Criminal Law, Media Law, Murder, Police and Prosecutors, Soering, True Crime

Markus Lanz Went Jogging with Jens Söring

[Deutsche Fassung folgt in Kürze!]

Sorry to have been a but quiet lately, I was preoccupied with a few other projects. But I have more interesting news about the infamous May 14th interview of Jens Söring with Markus Lanz, which I and a Berlin lawyer filed an official complaint against.

The information keeps trickling in from various sources. Perhaps the most intriguing bit is that, as the title of the post says, Markus Lanz went jogging in Hamburg with Jens Söring! Let’s say a Hanseatic bird landed on my shoulder and whispered this in my ear. After all, people tend to notice it when a famous TV personality passes them on a jogging path right next to a famous convicted murderer. Perhaps I’m being too censorious, but I wonder whether going jogging with your interview subject is 100% compatible with journalistic objectivity.

I can also now report that Söring and Lanz met personally before the interview to discuss how it would go. One of the questions, for instance, was whether Söring would have an exclusive show all to himself, or whether he would have to share the show with other stories. Obviously, Söring won on that point. He received the gift of 75 minutes of airtime on nationwide television, without the slightest critical questioning.

This personal face-to-face meeting also would seem to contradict the ZDF’s claim (reported by Stefan Winterbauer after my podcast interview (g) from last week) that there were no agreements about the contents of the show. Söring met Lanz face-to-face to discuss the substance and structure of the show. By the way, the show was actually recorded in March, and only broadcast 2 months later, since Corona dominated the news in the meantime. I will shortly be submitting a Freedom of Information Act request to get to the bottom of what happened.

And by the way, I don’t mean to be too harsh about Markus Lanz. By all accounts he’s a genuinely nice guy and a great cook. But he’s a telegenic talk show host, not a serious working journalist. Markus Lanz doesn’t have the chops to deal with serious news, and the Jens Söring case is serious news. Even aside from the fact that Lanz and Söring appear to be something like friends, asking Markus Lanz to do a proper job covering this complex case is like asking Elton John to conduct the Ring cycle. Which is obviously not a knock on Elton John.

Meanwhile, I’m working on a longer post about one of the strangest aspects of this fascinating case, the mysterious Mathias G. Schröder. You won’t want to miss this one.

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