean project.
The question arises as to whether the RBB administration has gotten lost in a thicket of planning, re-planning and stopped planning, from which it must first find its way out. And need to get an overview of which external consultant should take responsibility for the investment from those responsible for the station?
They seem to be masters at this: outsourcing responsibility until it no longer exists. This also removes the question of guilt. Does the RBB need such a chic, expensive media house at all? The cross-media newsroom has just been opened for 13.5 million euros.
Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg has two control bodies, the Administrative Board and the Broadcasting Council. Its chairwoman, Friederike von Kirchbach, has admitted that the committees lack expertise and professionalism. The 28 members are honorable volunteers, the majority of whom are amateurs in view of the complex structure of public broadcasting. Control means the challenging and obviously overwhelming task.
That must be exciting. State politics in Brandenburg is on the battlefield. Clarification is demanded across party lines and undertaken independently. The people of Brandenburg practice RBB and broadcasting policy. Not so in Berlin, in the House of Representatives in the House of Representatives, the best state politicians gather, there are no profound media politicians. This is negligent: Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg is left to its director, its committees and thus to itself.