“It's a time,” says the male voice off-screen, “that scares many.” To illustrate this time, a grieved woman looks out of the window. It is also a time when even a private broadcaster like ProSieben lets its miserable information muscles play – and wants to take away this fear from its audience with “Germany asks about Corona”.
A case for “Galileo” and its moderator Stefan Gödde, a case for the broadcaster's social media department. Citizens ask questions via e-mail, Skype or telephone – politicians, experts and completely uninvolved people who were on hand answer. It's all in the mix!
The studio doesn't do it anyway. At a “sufficient safety distance”, as is now the norm, guests sit on white armchairs in front of bare exposed concrete. A look like in the corona cellar, reinforced by the unguided front camera. ProSieben lacks expertise on how to stage a round reasonably dynamically.
But that's not the point of this evening. After all, there are “Doctor Markus Söder” and “Professor Doctor Alexander Kekulé”, from Berlin “the Vice-Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz” with the nightly Reichstag behind him. This would cover federal and state politics and virological competence.
In addition, the psychotherapist “Doctor Beate Leinberger” for the mental stuff and Frank Thelen from the “Cave of the Lions” (Vox) for … yes, what actually? Something with start-up, 5G and digitization, we'll see.
“How does that feel?”
First of all, Söder is greeted like an ambassador by another, somehow more important star: “We know,” says Gödde bäuchlings, “you are currently a very sought-after man”. Also, the private questioning technique is somehow friendlier than the public law: “How does it feel”, Gödde wants to know from the man asked, “to be the first to be there?” Because of school closings and restrictions on going out.
This is the first question – and at the same time the moment when professional Söder visibly switches to autopilot. Here he faces no danger, no critical follow-up, no criticism of his advance. How does that feel?
Oh, it is difficult for him: “We deliberately didn't want to lock up anyone,” explains Söder, and that a “set of rules” had to be found that “gave the unreasonable a clear rule”. The crisis is a “character test” for this country, a “time of community discipline and also of cohesion”. He is also worried about Italy. And Europe.
Olaf Scholz receives similar treatment: “How did you feel about the day?” Scholz cannot show it that way, but allegedly feels that we are “fatefully exposed to a pandemic that we as humans now have to fight”.
Gödde wants to know whether the state rescue package is sufficient: “What is your personal impression?” The personal impression of Olaf Scholz is that this bailout fund is “really big sums”, “almost half of a federal budget”.
Direct breakthrough from citizen to politician
After these appeasement exercises at the beginning of the program, the actual therapy session can begin. Or, as Gödde puts it: “The USP of our show today is that we want to connect our viewers live.”
This means that people can sit in front of the webcam at home and ask their questions – and it's very good.
Firstly, because the aesthetic experience of the hour, pale-lit figures sitting grainy in their own four walls and jerkily seeing something say has finally arrived on television.
Secondly, because it enables a direct breakthrough from the citizen to the politician (or expert), which Frank Plasberg himself is not able to do more directly.
Anja Pannek, “47, midwife”, for example, wants to know why fathers are no longer allowed in the delivery room and why midwives should not be “systemically important”. A penalty that Söder transforms according to all the rules of art.
“When a child is born,” he says, “It's one of the most important moments in life.” In Bavaria “midwives are of course systemically important”, he hits the ball hard, so systemically even that there was a midwife bonus “before this crisis” – and he sinks it safely online: “If nothing helps, come to us in Bavaria! ” Anja Pannek, 47, is beaming.
But Söder can also provide practical life support. He explains to an Augsburg resident who lives in Stuttgart and wants to help his daughter move from Neukölln to Prenzlauer Berg that although it is not forbidden, it would be “helpful” to postpone the move. However, there are only penalties “where there is unreasonableness and sometimes also malice”.
Sometimes people are poorly understood, for example “Jenny Meier, 29, educator” with another question about system relevance. “Internet expansion!”, Thelen calls in between, “we have to do something there too!”
“The Internet is exploding”
What moves people can be felt in this program are economic issues. Kekulé can also appease, warn and educate. Gradually, however, most of the concerns seem to be directed towards the financial area.
How can I make ends meet without a job as a painter? How many rounds is that? Do I get a risk allowance as a cashier in a supermarket? As an emergency doctor, do I have to show my employer that I was infected with Covid-19 while on duty? “The internet is exploding right now,” says Gödde happily, and that the show is “trending” on Twitter.
That must be it, the “insecurity of people” in Germany that was mentioned at the beginning of the program. Anyone who senses something like a medial equalization in view of the current large situation in view of the possible lack of alternatives and would like to discuss the usefulness of the measures in principle is better off on YouTube or RT Deutsch.
At ProSieben (#wirbleibenzuhause), Olaf Scholz answers almost every question on a screen on the screen with the introductory sentence: “We have put in place a whole series of measures …”, which then includes the money the account, the bridging loan “covered by the German state” and a risk premium from the employer is possible.
Beate Leinberger is not asked anything, but points to the need for approval for psychotherapeutic care on the phone and the increased risk of domestic violence. The “entrepreneur and visionary” Frank Thelen calls for more help for start-ups and accelerated digitization.
During the advertising break, Penny and Edeka thank their employees for their heroic efforts. And Toyota is still advertising that it is “proud mobility partner” of the now canceled 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.