By James Delingpole
Naomi Seibt — the young German activist known as the “anti-Greta” for her brave and forthright climate-sceptical views — has become the latest victim of the media/tech establishment’s war on conservative voices.
Reuters has attempted to shred her credibility with the cunning ruse of a fake fact check.
A widely shared post on social media makes the claim that 19-year-old German climate change sceptic Naomi Seibt has been fined and banned from social media for expressing disagreement with climate activist Greta Thunberg, known for organising youth climate strikes ‘Fridays for Future’. This claim contains some inaccurate information.
Ostensibly the news agency is merely correcting misinformation — a bit like Twitter did recently when it “fact-checked” some of President Trump’s tweets.
In reality, though, this is a barely disguised hit-job by Reuters, whose real purpose is to repeat all manner of green propaganda smears about the 19-year old German student while wearing the mask of objective journalism.
Paul Homewood has conducted an excellent analysis of Reuters ugly and vindictive assault on Seibt here.
As he notes, the “widely shared post on social media” cited by Reuters was nothing of the kind. It was a post on Facebook shared by hardly anyone (just 680 shares). What possible interest could so marginal a post have for a major news organisation? None whatsoever — except, of course, as a pretext for a fake news fact check.
So, in the guise of correcting misinformation, what Reuters has done is to spread that misinformation. It’s a cynical deployment of the Streisand Effect: by denying an untruth — or at least something you would rather keep hidden — you end up broadcasting it to a wider audience than ever before.
Here’s a taste of Reuters’ insinuating hit piece:
In February 2020, Seibt joined the Heartland Institute — a right-wing American think-tank — to work on “communicating the climate realism message to her generation – which has marinated in apocalyptic nonsense their whole lives – for audiences in Europe and the United States,” according to a press release (here).
In late February, some outlets reported that Seibt “has previously described a white nationalist who appeared to promote ‘white genocide’ theories as one of her ‘inspirations’” (here; here). Seibt has also spoken at events run by Germany’s far-right AfD (Alternative for Germany) party, although she has denied formally being in the party, according to the Independent (here).
In April, Seibt posted a video on YouTube where she explained, in German, that she had chosen not to renew her three-month contract with the Heartland Institute. She claimed that her affiliation to Heartland resulted in the Landesanstalt für Medien NRW (Nordrhein-Westfalen) — a regional supervisory authority for private broadcasting — threatening to delete her YouTube account and her videos, alleging that through her collaboration with the American think-tank, she was spreading U.S. conspiracy theories in Germany (here). Seibt claimed that the allegation was not true, and that it violated her freedom of expression.
Note the use of loaded phrases like “right-wing American think-tank” and the invocation of “white nationalist” and “white genocide”.
As Homewood notes, the latter terms are a desperate stretch:
This is a reference to Canadian podcaster Stefan Molyneux, whose recent guests include respectable commentators such as Jordan Peterson and Michelle Malkin. Reuters’ smears about him derive from the hard left Southern Poverty Law Center, which have never been substantiated. (Maybe Reuters should be doing factchecks on libellous comments such as those!)
So too, he says, are the attempts to make AfD look more sinister than it actually is:
Reuters go on to complain that Naomi has spoken at events run by also spoken at events run by Germany’s far-right AfD (Alternative for Germany) party, although she has denied formally being in the party. Reuters may not like them, but the AfD happens to be Germany’s official opposition party. Again, why should Naomi be censored if she chooses to speak at one of their events?
As for the misinformation which Reuters purportedly wrote the piece to correct, it’s so achingly trivial as scarcely to be worth discussing.
You’ll find it described here in more detail. But the bottom line is this, German state agency Landesanstalt für Medien NRW (Nordrhein-Westfalen) ordered Seibt — on pain of fine or imprisonment — to take down some videos she had made because, allegedly, she was in breach of a technicality so unimportant that it’s hard to see this as anything other than a politically motivated punishment for wrongthink.
Naomi Seibt is an incredibly brave teenage activist whom I first met last year at the COP25 climate conference in Madrid, Spain. You can watch our interview here.
Unlike her overpromoted counterpart Greta Thunberg, she gets little but scorn from the mainstream media. But she gives as good as she gets: on TV earlier this year, for example, she humiliated an aggressive poltroon called Piers Morgan, by responding with calm honesty to his attempts to smear her as an anti-science ignoramus.
It’s a measure of the ignorance and stupidity of our age – and more specifically of the moral failure of the mainstream media – that while that ill-informed parroter of green junk-science hysteria Greta Thunberg is feted wherever she goes, courageous, articulate and intelligent Naomi Seibt gets little but smear jobs like this latest one from Reuters, plus death threats and rape threats from the likes of Antifa.
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