Jort Kelder financed our propaganda in NPO programs

Jort Kelder has paid one of his editors out of his own pocket to make campaign films for Forum for Democracy. That is what Thierry Baudet says in the podcast PodBast. Presenter Bastiaan Meijer asks Baudet how he was able to profile himself in the election campaigns in the early days of Forum, when the party was small and had little to spend. Baudet replies:

Jort Kelder then had a contract with Bij ons in de PC, or Hoe heurt actually, or one of those programs. And then he had a contract overlap for a month, with someone who was out of work for a month. Then he said: You know what? I’ll pay that boy out of my own pocket, he can make a movie for you every day for a month. So I was able to make a video every day for the last four weeks before the elections. That was a really big gift from Jort, that was really cool that he did that. And there were also a few films that were shown at Jinek and at Pauw and Witteman or whatever that is called.

The claim is remarkable, since the same Jort Kelder regularly joined the same talk shows at the same time (Pauw and Witteman stopped as a duo in 2014, Jeroen Pauw then continued solo with Peacock) as a political interpreter. Nor would it be the first time that Kelder’s journalistic independence has been questionable at best. For example, in February of this year, just before the elections to the House of Representatives, he had in his radio program Dr. Cellar & Co. one of his best friends Mark Rutte, whom he interviewed almost uncritically. ‘A verbal romp for an hour’, according to the announcement of the program itself for the conversation with Rutte, who had only just left at the time because of his role in the allowance scandal.

Thierry Baudet also belongs to Kelder’s club of friends, who was even polled by the FvD leader for a place on the electoral list of that party. That friendship did not prevent Kelder from inviting Baudet to the table in January of this year during the Sunday edition of Op1. That also resulted in a completely uncritical conversation with the politician whose party imploded just before the elections, partly because of leaked virulent racism and anti-Semitism within members of the youth movement, but also from Baudet himself. Jort Kelder loses himself in his usual asides and ironic remarks. He almost plays himself,’ concluded TV critic Arjen Fortuin on the radio program Spraakmakers the day after. ‘He ironizes himself. Then you get a kind of play and never a good interview.’

Last month there was a storm of commotion about another politician who made a positive campaign film with the help of the public broadcaster. D66 leader Sigrid Kaag was portrayed in a documentary by the VPRO, which later turned out to be that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the D66 campaign team had influenced the content. The Media Authority announced an investigation into the making of the documentary.

Can’t see the video in this article? Click here. The verdict can be heard from 1:41.

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