Prime Minister Janez Janša was one of the people who commented on the work of Blaž Zgaga, Slovenian journalist who is embarrassing Slovenia with his lies, on Twitter. There, a journalist from the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel responded to Janša’s message, telling him that from now on, they will pay close attention to Slovenia and the works of Janša’s party, which he described as far-right. Some of the leftist Slovenian media outlets summed up what happened – with noticeable support for it, but forgot to mention that for some time now, there has been a shadow of doubt over Buschmann’s work, as some people have accused him of making up statements. Which is nothing new for Der Spiegel, let us remind you of the Claas Relotius affair: he made up stories, as well as certain interviews which he never actually conducted, and after the outbreak of the affair, he was stripped of some of the respectable awards he had received. The US media notes that Der Spiegel has been spreading primitive anti-Americanisms for a while now.
On Friday, the media outlet 24ur published an article with the attention-grabbing headline: “Investigative journalist of the weekly Der Spiegel said to Janša: We will keep a close eye on you,” reporting, among other things, that “an investigative journalist of the renowned German weekly Der Spiegel Rafael Buschmann” responded to the Prime Minister Janša’s statement regarding the work of the Slovenian journalist Zgaga. Buschmann “told our Prime Minister that he has nothing to worry about because they know Zgaga very well and also know of his great competence as a journalist.” He also added: “From now on, we will keep a close eye on Slovenia and the business of your far-right party.”
No worries, Mr @JJansaSDS we are fully convinced about @blaz_zgaga and his great competence as a journalist. So from now on we will look together on Slovenia and the business of your far-right party. #pressfreedom @EICnetwork https://t.co/KQA9q3Mf8k
— Rafael Buschmann (@Rafanelli) April 9, 2020
Who is Rafael Buschmann?
Buschmann was born in Poland and started working for the media outlet Spiegel in the sports section of Spiegel Online. In 2013, he began writing for the printed magazine Der Spiegel, focusing on topics such as fraud, corruption, right-wing extremism, and security. But there has been a shadow of doubt over Buschmann’s work for a while now.
In 2014, FIFA World Cup was held in Brazil, and the thing we most remembered from the Cup, was Brazil’s painful defeat when Germany won with 7 to 1. Cameroon also has bad memories from the World Cup, as it was painfully defeated in the elimination game against our neighboring Croatians on June 18th in Manaus, when the Croatians beat them 4 to 0. Cameroon ranked last in Group A, and soon after, we could hear from Buschmann, claiming he talked to the famous Singapore crook and match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal. The member of the Singapore betting mafia supposedly correctly predicted the outcome of the match between Croatia and Cameroon on Facebook.
Soon, doubts arose, regarding the authenticity of Buschmann’s allegations. According to Daily Mail, Perumal denied all allegations: “I am shocked and surprised by the fact that a well-known media outlet, such as Der Spiegel, would go as far as to simply make up a statement with the obvious intent of causing a stir regarding the alleged match-fixing.”
Der Spiegel’s journalist was stripped of CNN’s journalistic awards for fabricating facts
This would not be the first time publishing a made-up story for Der Spiegel. Even on POP TV, where they reported on the news, they forgot to mention that Der Spiegel’s reporting has often been criticized for false reports, or rather, for publishing fake news, which can be verified on Wikipedia. Even the diplomacy does not think very highly of Der Spiegel. The latest news scandal erupted in December of 2018, when it was revealed that Der Spiegel had previously published at least 14 articles by their employee Claas Relotius, which were based on made-up stories, “with made-up facts, persons, and even statements.” As a result of this, Relotius was later stripped of the awards given to him by CNN for his investigative journalism work in 2014.
US media outlets: Der Spiegel has long peddled crude and sensational anti-Americanism
Der Spiegel’s obviously biased and manipulative manner of reporting has also been noticed by the Washington diplomats, who paid close attention to the (pre)election developments in the USA in 2015 and 2016, as the weekly’s reports were anything but objective and professional. Other media outlets soon picked up on this, among them, the US-based The Wall Street Journal, which also cited the former Der Spiegel journalist, stating that “some of the articles in question appear to confirm certain German stereotypes about Trump’s voters,” and wonders, “is it because of the ideological bias?” The former editor of the German daily Die Tegeszeitung commented that “the imaginary author of these statements simply did what his superiors demanded, and what fit their made-up story.”
The Atlantic and Focus media outlets reported that “Der Spiegel has long peddled crude and sensational anti-Americanism.
In line with the decline of trust in these types of media outlets in general and Der Spiegel in particular, the circulation of its printed edition has decreased from 1,076,000 copies in 2003 to the current 840,000 per week. The similarity with the Slovenian mainstream media, which are also marketed as credible and objective, is no coincidence, as they both resort to similar methods of discrediting with made-up stories.