Today, I received a letter from our glorious republic's accomplice, the Beitragsservice. If you haven't ever lived in Germany, you might be wondering, “WELL GOSH GOLLY GEE JONAS, WHAT IS THIS?“, let me explain.
Germany, being a state that cares about you (at least more than the majestic United States of America), decided that its people need to be educated, and since you can't trust private companies to perform this order in a sensible manner, very smart people came up with a very smart idea: “Let there be a TV channel for the public, financed by the public!” Other people thought that idea was indeed pretty smart and thus, Das Erste —The First— was born.
But back-then Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer felt as if he and his back-then conservative party (also Merkel's party nowadays) were losing control and The First was getting way too liberal in the 1960s (no joke). That led to the inception of a second channel called Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF) —Second German Television—.
Fast-forward a few decades. The federal states decided they wanted some radio and tv channels too and bundled them with Das Erste in the ARD organisation, the ZDF did similar things. But that was obviously not enough. Children's programming was needed too, and probably some ARD-financed YouTube channels because of TV's increasing irrelevance to the youth.
Crunch the numbers, add everything up:
22 TV channels.
67 Radio stations.
7.98 BILLION euros.
Guess who has to pay? Every household not getting income support.
That's right: every household has to pay 17.50 euros a month, and your city is allowed to throw you in prison in case you don't. Still have some concerns left?
- I don't watch TV and I have no radio!
But you certainly have internet? Well, you're probably using our websites.
- I don't have any computer!
We don't care.
- Why should my company pay the 18 euros for every company vehicle we've got?
- How can I circumvent that fee?
It is no fee.
- With 8 billion euros a year, why do you still run ads like any privately-owned station?
Look: I wouldn't be pissed if I paid for something actually useful. But as it turns out, I don't watch any football (which they need to buy expensive broadcasting licenses for because private stations somehow can't?), I dislike oldies, I hate telenovelas, I hate 95% of the fucking YouTubers you fund, I hate your pro-USA news and your mediocre documentaries. I hate your fake-ass game shows imported from the UK, and I don't watch Sherlock in German. I hate your shit-tier programming and your patronising self-understanding, and the enjoyable 5% of your programming like arte is not worth the price.
You could scramble your stations like Austria does, telling people to buy decoder cards if they wanted to see your content. But guess what? Nobody would buy that because nobody gives a fuck about you. And that would mean nobody would pay your intendants.
Take Udo Reiter, who was responsible for the MDR channel covering the east. Some great things that guy accomplished between 1991 and 2014:
- Making the station lose 2.6 million Mark because of high-risk bonds in Ecuador.
- Employing former StaSi agents.
- Covert advertising!
- Joking about Muslims on Twitter.
- Making the station lose 8.3 million Mark because of one single employee using the children channel's money for gambling, and nobody noticed it for years.
- Committing suicide in 2014.
You can be sure he was not an exception to the rule. This publicly-funded bloated organisation is tailor-made for these people. Once they've got their position, they can't get thrown out.
One more time: it's 18 euros a month.